Fall 1978 Christian Dior Haute Couture Silk Satin Caped Sleeve Dress
This is an incredible dress by Marc Bohan for Christian Dior from the 1978 Fall Haute Couture collection. It is very dramatic with extra long, extended and trained sleeves. Gowns like this really define the fantasy nature of Haute Couture. It has both the dated and numbered couture label from the atelier and the original hand written tag from Neiman Marcus where it would have been ordered through directly from the atelier in France. That tag identifies it as being Look #54 from the runway and with an original price of $7,975 which converts to $29,434.97 in modern dollars. A sum that would still be well below the price in a modern day couture garment. I have also included editorial reference photos from that year as it was widely documented
The dress is made of a vivid blue, liquid feeling silk satin, reminiscent of the silks used in the 1930s. The fabric drapes exceptionally well, feels almost weightless once on and holds the vibrancy of the color exceptionally well. The neckline is cut square and highlighted with a wide band of the same fabric that is top stitched for contrast. The dress flows from there to the floor in a bias cut column of silk with no defined waist. The sleeves are attached to the top part of the shoulder and they then drape over the arm with the inner edges left open to create a caped effect. Little open loops lie along the edge near your hands and along the bottom. These allow you to slip a finger through to control the placement of the sleeve if you do not wish them to hang down so much. You can see that in one of the reference photos they have draped the sleeves s an option. The full length of each sleeves from the shoulder to hem is approximately 7 1/2 feet so you have a lot of fabric to play with and style. It is an incredible piece of fashion history. It present as in good condition but does have some notes below to review.
Fully lined through the body in a blue tissue silk and closes with hidden set painted metal zipper at the side and a series of hook & eye just above that. Hand finished to Haute Couture standards. The fabric shows some slight areas of fading and slight discoloration throughout and there is a small area under each arm that shows discoloration (this does not show when on because of the cut of the sleeves) and also yellowing to the fabric here and there, most noticeably at the back. I have photoed the largest area which is about 1/4 the way up the back from the hem. Some darkening/storage marks to the sleeves that are minor. Sold as found
Sleeves: 87" approx.
Shoulders: no defined seam
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 61" from waist to hem (sleeves add 28" to length)
Slit at the side: 31" from hem to top of slit
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: (1) Dior, 1978. Photo by Patrick Bertrand. Hair by Carita. / (2) L'Officiel n.645, 1978. Photo by Michel Picard.
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.