Important Fall 1958 Christian Dior by Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture Deep Blue Silk Evening Coat
The Fall 1958 season was Yves Saint Laurent's second collection for the house of Dior. It was titled the 'Line Courbe - Silhouette en Arc' which translates to Curved Line - Arched Silhouette. In the book 'Dior Catwalk' they have abnb excerpt from the original show notes that explain the inspiration behind the silhouettes on the show. They stated that 'The structure of this season's fashions is inspired by one of the fundamental lines of architecture, curved convex lines... the definitive curve of the well-marked rounded shoulder line, the softened curves of skirts and the semi-circle of Palladio's arcade as key characteristics.' Vogue said that the proportions 'were the newest look in Paris. This show is also spacial because it was only one of three shows in the entire Dior history (the first in 1954 under Christian Dior himself and the third decades pater for a cruise show), that after it was show in Paris it was then brought in its entirety to the Blenheim Palace. There is was presented to raise funds for the British Red Cross and the collection was presented to Princess Margaret and guests at Blenheim Palace. It was also the piece from the collection that season that was chosen for the cheeky ad campaign. In the campaign a model in the coat holds a a minature version of herself on her palm wearing the coat. The coat also appears in the book 'Dior: Yves Saint Laurent 1958-1960' which is a coffee table sized book that is part of a series on each of the designers for Dior. The book series celebrates the houses 70th anniversary. The coat is in exceptional condition and it is an extraordinarily beautiful piece of fashion history. Yves Saint Laurent was at Dior for only a short time period; creating only six couture collections while there, which makes piece from his reign especially rare and an important part of not only Dior's history but of Yves as a designer as well since this would represent some of his very earliest work.
The coat is made from a heavy, deep blue silk with a satin finish. The coat would have be considered to have been a ‘Petite Theatre’, a more formal evening coat, during this time period. A neat rounded collar wraps in a curve around the neck and closes just off to the side. This sits above a double row of buttons. The buttons have been hand made and covered in the same silk as the coat. Each button slips into a perfectly made button hole and all the work is done by hand. Pockets are hidden along the curving seams that are inset sightly towards the front of the coat so that the vertical line stays clean and simple. The back has tremendous volume and this fullness is created by a soft inverted pleat that opens from just under the back collar and extends down to the hem. Besides the volume this creates it also directly relates to the shapes that Yves intended the pieces in this collection to have. From the side, this gives it a bit of caped back feel and would have layered perfectly over the fuller backed skirts of the dresses in this collection. The silk that has been used is of the highest possible quality and the colour is an even darker shade of blue in person then how it photoed here. It appears to have been worn very little and is in outstanding condition. The proper numbered Haute Couture label is present and the coat is made entirely by hand to the standards demanded of Haute Couture. This is an exquisite example of Yves Saint Laurent's very earliest work with as a couturier and as the head of Dior. It is an outstanding piece of Haute Couture from one of the most important houses of our modern era. Excellent condition
Fully lined in hand set blue silk. It buttons to close at the front with silk covered buttons and has two hooks inside to secure in place. Hand done buttons and proper button holes. Pockets are hidden at each hip along the seams. The coat looks to have been worn very little if it all. The coat is meant to fit slightly oversized so should fit a variety of sizes. The proper Haute Couture label is present and it is numbered. Done with Haute Couture construction techniques.
Slightly dropped shoulders: 16"
Length: 38.5" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-LRG
Reference Photos: (1) Christian Dior ad, 1958. / (2-3) "Dior: Yves Saint Laurent 1958-1960", pages 108-109, published by Assoulin.
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
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