Rare 1970s Nina Ricci Haute Couture Trailing Angel Wing Sleeve Red Silk Dress
The Nina Ricci Haute Couture house was founded in 1932, at 20 Rue de Capucines in Paris and became one of the pre-eminent couture ateliers in the world. In 1964, Gérard Pipart succeeded Jules-François Crahay, Nina Ricci's former designer assistant who took over the atelier in 1954. Over the following three decades, his Haute Couture vision "celebrated a flamboyant woman and his ready-to-wear found a loyal following among the most stylish women of the day." This late seventies gown is a wonderful example of Pipart's vision for the house and is a stunning example of the work that the atelier was producing during this time period.
This dress is spectacular. It is one of the best Nina Ricci pieces I have seen. This is true Haute Couture label from the atelier and every stitch has been done by hand. The hours that would have been put into making this dress and ensuring that drape and line are perfect are mind-boggling. The dress is made out of a fine silk that has been dyed to the perfect clear red. In person it is perhaps a touch brighter and better then how it photoed. The silk that has been chosen for the fabric gives it that fantastic drape you see. The fabric is so light that the dress seems to float around you when you move. The neckline is slightly scooped and the silk is gathered up on one shoulder. It skims over the waist and is gather into a low drape over the skirt. On the side opposite to the draped shoulder there is another gathering of the silk. The creates a lovely long line through the body. The skirt flows to the floor from under that. It is cut on an angle at the hem and one corner of the back skirt is left longer so that it trails down and past the lower hem to create a slight trained feel. There is a slit up the leg and above that, a tightly spaced row of buttons that run up the side and disappear under the drape of the bodice. The sleeves are amazing. They are each cut to drop to the floor and flow around you every time you move. Here Pipart has again played on the asymmetrical feel he has created for the dress and he has cut one sleeve to be longer then the other, with the longer one set on the same side that the skirt is longer. The final touch is that fabulous pleated double flower at the neckline that gives it the perfect finish. This little extra detail creates that last bit of high drama to the design. Excellent condition with some small notes to review below.
The body of the dress is fully lined in red silk crepe and the skirt and sleeve are unlined. It closes with a side, hand set, zipper and a second one at the top of the shoulder where the flowers are. Light padding in the shoulders. Finished to Haute Couture standards and entirely made by hand. Note that there is some grubbiness on the trailing parts of the silk panels and some very tiny areas of thinning/picking of the fabric on the lower trailing panel of the skirt especially. Some small areas of darkening on the sleeves. Once on these do not detract at all and the fabric and dress is strong and stable. This is more from not being stored properly prior to my acquiring of it. I have included photos after the label shot to review. It is cut on the boas so there is a little play on the measurements. Haute Couture label present and made to couture standards.
Sleeves: the left is approx 62", the right is 52"
Bust: to 16-17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12-14.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: approx 60" from neck to front hem and the trailing panel extends another 15" longer
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
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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