Extraordinary Fall 1952 Lanvin by Castillo Haute Couture Brilliant Blue Alpaca Coat w Button Front
This is a stunning and extremely rare example of the Haute Couture work being done by the house of Lanvin during the years that Antonio Castillo headed the atelier. Castillo started off his career at the houses of Paquin and Piquet. He also did a stint designing accessories for Chanel. He quickly became known as one of the most promising designers to emerge after WWII and that reputation was part of why he was chosen in 1950 to become the head designer at the House of Lanvin. The press at the time lauded him, along with Balmain, Dior and Balenciaga, as the new generation of the Paris Couture designers. During his time at Lanvin the house was known for the simple and elegant lines. This is a very rare and early Haute Couture coat and we found a reference photo of its near twin that was styled with a belt, dramatic gloves and matching hat added. It is very beautiful and the colour is exceptional.
This coat is beautifully tailored. The double row of buttons at the front and curving cut makes it feel as chic and wearable now as it was when first made. It is entirely finished by hand and has its numbered couture tape under the label. It is so chic and a very important and rare piece. This is truly a vintage gem. It has a deceptively simple cut that hides the precise seams and masterfully tailored cut. It is constructed with the absolute minimal seam work to create the curves of the coat that you see. It is more fitted through the upper bodice and then skims over the waist and flares out slightly as it nears the hem. The collar is neat with a notched front and each sleeve ends in a turned up cuff. A half belt is attached at the back and you could add a belt over it to emphasize the shape even more. The fabric is amazing with a soft finish to it. I believe it is an Alpaca or perhaps a type of cashmere and it is extremely luxurious. The fact that it is dyed that amazing blue makes it that much more brilliant. It is even better in person and the fabric has to be seen and felt to truly be appreciated. This fabric choice allowed Castillo to be able to sculpt the exact shape that he desired. The front has detailed seaming that becomes part of the actual design and inside that is a double row of blue buttons that run down the front to the waist. You can wear this one open or do it up right to the neck like the reference photo. I love the sculptural effect the coat has once on and that beautifully full lower skirting. No shortcut was taken in the construction of this lovely coat and it is an outstanding piece of fashion history in every possible way. Excellent condition.
Fully lined in a hand set black silk taffeta and closes with the button down the front. Finished to Haute Couture standards and entirely done by hand. The Haute Couture numbered tape label is present under the main label and is numbered 15.418. This is a medium to heavy weight coat
Sleeves: 22" and 13" around the upper arm
Bust: 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 45" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photo: Model in Lanvin, 1952.
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