Rare 1950s Lanvin Castillo Demi-Couture Blue Silk Dress & Jacket
This is an extremely rare Jeanne Lanvin-Castillo labeled ensemble. The label is that of the "Execute par Maria Carine sur autorization speciale", which translates to: "made by Maria Carine with special authorization. That label is best explained by this partial excerpt from the Vintage Fashion Guild: The Maria Carine atelier was owned by Maria Moutet-Chenu. She worked with four couturiers: Heim, Desses, LaRoche, and Lanvin. After the couture showings, each couturier would give her sketches based upon the garments they had just shown. Moutet-Chenu made the toiles which were approved by the designers. Then each garment was cut individually by hand in the Maria Carine workrooms in Paris using the same fabrics that were used for the couture garment. Maria employed hundreds of seamstresses, many of whom worked in their own homes. They sewed each garment individually by hand to exacting standards. In other words - this is an authorized piece, whose construction was overseen by the house of Lanvin and is how demi-couture pieces were produced for clients outside of France. These were only produced for a small window of time before more mass market production methods took over. This method was used by the French ateliers of the time to circumvent the stringent export rules of the day - think of it as a off site atelier as this were only produced with permission of the house. They are not "copies", nor are they less valid pieces - they simply were produced off-site to get around the export rules of the time. The quality is that of a demi-couture piece.
The fabric of this dress is wonderful. It is a very lightweight, fine silk brocade woven with a slightly raised pattern of flowers in a deeper blue thread that perfectly contrasts against the blue base. In person this fabric almost seems to glow from within and it is very beautiful. The color is not quite captured in these photos and I think it is far better in person. The dress is fitted through the waist but cut to skim over your curves above and below that. The sleeveless top gently gathers into the banded waist with soft pleats that make it feel very feminine. The skirt falls softly to just past the knee and gently widens as it nears the hem. The jacket is cut with a simple design and has straight cut sleeves that are just past the elbow in length. The is no no collar and it ties in place at the waist. That tie at the waist is finished with hidden set snaps to keep the ends of the tie perfectly in place. I love the two round pockets that sit very high up on the chest. It is made with masterful seaming and cut and the fabric is just extraordinary. Hand finishes and extra detail throughout. Excellent condition.
Unlined with a combination of grosgrain and hand stitched edged seams on the interior. The dress closes with a side set painted metal zipper. The jacket ties at the waist and there is a combination of with hook & eye and hidden snaps to secure the tie. Each pocket is hand shaped and sewn into place. Hand sewn interior silk banding at the waist for additional comfort.
Bust: to 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 14" from shoulder to top of waist band
Waist band: 3"
Skirt: 22" from waist to hem
Bust: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 17.5" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-LRG
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.