christian dior

1954-1956 Christian Dior London Demi-Couture Printed Silk Coat & Dress Set

This dress and coat set is extraordinary. After much research I have dated it to the mid-fifties while Christian Dior still presided over the house. You can see a striking similarity to the color and print in the examples shown here from the Haute Couture collections between 1954 and 1956. The label is the Modele Original label that was done one a custom order / custom made basis. The designs were based on the Haute Couture presentation from that season and then special ordered through the London store by clients. The work was considered to be demi-couture. It is not unusual to see variations and small changes from the runway line in these while still retaining the same color and line references found in the Couture examples.

Both the coat and dress are numbered and entirely hand finished and extremely well made. The silk used is very fine with a soft washed floral print screen onto the entire surface of both pieces. The dress is backed in a feather light silk organza while the coat is a double layer of the silk with the organza lining only found in the sleeves. Both pieces are so light that each of the two pieces have hand placed weighted hems in their interiors so that they fall and stay perfectly in place. The seaming is wonderful with the shape deliberately created through the placement of the seams. The inner dress has a voluminous cut that is wider and has more volume through the upper body and then narrows in towards the hips and hem. There is a small notched neckline anchored by a flat bow at the front and the back has a low slung flat bow and strap detailing set at the base of the small of the back. It is cut to be loose and full through the body and has an almost cocoon shape to it. The coat is cut with even more volume. These exaggerated lines and shapes perfectly showcase the feel of that era and would have been cutting edge then and still feel avant garde now. The evening coat is collarless and cut to sit almost off of the shoulders. On an actual body it has an almost slouched feel and the back puffs out tremendously in a beautiful curving swoop. The seams are all cut gracefully on a curve and the sleeves are to the elbow and wide. It is wonderful. Excellent condition with minor notes to review below

Both pieces are lined in hand set silk, the dress in an organza and the coat in the same silk as the exterior and silk organza through the sleeves. The dress closes at the back with a series of hook & eye and snaps at the back and a low set zipper under that. The coat has no closures. Hand placed weights in both pieces. Slight stress points at the corner of the lining under each arm. Please review the photos after the label shot. The dress is numbered 19013 and the coat 19012.

These were made to be worn over-sized. The hips on the dress do narrow down and there is no give there. The generous proportions should allow it to fit a range of sizes.

Sleeves: 12.5"
Shoulders: 23"
Bust: 25.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 25.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 25.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 40.5" from neck to hem

Bust: 22.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 20.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 41.5" from neck to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-LRG

Item# DD2674

Reference Photos: (1) Dovima in Dior, 1956. Photo by Henry Clarke.  /  (2) Dior Afternoon ensemble, 1954 from the Chicago History Museum Collection.  /  (3-5) Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture.

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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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.