Spring 1977 Jean Louis Scherrer Haute Couture Sequin Silk Dress & Shawl
Jean-Louis Scherrer was on of the great French couturiers in the grand Parisian style. He counted Sophia Loren and Jackie Kennedy as fans in his heyday and his work in the 1970s especially was wonderful. Opulence, hand beading and rich passementerie were his trademarks. He launched his own Haute Couture house after working at Christian Dior and stayed there until his dismissal in 1992. By that time period he had sold out all but 10% of his company. In 1977, the year that this gown was made, he was just reaching the top of his game as a couturier.
This dress, with its matching ruffled silk shawl, is tiny but perfect. I love the soft yellow silk organza that has been used for the skirt and the shawl. This choice of fabric allows it to have the volume that you see but without adding any weight at all. The skirt is cut to skim over the hips and that drops to that first extravagant ruffle. There are three ruffles in total that circle the skirt and each is wide and has yards of fabric in them. The skirt under the ruffles gradually widens as it reaches the hem. The movement and airiness the skirt creates in person is amazing. The shawl is made of the same silk as the skirt and is very long and finished with the same ruffled treatment we see on the skirt. It can be wrapped or just lightly held. Once this is removed that bodice of the dress is revealed and here is the true magic. It is strapless and fitted to the bust which balances against the volume of the skirt perfectly. Tiny sequins are hand placed to create that stunning floral design that you see. The edges of the green sequin leaves are done in the smallest glass tube beads. Little glass crystals edge other parts of the design and create a border across the top of the bodice. The workmanship is exquisite and the care and time to have created the design using only the finest, smallest of beads and sequins is astonishing. The entire dress is finished to Haute Couture standards and it is even more beautiful in person. Excellent condition with a small note to review below
Fully lined in the same silk organza that is used on the exterior. All of the work throughout is done by hand done to the edgings of the inner seams. It zips to close with a painted metal zipper and the exterior skirt snaps to close over the zipper. An inner waist stay hooks to close. The bodice is lightly boned. It will of course close all the way but was small on my dress form. I see one tiny dot of a mark just under the bodice seam and a tiny repair near the base of the back closure. Numbered tag 002576
Bust: 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 9" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 42" from waist to hem
Shawl: 9' long x just over 5' wide
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XXS-XS
Reference Photos: (1) 1976-1977 Fall-Winter Women's haute couture runway show. / (2) Jean Louis Scherrer with model, 1977.
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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