Important Spring 1993 Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture One Shoulder Silk Crepe Dress
The New York times said of this collection at the time; 'Yves Saint Laurent did it. With sophistication and authority in his collection for spring and summer, he gave validity to couture, the high end of the fashion industry. There was no desperate groping: this is the way the most expensive clothes in the world should look, he seemed to say. As the showings sailed into their final days, he re-established himself today as the king of couture." after their review of the day and suit looks they continued to say; "Preliminaries over, he was ready for evening dresses, the serious business of couture. His unerring eye for color came to the fore....One-color dresses were also effective, in fuchsia, bright blue or rose. Rarely did he resort to embroideries...His effect was achieved through line and cut." The review ended with this lovely sentiment; 'Saint Laurent knew his show was a success. "The couture lives," he whispered backstage after it was over. His mother, Lucienne Saint Laurent, told him he had never done better. He seemed to agree. It is rare for a designer to reinvent himself at the age of 56, the way Saint Laurent had just done. The show recalled his glory days in the 1970's, when he set the guidelines for couture and the rest of fashion. He has now done that for the spring of 1993."
This particular style dress has incredible provenance. On the runway this dress was shown in a darker, more subdued blue and I have those runway shots here. The twin of the runway dress is held in the Met Museums' collection in both a red and the darker blue. The blue one in their collection was donated by Annette de la Renta and the red belonged to style icon Nan Kempner. There was another darker one produced for Catherine Deneuve who wore it to accept the Cesar award for Indochine. Such an incredible amount of history tied to the dress and it is exciting to have such a full and varied picture of who else ordered and loved the dress.
My client had the dress made in one of the brighter blues that was used elsewhere in the collection that year and I love it in this brighter bolder color. The dress is cut to leave one shoulder completely bare. Both sides have long slim sleeve and there is a panel of the same silk gathered along the top of the shoulder that then swoops down over the bodice and the back. That draped panel is very full and I love how it drapes over the sleeve on that side. The inner details here show is the genius of couture. The zipper on that side is set so that is softly curves under the arm and runs down the top of the inner sleeve. That way the person wearing the dress does not have an uncomfortable zipper pull right under their arm. It also keeps the sleeve perfectly in place despite the absence of a shoulder. The waist is seamed and detail by a matching, hand dyed silk satin slim belt. The skirt falls the the floor under that, gently widening out as it nears the hem. The side opposite to the bare shoulder has a very high slit so that you get a flash of leg as you walk. It is stunning and in person the colour is a touch richer and deeper then how it photoed. The silk also has a slight texture to it that adds detailing in person that the camera does not quite convey. This is a wonderful example of how strong his tailoring was in evening wear and an important piece fromm a collection hailed as a triumph. Excellent overall condition with a small note below
Fully lined in a fine blue silk. Done with Haute Couture construction techniques and closes with a hidden set side zipper under the arm that curves up and into the sleeve as described above. Inner waist stay hooks to close. The fabric is cut on the bias so there is some give. There is a slight fading along the top of the shoulder and down that same sleeve. Please see the two photos after the reference shot. It is light and because of the placement once on it is barely seen. The hem has been let down at some point. The belt is original to the dress and is in excellent condition
Bust: to 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 18.5" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 43" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: (1-2) S/S 1993 Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture Runway. / (3-4) S/S 1993 Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture Dresses from The MET Online Collection. / (5-6) Nan Kempner in Yves Saint Laurent, May 1993. / (7-8) Catherine Deneuve receives the César of the best actress 1993 for her interpretation in the film of Régis Wargnier "Indochine", March 08, 1993. / (9) Maxime, Loulou & Lucie de la Falaise in Yves Saint Laurent.
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