1960s Tiziani by Karl Lagerfeld Couture Densely Beaded Yellow Silk Dress
This dress is from the archive of the Roman couture house Tiziani, which was founded in 1963 by American designer Evans Richards. The label quickly became a favorite among celebrities and socialites including Elizabeth Taylor, who was a regular client; Doris Duke, Gina Lollobrigida, and Principessa Borghese. The label is also famous because of the fact that as a young designer, Karl Lagerfeld accepted a job there. Lagerfeld worked at Tiziani from 1963 to 1969. This piece is unlabeled but has the provenance of being a part of a past auction that featured the sketches and a few select pieces of work from Karl Lagerfeld's time at the label, this dress being one of them.
The dress is constructed from a fine, pale yellow silk chiffon that in person is a prettier and more pale lemon colour then how it photoed. The colour is even prettier when you see it in hand. The dress is very beautiful and has a very romantic feel to it. The silk it is made out of is extremely light and airy and the skirt has used yards and yards of it in its construction so that it feels like it is floating around you when you move. The bottom of the skirt is finished with a edging technique that uses a thin strip of stiffening fabric hand rolled within its edge. This lets the silk ruffle and curve as you can see in the photos. The work on this dress is meticulously done. The bodice is equally as fabulous and it has been adorned with a dense coverage of a metal thread applied in a honey comb pattern. Over that is an intricate application of hand beading to create the little discs that you see covering the bodice at the front and the back. I love the little flowers formed in the centre of each medallion and how Lagerfeld has used the smallest hints of pink in there and along the edge to pop against the yellow. The bead work is extremely fine and mixes embroidery work, real metallic thread, seed beads, crystals and larger beads. These give the dress a touch of glitz and sparkle. It also adds a 3D feel to the piece. Note that he has curved the beadwork down but left a gap deliberately on each side. It almost feels like a suit of armour because of this and offers a touch of contrast against the soft feeling the dress has. The neckline is squared off at both the front and back. The sleeves are very full and pouf above the cuffed wrists. Each sleeve is unlined so that you get a touch of transparency there. The construction of the dress is entirely by hand and it is done to Haute Couture levels and I have included lots of interior detail shots so you can see. It is extraordinary and an amazing piece of fashion history. Excellent condition with a minor note to review below
Fully lined in a hand set yellow silk through bodice and the skirt has an inner skirt that is made of silk and then covered in silk chiffon. It closes with a hand set back zipper. Each cuff buttons to close. The outer skirt is finished with a thin stiffened strip that is hand rolled and encased in silk that helps to give the bottom of the skirt that ruffled effect that you see. All hand work throughout and made to couture standards. There is some fraying to the inner edge of the top of the neckline (see final photo) and some of the threads on the 3D beads have loosened slightly so tend to flop over a bit. There are a couple of really faint darkened areas in the silk here and there but you really have to look for them and they get hidden in all of the yards of silk used. Perhaps a touch of grubbiness here and there to the very edges of the hem
Slightly dropped shoulders: 16"
Bust: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner hips: 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 60" from shoulder to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-LRG
Reference Photos: 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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