1980s Emanuel Custom Fairy Tale Embroidered & Ribboned Silk Organza Dress
David & Elizabeth Emanuel are best known for designing the wedding gown that was worn by Princess Diana in 1981. They also designed the majority of the Princess' wardrobe for her Gulf Tour. During this time period they were doing custom pieces out of their salon prior to their separation and subsequent divorce in 1990. This dress would date to the time period between those two dates and is a rare example of this extraordinary couple who designed one of the most seen pieces of clothing that has ever existed.
The dress is like a magical fairy tale version of all that was amazing about this time period. The fabric is a fine silk organza and the color is a dusty ivory that has perhaps a slight nude pink undertone to it in certain lights. The bodice of the dress is corseted and stiffened all the way around with interior, hidden shaping and boning. The neckline of the dress dips into a low curving sweetheart with a pretty ruffled finish around the upper edge. This nips in at the waist and then the skirt sweeps to the floor in a cascade of feather light silk. The entire skirt has pastel embroidery worked into it and there are two rows of pink ribbon set into the silk that circle the lower hem. The ribbon is actually woven through embroidered edged slits and I have included a shot of the back of this technique for you to see. The work is quite remarkable. The edges of the hem of the skirt are finished in a series of soft scallops that are completely detailed with more embroidery. I photoed the dress with a full length crinoline under it so that you can see the tremendous shape and volume it has. Without the addition of an underskirt the skirt would be transparent. The skirt has enough volume that you can add an even fuller skirt to get a real bell shape if you wanted it to have an even more formal gown feel. That same pretty pastel embroidery that covers the skirt also details the bodice and covers each sleeve. The edges of the sleeves and the flounce that sits at their tops pick up that same scallop treatment you see along the hem of the skirt. The sleeves are absolutely incredible. Each one is cut to fall far off the shoulder and is trimmed with am embroidered flounce around the upper opening. They have tremendous volume through the sleeve with a huge and elaborate pouf to them. Each of them ends in an elaborate cuff with the same pointed finish as the hem. A pink ribbon is woven through the silk about halfway down the sleeve and then another is tied into a pretty bow to add detail to the wrist. A row of tiny seed pearls and a little pink silk rose that sits on both sides at the point where the sleeve meets the bodice are the perfect finish to this high fantasy gown. The workmanship is incredible and it is absolutely beautiful. This would make an extraordinary wedding gown for the bride looking for something unique. Since it is from their custom label it would have been a one off so you would be wearing the only one ever made. Excellent condition with a small note below
The bodice is lined with an ivory silk and the rest of the dress is unlined for a semi-transparent effect. It closes with a back metal and nylon zipper and the bodice is boned and stiffened. Elastic at each cuff and the top of the dropped sleeve. The bodice is embellished with applied seed pearls and silk rosettes and the entire gown has hand done embroidery detailing. Hand finished throughout. The underskirt shown is not included. Note the color is a little deeper in tone then how it photoed. There looks to be a couple minor repairs where the sleeve meets the edge of the bodice.Sleeves: the sleeves themselves are approx 19" and they would fall to about 25" from an actual shoulder
Bust: 16.25" flat across from side seam to side seam wit about a B to maybe small C cup shaped into the front
Waist: 12.75" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 10.25" from highest top point of bodice to waist
Skirt: 48" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
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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