c. 1991 Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture Purple & Bronze Silk Taffeta Dress w Lace Skirt Overlay
This dress comes directly from the original couture client and is an exceptional example of Laurent's Haute Couture work that he was doing during this time period. Finding pieces from this time period in such wonderful condition is a rarity and I am very pleased to have this beautiful dress in the shop. I did extensive research on this one and though I found some similar references from a couple of collections that dated to the same time period that my client's mother as shopping at, I was unable to find any photo of this exact dress. There was a similar lace used in both the Fall 1885 and Fall 1986 collections (which historically was a bit avant garge for the time period as lace had not been seen in couture for some time at that point). Similar colour combination were seen in the Fall of 1989 and for the Fall of 1991. The 1991 collection also features a couple of laces that were similar and that clue, combined with the colour usual for that collection and the number on the label makes me feel that it is most likely dates to 1991. This is also in line with the years that she was actively buying couture. She was a good enough client that there is a high possibility that this was a one-off that was made just for her and is the only one like it made. It is very beautiful and made more towards his aesthetic where he made the dresses to be very tailored and structure as opposed to his opposite side when he did pieces that were more along a drape and flow construction. This is a a dress that truly needs an actual body in to to come to life. It is extraordinary
The bodice of the dress is highly structured and the choice of silk taffeta allows Yves to mold and shape the sleeves and bodice like sculpture. It is cut to be worn completely off the shoulder so that you get that full bare expanse of skin. A wide band of a deep fuchsia pink silk taffeta, that has a touch of a purple undertone to it, runs across the top of the bodice and then extends down to form each sleeve. He has manipulated and gathered the fabric into folds along the entire length of each arm. The remainder of the bodice is also constructed from a silk taffeta but this time in deep burnt copper that has a touch of a metallic glow to its finish. This too is gathered along each side so that there are soft pleats that lay across and around you. I love how the eye gathers feel cohesive from the body to the arms but the colour gives contrast and the gathers are set slightly different so that you have a slight change in how the texture feels. The skirt comes out from the waist and is a very formal feeling skirt that is attached into the waist with soft pleats that open up to allow it to be quite wide by the time it reaches the hem. The underskirt part is a beautiful rich purple. The purple silk is then covered in a layer of black French lace that has a stunning floral design set within medallions. These run over the lace and are repeated throughout to create the beautiful pattern that you see. I love that the bottom edge of the lace follows the curving shape of the design that is in the lace. His finishing touch is done with a wide silk ribbon in a bright green that wraps and ties around the waist. I love this unusual colour combination. You could also easily wear it without the sash or change it for a more structure belt to add more shape. It is very elegant and yet the bare shoulders add a touch of sexiness. I very much love this side of his work where he works within a strong, shaped silhouette and then created a gown to his exact intentions. Excellent condition
Fully lined through the bodice in a fine black silk satin. There is a built in silk covered elastic that is attached and wired right between the breast for a slight bit of support and then wraps around you and hooks to close. It closes with a side set zipper and has an inner waist stay that hooks to close. There is a series of snaps above the zipper that run under the arm seam so it opens enough to get into it. Each sleeve zips to close at the wrist. The exterior layer of the skirt closes with its own a hand set side zipper. The silk ribbon belt is tacked into place on either side of the waist. On the interior of the skirt at the inner waist the fabric has been folded down and it looks like it would be possible to lengthen the skirt from there by just about 4" but the side skirt zipper would need to be reset if you did that. There is perhaps a touch of dusting on the fabric on the folds under each arm. So minor I am just being crazy picky because it is couture. Done with Haute Couture construction techniques.
Sleeves: 20" from where they start off the shoulder
Bust: to 16.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 54" from top of bodice to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
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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