c.1955 Jean Desses Green Silk Dress w Fused Velvet Detailing
Jean Desses became a designated Haute Couture house under the official Chambre Syndicate de la Haute Couture in 1937. In 1949 he began a ready-to-wear line to broaden his client base. However, his career was fairly short lived and by 1960 the couture portion of his business was closed, followed by the closure of the ready-to-wear line five years later. When he expanded his atelier to serve the overseas market in the late 1950s, he was among the small elite group of designers that sold to the American power house department stores - Bergdorf Goodman's in this case - and gave then the right to produce his designs in America. The fabrics and design were the same as what was being produced in his atelier in France, but the construction of the actual pieces was done by couture level seamstresses in America. This elaborate system had already been established by Dior and was a clever way to get around the severe import taxation of the time period. Jean Desses kept a strict eye on what was produced and where pieces went and this caused a severe limitation on the quantities produced. The RTW line for the American market was also made to order, piece by piece, making it truer to demi-couture.
The dress has the elegant lines that you associate with the best of Jean Desses' work. The fabric used to construct the dress is a green silk satin that seems to glow with its own inner light. The color is a beautiful deep moss green. Fused onto the silk base are flowers done in a plush, soft velvet that add texture and depth to the fabric. The cut has a sense of contained sexuality, nothing overt, but cut to follow and highlight every curve. It has a deep V neckline at the front and the back is an even deep plunge with the inner bodice acting as a partial modesty panel. Just under the V at the front it is gathered and detailed with a small piping of fabric that gives the illusion of holding the gathers there in place. It also gives a subtle nod to a Grecian aesthetic, a signature touch of Jean Desses' work. The waist nips in and below that the skirt is beautifully constructed. The inner skirt is fitted with a top panel of fabric lying over that inner skirt that is secure at the waist and then wraps and ties at the back in am almost apron feeling finish. There are lots of fabulous detailing and high end finishes to this dress like an inner built in bodice and weighting at the back hem. It is gorgeous. Excellent condition
The inner bodice lining and the inner front panel of the underskirt are made of a green silky rayon. The exterior fabrics are interlined in a pale green silk organza. It closes with a painted metal side zipper and the over-skirt is part attached and then ties at the back. Hand finishes and ribbon edged seam. Light boning through the bodice and inner waist stay that closes with hook and eye. Made to demi-couture standards.
Interior Bust: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner waist stay: 14.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Exterior waist if stay left open: 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 19" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 30" from waist 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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