c 1995 Gianni Versace Atelier Haute Couture Black Hand-Beaded Dress w Top Stitched Bust
This is an extraordinary example of the Haute Couture work that the Versace Atelier is capable of. A statement on their website reads ‘With exceptional attention to detail, every Atelier Versace garment is handmade by skilled Sarte—dressmakers—for a finish that is superbly intricate and bespoke to the wearer.’ And that quickly sums up the ideal that is the foundation of this dress. After much research, I believe it to be from in or around 1995. The detailing on the bust is extremely similar to the iconic pieces that he did for the Spring 1995 show. It would be the only one of its kind being that it is a piece from the Atelier. Every inch of the dress is completely made by hand and the beading alone would have taken hundreds of hours. It is very beautiful and a work of art. It is the type of thing something that you would rarely see outside of a museum if you were not an existing Haute Couture client.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful dress. The workmanship and detail on this surpasses almost every piece that I have seen in person to date. The dress is suspended from two tiny silk straps that curve up and over the shoulder. The bust is detailed with silk cups that are topstitched and have an inner padding which is how their shape has been created. Inside the bodice there is a full hand made corset that has wired and hand padded cups, light boning and is made from a fine stretch netting. This is attached by hand around the inner upper edge and is what holds the dress perfectly in place on the body. The base of the dress is a silk that has a touch of transparency to it. The waist is nipped in by hidden vertical seaming and then it skims over the hips to the floor widening out as it nears the hem. The back trails out behind you a touch and the hem there is finished in a points that pick up on the beadwork on the body of the dress. The body of the dress is completely hand beaded with hundreds of thousands of the tiniest black seed beads. These re worked onto to dress itself and also onto hand cut pieces of silk that were then hand set and layered on top of each other two and even three deep in some places. The beading density changes on the different layers to create the design that you see. It is incredible. I love that even the fabric under the layers has been beaded. You don't see that at all when it is on but that is the level of detail couture goes to and that no expense was spared in creating this gown. The perfect finishing touch is the high slit on one side that lets a flash of bare skin show when you walk or sit. This is a spectacular example of Italian Haute Couture. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Excellent condition.
The dress has a built in inner corset made by hand from a stretch lingerie netting that has lightly padded hand made cups and is lightly boned. The corset closes with its own zipper. The dress is lined in black silk chiffon. It closes with a hidden set zipper and the inner corset has a hook and eye waist stay. The dress is finished to Haute Couture standards and entirely made by hand. The proper Haute Couture label is present. The bias cut of the dress does allow for a bit of a range of measurements and I have listed those below to the comfortable range laying flat where that applies.
Click here to see a video unpacking of this dress & click here to see a full video of this dress on the form.
Bust: 16.5-18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner waist: 12-13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 60" from top of shoulder to front hem and 75” to longest point of back hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.