Documented 1957 Christian Dior Haute Couture Silk Monkey Print Coat
Dior's final collection for the house in the Fall of 1957 was the "Ligne Fuseau" or Spindle Line and I am extremely pleased to present this extremely well-documented and important coat from the collection. The collection notes said of the presentation: "The new silhouette for the day can so to speak be inscribed within two brackets - ( ) - of the spindle line. Encased between these two curves, this line owes its elegance above all to its lengthening effect." A write up from the New York Times also referenced the influence of the 18th century in Dior's work that season, of which this coat in particular draws its inspiration with that phenomenal monkey print. In it the author said that "M. Dior's inspiration here came from the 18th century French court beauties such as Marie Antoinette, Madame Du Barry and Madame de Pompadour", and Vogue referenced the coats in the collection with their full cuts specifically, saying; "The new collection is one of extremes - of insistently unfitted dresses, coats suits... and throughout there is the unflagging professional perfection that explains, in part, the continuing Dior eminence"
The coat is made from a silk satin and is cut with a dramatic fullness and volume that was the focus of the collection that season. A neat and simple collar wraps around the neck. It closes below that down the front with a row of large, hand covered silk covered buttons in that same beautiful silk as the coat is constructed from. The back has a great swoop of volume and fullness created by a full center pleat that runs the length of the back and opens into a vent as it nears the hem. The sleeves are brought in with a series of pleats at the cuffs to create more volume above. The print is magnificent. The backdrop of the coat is a pale mint green and onto that are a washed, soft and romantic feeling print of flowers and medallions that have seated monkeys at their centers. This is the nod to the 18th century referred to in the notes above. The combination of print, fabric choice and color is extraordinarily beautiful. It is properly numbered and dated with the original Haute Couture label. The coat was made entirely by hand in the Paris atelier to the standards demanded of Haute Couture. It is an exquisite example of Haute Couture from one of the most important houses of our modern era. The documentation only adds to its appeal. This coat came to me directly from the daughter of one of Canada's most prominent families and the buyer will be able to assess the full provenance. Included in the reference photos are the original runway photo and an editorial photo. Please make sure to read the full condition notes as the coat looks to be in excellent condition at first glance but upon close inspection I find it to be very fragile. It was priced taking this into consideration.
Fully lined in hand set pale green silk. It buttons to close at the front with silk covered buttons. Pockets are hidden at each hip along the seams. The coat is meant to be oversized so will fit a variety of sizes. Note that the silk has multiple vertical splits throughout and shattering along the inner edges. I suspect that the silk was created using the traditional methods of bathing it in a final metal wash which degrades as it oxidizes over time. I have photoed the worst and provided multiple photos. It could perhaps be worn for very short periods of time with great and absolute great care but really is best for a collector. I could not guarantee that wearing it would not further damage it. For that reason it is sold in its clean, odor free, as found condition and so has not been cleaned to avoid further, potential weakening of the silk. My client does have a fur piece that she believes came with the coat that is not in wonderful condition and is at a different storage facility then the coat was. She would be happy to provide it to the new owner upon request.
A final note - this coat is sold as a final sale as I will not risk the impact of shipping more then one time. I will upgrade the buyer to overnight shipping at my expense to decrease the amount of time it would be in transit.
Shoulders: approx 17"
Bust: to 30" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist to hips: open
Length: 45" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-XL
Reference Photos: (1-2) Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture, by Erin Leydon. / (2) Christian Dior Evening Coat, 1957. / (3) From the book "Dior - Catwalk. The Complete Collections" by Alexander Fury. / Show notes and references from the book Dior Catwalk. Show notes and quotes in the opening paragraph of the description also taken from the book "Dior - Catwalk. The Complete Collections" by Alexander Fury.
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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