christian dior

Documented Spring 1969 Christian Dior by Marc Bohan Haute Couture Stiffened Silk A-Line Dress

This dress is not perfect but it is still perfectly wearable and it is a stunning example of the work that Marc Bohan was doing for this season. When researching this piece we found a photo of it with a coat and belt that gives you a great idea of how it is once on the body. It is also great to have documentation on it which is not always easy for an earlier piece. The Spring 1969 collection is mentioned in the 'Dior Catwalk' book and it says that "Bohan mixed racy day looks - perfect tailoring and all the snap in the world with adorable little Renoir girls in white or pastel coloured dresses". The dresses were short and they were all based on the same beautiful A-line silhouette that this dress has. Documentation on this collection is rare so to find one of the rare pieces that has documentation is wonderful. The dress does not have it original belt but you could easily have one recreated out of a silk ribbon if you wanted to emulate the full look. 

The dress is made out of a silk that has been stiffened, so that it has an almost canvas feel to it. This technique allows the dress to hold that precise and meticulously tailored shape that you see. The inner label of the dress states that the dress is blue, but I feel that the dress has a more of this gray green with a blue undertone feel to it. The sleeves are short and straight and the neckline is slightly scooped. It skims over the bodice and there is an upward curved seam that rises up and around from the waist. At the back the seam does the opposite, curving down to help lengthen the appearance of the dress at the back. It skims over the waist and then flares out into a dramatic A-line that has a sculptural tailored feel to it. A vertical seam runs from under the bust down the centre of the dress at the back and the front and this all adds to that very architectural feel that he was after. It is a gorgeous little piece and despite its imperfections is still wearable for those that don't mind wearing something that is not 100% perfect. It is still a Haute Couture piece after all and has a significant value for its place in fashion history. Good overall condition.

The dress is lined in an ivory silk through the bodice and closes at the back with a painted metal zipper. There is shattering to the inner silk lining around the neckline and it looks like it's been reinforced under the arms at some point though I see no signs of damage there. There are faint marks around the neckline, edges of the sleeves and I see marks on the fabric near the bottom of the skirt and grubbiness along the hem. I have photoed the worst of it. It still presents extremely well, but these marks are there. Please see the photos after the label shot. The dress is entirely finished by hand throughout and has been done to Haute Couture standards. The proper Couture tag is present. It fits small through the upper bodice/shoulders and then is more generous through the body.

Sleeves: 10" and 13" around the widest part of the upper arm
Slightly inset shoulders: 13"
Bust: to 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 35.5" from neck to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-MED

Item# DD4508

Reference Photo: Spring 1969 Christian Dior Haute Couture. Photo by Seeberger

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