nina ricci

Dramatic 1980s Nina Ricci Black Velvet & Silk Taffeta Dress w Fabulous Sleeves & Slit Skirt

This dress is from the Nina Ricci Haute Boutique demi-couture label from the 1980s and it has that amazing eighties aesthetic to it. The Nina Ricci brand was founded in 1932, at 20 Rue de Capucines in Paris and quickly became one of the top couture ateliers in the world. In 1964, Gérard Pipart succeeded Jules-François Crahay, Nina Ricci's former designer assistant, as head of the brand. Over the following three decades, Pipart's couture vision 'celebrated a flamboyant woman and his ready-to-wear found a loyal following among the most stylish women of the day.' This dress fits perfectly into that aesthetic and I think it is absolutely fabulous. 

I love the bold cut of the dress combined with the richness of the black velvet and the luxuriousness of the silk taffeta. Using velvet allows the black on the skirt and the sleeves to be as deep and dark as they possibly could be. Then the use of the silk taffeta through the body offers this amazing contrast to that. It allows the body of the dress to become its own element. Before I even begin to describe the dress I have to tell you that it will truly only come to life on an actual body. Its genius  lies in the movement of the skirt and the shape and volume created through the body and the sleeves. I am actually seeing a lot of similar pieces on the runways this past season or so and they are all based on work like this. The sleeves are cut long and each narrows to a zipper cuff. At the top of each arm is an explosion of volume through the shoulders that is reminiscent of the earlier mutton sleeves. These modern versions are cut on a curve and to the same high level of tailoring that the sleeves of the far past would have been. The effect this creates and the volume it gives is remarkable. The silk taffeta that makes up the body of the dress runs from the neckline to past the hips and is gathered and curved to give you an hourglass feel. The neckline is a modified sweetheart and it curves over the breasts and is gathered in the centre where it is caught up with a large silk bow. It then follows your body to run over the waist and the upper hips where another bow sits off to one side. The skirt falls from under the silk taffeta and it is cut on the bias and done in the same velvet as the sleeves. It has a lot of fabric and is set on an angle with one side falling longer then the other. On the side that curves up there is a slit that runs right up to where the silk taffeta ends. This allows almost your full leg to show when you walk or sit. Trust me - once on the body this one is incredible. The dress is very well made with a hand set inner silk lining and that black silk interior gives it a rich and sensual feel. Excellent condition

Fully lined in a hand set black silk and closes with a back zipper. Inner waist stay that hooks to close. Each cuff has zippers to close. Hand finishes. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. 

Sleeves: 24"
Bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 58" from neck to longest point on the hem
Slit: approx 33" from the longest point of the hem to the top of the slit 

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3849

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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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.