Extraordinary 1994 Jacques Fath Pale Pink Silk Dress w Heavily Beaded Bodice & Marching Bolero
Jacques Fath showed his first collection of just twenty garments in the spring of 1937. It was well received and he steadily built a strong clientele to become of of the busiest ateliers in Paris. The Fath label was shuttered in 1957 after Fath's death three years earlier. In 1992 the label was revived for a short period of time and Dutch designer Tom Van Lingen was charged with bringing the label back to life. He remained at the helm from 1992 to 1997. This gown is from that time period and comes from the same woman whose estate I have been working through. It’s twin was photoed for Vogue that year and worn by Claudia Schiffer.
This dress is stunning. It is red carpet worthy and would make an amazing wedding piece for the bride looking for a non-traditional choice or as an alternative dress in a more extended wedding celebration. The dress is made from a pale pink silk shantung that is very beautiful. It photoed very well but the richness of the fabric and the colour of the silk is even better in person. It is a soft and romantic pale pink. The silk is just heavy enough to hold the shape and structure of the dress. It does have weight to it but even with all of that fabric it is not so heavy that it is uncomfortable to wear. The shape and volume you see is held by built in underskirts and if you wanted to go even fuller you could easily add a extra crinoline. The skirt extends up with vertical seaming to become a very fitted waist that ends just under the bust. The bust above that is shaped into a soft halter style that extends up to wrap around the back of the neck and close. It dips onto a V at the front. The entire bodice is densely covered with hand done bead work. Thousands of little seed beads, beads and faux pearls cover every inch and are overlapped on top of each other and over a silver thread base. It is incredible to see. The back of the dress is very dramatic. It is trained so that it flows out behind you in a dramatic swoop of fabric. The inside lining has a wide inner bands of stiffened netting to help hold the skirt and keep the shape. The upper back is kept completely bare to the waist. Over this goes a matching cropped bolero jacket that is all cut on beautiful and graceful curves. It simple slips on and precisely follows the curves of the dress at the back and then curves up around you to the neat little collar at the front. Like the bodice of the dress, the bolero is also completely covered with the same extensive hand beading. It feels like a piece of art or wearable jewellery. It is utterly gorgeous and a beautiful thing to see in person. Excellent condition with a minor note below.
The bust is lined in a pale pink silk organza. The skirt is lined with a inner tulle and net skirting that has two separate layers. There are wide bands of stiffened netting through the inner skirts. The inner skirt hooks to close and then the exterior layer zips to close over that. There is a inner waist stay that hooks to close. The jacket slips on to wear with no closures. Padding in the shoulders of the jacket. Hand finishes throughout. I see some minor missing beads at the hook at the back of the neck and some slight damage to the organza on the lining near the hooks there as well. Please see the two photos after the label shot. Maybe the slightest tough of grubbiness to the edge of the hem. These are very minor.
Bust: each triangle is approx 6.5" across at the widest point
Seam under the bust: 13.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 11" from neck to bottom seam of the band under the bust
Full length including bodice: approx 57" from neck to front hem, 64" to back hem
Shoulders: no defined seam
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 15.5" from neck to back hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XXS-XS
Reference photo: Claudia Schiffer for Vogue 1994, photos by Arthur Elgort
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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