Extraordinary Versace Atelier Haute Couture Black Silk Hand-Beaded Dress with Padded 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 and after showing it to several people that feels like the general consensus. This dress is almost certainly a one off and that would make it the only one in existence. Every inch of the dress is completely made by hand and the beading alone would have taken hundreds and 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 pieces that I have seen in person to date. The dress is suspended from two silk satin piped straps that curve over each shoulder. The bust is detailed with silk satin cups that have slight inner padding and are topstitched to create the shape that you see. These are set so that they look like a bralette that is peeking out from under the lace but they are integral and a part of the dress. Inside the bodice there is a hand made corset that has wired and hand padded cups, light boning and is made form a fine stretch lingerie netting. This sits independently inside the bodice and is attached by hand around the inner upper edge. This holds the dress perfectly in place on the body and gives you support while not restricting the movement of the silk as it cascades over you. The exterior silk has a touch of transparency to it and then the detailing on the dress is cleverly used to give it some opaqueness in spots. The cut of the dress is meant to skim over the body. It shows your curves but not in a way that constrained at any spot once you are past the insets at the bust. The waist is brought in by hidden vertical seaming and then it glides over the hips. From there it falls to the floor and widens out as it nears the hem. It is longer at the back than the front and I love that the back hem is finished in the same pattern that runs over the dress. This gives it this jagged flame-like finish that is stunning and unusual. This edging detail is carried around to the front to a lesser degree for added detail there as well. You also see this finish at the upper back. The fabric is amazing in it’s own right. It is completely hand beaded with hundreds of thousands of the tiniest black seed beads. Onto the base fabric are hand cut pieces of silk that are layered two and three deep in some places. These are also beaded and the beading changes in density to add to and highlight the design created. It is incredible. Even more incredible is that even on areas laying under those added cut out in all the spots that are hidden as a result and that you would never see... even there the fabric has been beaded. On one of the detail photos I lifted up the layers so that you can see this. It shows you how in Haute Couture even the smallest details are thought out and no expense has been spared. The beading and layering of the silk and the way it is laid out over the dress also cleverly adds shape and length. And because it is Versace, there is a high slit on one side, so that when you walk or sit you get a flash of bare skin. I cannot convey my love for this piece enough. It really is a spectacular example of Italian Haute Couture. A modern couture gown down with bead work to this degree would easily be well into 6 figures and in some cases close to seven. It is spectacular. 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 range of measurements and I have listed those below to the comfortable range laying flat where that applies. Note that due to the value of this dress returns will not be accepted so that it ships only one time.
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
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.