christian dior

Fall 1952 Christian Dior Haute Couture Ivory Silk Button Dress w Underskirts

This exquisite Fall 1952 Christian Dior Haute Couture dress is a beautiful and rare example of Christian's work from this time period. Christian wrote of the Fall 1952 collection, "In the Autumn, the silhouette took inspiration from modern techniques with the 'Profile Line'. This 'Ligne Profilee' was inspired by the shapes modern life surrounds us with" ... owing its shape to "natural curves refined and profiled with care"..."Molded to the body, their goal is first and foremost to thin down and lengthen". Vogue said in part in their review that, "The designing of seam is like a lesson in the construction of a beautiful building... His completely slim profile follows the curve of the ideal body". The New York Times noted "Dior calls the waistline 'unbroken'. It is never cinched. The cut is so perfect, the look so custom-made that description cannot do justice to the simplicity of high tight collars, smooth long sleeves and buttons down the center front". It is a becoming exceedingly rare to find such wonderful examples such as this and I am very pleased to have it in the shop.  A similar gown from this same collection that seems to be a simpler version of this one (and in a far less desirable condition then this one) is held in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum.

The dress is constructed from an ivory silk that has a slight ribbing finish to it. The cut is simple and deceptive in how it makes the many Haute Couture finishes appear to be effortless in their execution. The top is cut straight across at both the front and back. It is molded to the body with wide straps in the same silk curving up and over each shoulder. Clear faceted buttons, that I believe are glass, are places at the outer edges of the top seam and then gently curve in towards the waist. This draws the eye inwards and gives the illusion of an even smaller waistline. The buttons continue on that inward line once they  past the waist seam. On either side of the buttons are simple little slit pockets whose inner construction in quite intricate, These follow the curve of the hip and help add volume there without adding bulk. The skirt billows out to a beautiful fullness and the shape is built in through layers and layers of silk netting and tulle underneath. For the majority of the photos I have added another separate crinoline so that you can really see the volume that can be achieved through the skirt. The last two full photos of the dress before the label shot is of the dress with only its built in skirts. The inner construction of the dress is absolutely exquisite with a boned and silk net corseted interior. Attached to the inner silk skirt there are various layers of silk tulle attached at different lengths. A scattering of beads and crystal rhinestones on the front of the skirt offer the final finishing touch.

It is a beautiful example of Christian Dior's early work and a wonderful example of the golden years of Haute Couture. The dress is not perfect and I have gone through the condition below so please review those notes carefully and review all of the provided photogrpahs. I also took an extensive set of videos when I steamed out the inner parts of the dress and these show the inner construction wonderfully and in detail. I did this through my Instagram stories and saved the series as a tagged highlight "Dior Steaming" that can be access on my bio page there.

The majority of its issues are simple grubbiness. My cleaners felt that the inner parts of the dress would have to be removed and then re-attached in order to clean it properly and the decision was made to leave it in as found condition and leave the original stitches. They did feel that it would clean beautifully so if it is purchased to be worn or perhaps as a wedding dress, it is 100% cleanable and perhaps there is another cleaner out there that may have a different solution. That will be the decision of the new owner regardless.

Fully lined with built in interior silk skirts that have attached tulle layers. There is a built in netted corset that is boned. The interior corset closes with a series of hook & eye. The dress zips to close over that. The dress has general grubbiness over its entire surface with most around the commonly touched by skin areas - around the pockets, the upper bodice and the hem of the skirt. There is a bit of yellowing under one packet and one a couple areas of the skirt. I do not see signs of any major alterations though I suspect that the hem was let down at some point in its history. There are tiny little rust pinpoint marks scattered over the front and some tiny pulls to the fabric. The interior tulle edges are left raw. There are some scattered holes in the tulle of the skirt and a couple in the netting of the inner corset but nothing that compromises its stability. It is mainly just grubby. Note that the color has perhaps a touch more cream to it then how it photoed.

Note that because of the rarity and value of the dress it is offered as a final sale to lessen the possibility of multiple shipping trips. Please buy accordingly and ask all questions before purchasing

Bust: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 16" from top of shoulder to waist
Skirt: 43" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML

Item# DD3144

Reference photos: (1) The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Quotes in first paragraph from the book Dior Catwalk

This garment is in as found condition. Please review all condition notes, descriptions and photos provided.

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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.