Fall 1980 Christian Dior True Haute Couture Two Piece Silk & Silk Velvet Dress
This gorgeous dress from the last years of Marc Bohan's grand career as head of Dior is from the Fall 1980 collection. In the book Dior; Catwalk, the notes on the fall collection state that the collection notes read that; "Bohan was inspired by 'Baroque fancies and pre-Raphaelite chinoiserie'." and that "the designer created 'sinuous and subble bias cut evening dresses pleated 'a la Fortuny". This dress has the added provenance of having been photoed on Michelle Monaghan before it was released from my archives.
This two piece dress from that Haute Couture collection has that pleating technique use in its constructed as mentioned above and it is very beautiful. The inner dress is a fine, almost weightless silk chiffon with a simple double layer of silk chiffon that has been used to create the bodice that skims over the torso. The waist of this inner piece is cut loose and easy for comfort. The skirt has an extraordinary three full layers of silk, layered over each other. The outer exterior layer is finely pleated in a series of perfectly done, 1/8th of an inch pleats, that circle all the way around. The edges are finished with tiniest of stitches that have all been done meticulously by hand. All of the interior work is by hand as well. Lying over this is a loose tunic feeling overlay that is made out of a fine, silk chiffon. Worked into the silk are hundreds of dots made from a feather soft silk velvet that has been fused to the base fabric. The sleeves are full and cut so that the widen out quite a bit as they near the ends. They are unlined so that you get a touch of transparency to them and the dot pattern is really highlighted. They each end in an angled V shape that pick up that same angular shaped panel that drapes down from the neckline. The neck is cut high and again this part is left unlined for just a glimpse of skin underneath. At the back is a large bow that snaps into place so that you can wear it on or off. I have shown this worn to the back but this set is so well made that you could easily turn it around and wear it to the front I think. The versatility of the two pieces is wonderful, you can wear them together or break them up and mix with other pieces. The tunic would look as equally chic over a slim black trouser and you can combine the inner piece with a sweater or other top. The tunic is just ling enough to wear on its own if you dare. Excellent condition with a minor note to review below
The inner dress is composed of two layers that are hand sewn together through the bodice and three silk layers through the skirt. It closes with a hand set side zipper with hidden snaps to cover the fabric over the zipper below the waist. There is a button at the back of the neck and an inner waist stay that hooks to close. The tunic slips on the wear with three hook & eye at the back of the neck. Lightly padded shoulders and the bow snaps into place. There has been some softening to the pleating of the skirt near the bottom. It would be possible to iron them back in with care.
Sleeves: 25" to longest points
Bust: to 24" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 39" from neck to longest point of hem
Bust: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 15" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 42" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: (1) Michelle Monaghan for Rhapsody Magazine by Jane + Jane (Boondock Agency). Stylist: Amanda Lee Shirreffs, Makeup: Ann Pala, Hair: Anne Morgan, Manicurist: Leanne Colley. Click here to see this entire shoot in our lookbooks > / (2) Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture.
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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