christian dior

Fall 1984 Christian Dior by Marc Bohan Haute Couture Sleek Black Textured Velvet Dress

This is an incredible dress that would be from when Marc Bohan was head of the Dior atelier before he retired in 1989. It is a beautiful example of the work being produced by Christian Dior in this time period. In the book Dior; Catwalk, the notes on the fall collection state that the collection was placed 'under the sign of opposites' and that he had looked to the work of Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock for inspiration. Pieces were adorned in drip embroidery and motifs and then he did a series of long sheath dresses that were 'accessorized with 'Pollock jewels" in jet and multi colour stones'. In the book there is a photo of a long velvet dress with a jacket over it and I wonder if that is a glimpse of the back of the twin of this one. This may have been one of the simple 'sheath like pieces' that were shown with jewels rather then the embroidery you see on the other dresses in the photo. The dress is a true Haute Couture piece and has the appropriate numbered label intact.

The dress is made out of a soft textured silk velvet in a jet black. Using a velvet that has this added texture to it is an incredible choice as the dress catches the light in different ways as you move and it really makes it come to life. The cut is simple and sleek with a low front neckline that dips from an angle created over each shoulder. It slightly curves down to the centre and then the fabric is softly gathered down the centre to the waist. This leaves it with a  slightly bloused over feel over the the nipped in waist. The sleeves are cut long and they slim down as they reach the wrists. There is a slight volume built in at the outer part of each shoulder. On the inside I see hand made silk cases that at one time had light padding in them but the padding has been removed at some point to give it a softer shape. You could easily have some padding put back in if you wanted a stronger shoulder.  Inside the bodice is a more fitted and boned inner silk corseted piece that holds you in place while the silk velvet simply drapes softly over that outside. The skirt is cut to feel sleek and simple and falls to the floor with just a touch of gentle widening as it reaches the hem. A vent runs up the back so that you can walk. It is a beautiful and dramatic piece despite its simple lines. It is meant to be slightly more voluminous through the top and then slimmer through the skirt as was the fashion at the time. Excellent condition with a very minor note below.

Fully interlined in a fine black silk satin and then has a built in bodice made of black silk. The inner bodice is boned and closes with its own zipper as photoed. The exterior dress closes with a back painted metal zipper. Each sleeve has a zipper at the cuff. Appropriate numbered tag present with couture number 19469. Silk hand made pads that have no padding inside each shoulder as described above. Slight damage to the silk on either side of the zipper on the inner corset. Please see the photo after the label shot. 

Sleeves: 23"
Soft shoulders: to 16.5"
Inner bust: to 18" flat across from side seam to side seam with room for up to a B cup
Inner waist: 12.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 13.5" from shoulder to waist
Length: 45" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3611

Reference Photo: F/W 1984 Christian Dior Couture Runway Collection as shown in the book 'Dior; Catwalk'.

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.

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