Fall 1994 Nina Ricci Haute Couture Metallic Cord Detailed Lace & Pink Silk Dress
The Nina Ricci brand was founded in 1932, at 20 Rue de Capucines in Paris and quickly became one of the top couture ateliers in the world. In 1964, Gérard Pipart succeeded Jules-François Crahay, Nina Ricci's former designer assistant as head of the brand. Over the following three decades, Pipart's couture vision 'celebrated a flamboyant woman and his ready-to-wear found a loyal following among the most stylish women of the day.' This dress is from the Fall 1994 collection and I have included the runway reference photo here. In an interview with WWD in 1995, Pipart was asked about the state of couture upon his arrival to Nina Ricci and I love his reply; 'When I arrived everyone was predicting the death of couture, so I was keen to get in for what were meant to be the final few years. And despite what people like Pierre Bergé and many others predicted, couture has lasted a lot longer than anyone ever thought.' Pipart's designs for the Couture collections often combined high fantasy elements and this dress with its ultra long back is an amazing example of his work during this time period.
The twin of this dress walked the runway of the Fall 1994 collection and prior to coming from me it was worn by a bride who shared some of her photos with me that you can see on my Instagram by clicking here.
The dress is absolutely beautiful and every detail has been done by hand. It has been cut so that every seam is finished with a beautiful curved line. The construction lends itself to a very structured shape and this gives the dress an almost sculpted feel that is softened by the pale pink silk color of it. It is made out of a fine silk faille that is then covered with a layer of lace The lace is handmade and follows the exact cut of the dress. Within the lace is a floral design and each cluster of flowers have been outlined with a fine silver metallic cording. Then to detail the inside of each flower he used a pale pink metallic cord. The workmanship is extremely fine and the details are exquisite. The hours to do this would have been staggering. Every stitch is done by hand and the work is meticulous. The dress under this exceptional detailing is as exquisite. The neckline is scooped and the bodice is cut to skim over you. It gently curves in at the waist and then there is a seam that sits at the top of the hips where the skirt meets the bodice. At the front the skirt is set into two curving panels that have a very structured shape so that they curve out and away from the body. They cross over each other at the top near the seam and then curve away from each other as they near the hem, leaving an opening so that when you walk you see a glimpse of leg. Soft pleats sit just below either hip towards the side and these add volume and lift to the skirt. At the back the skirt curves around you and you see a repeat of the two pleats at the outer side for volume. The two sides of the skirt open where they meet at the seam and there sits a panel of pale pink silk that is pleated so that it expands and opens into an extensive train. A decorative row of hand made silk buttons run up each sleeve and then a series of them run down the back. This would be an amazing choice for a bride who does not want a traditional wedding dress or as part of a wedding event. Excellent overall condition with a note to review below.
The dress is fully lined in hand set pink silk and closes with a back hand set zipper that is hidden set behind the row of buttons that run down the back. There is a hooked inner waist stay. Hand set snaps close the train over the inner zipper. Each cuff zips to close behind the row of buttons that runs down the cuffs. The dress is finished to Haute Couture standards and entirely made by hand. The proper Haute Couture label is present. The pleats have softened a little on the train and the dress shows some grubbiness under and along the back hem and train. There is some interior discolouration around the arms of the inner lining and one teeny spot where this shows through along the edge of the seam on the exterior. Perhaps the occasional break in the lace but minor and stable. Please see the photos after the label shot. My client had the side seams let out slightly by Madame Paulette's in NYC and the train re-pleated before she wore it. All other small flaws were present already when she purchased it
Bust: to 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 19.5" from top of bodice to dropped waist
Skirt: approx 26" from waist to shortest part where the front curves meet. It curves to 42" at the sides and drops to 49" at the longest part of the lace covered skirt at the back. The silk pleated train extends to 61" from the dropped waist
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photo: F/W 1994 Nina Ricci Haute 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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