Fall 1998 Christian Lacroix Runway Black Velvet Dress W Signature Puffed Silk Taffeta Underskirt
Christian Lacroix launched his Haute Couture house in 1987 and his work was instantly revered world wide. He defined an era and he was crowned the King of Couture. A ready-to-wear line soon followed along with perfumes and menswear. His collections were always exotic and lavish affairs. He drew his inspirations from across the decades and I doubt there was ever a more high glamour couturier. This dress is very special and a stunning example of his work during this time period. It has all the signature Lacroix drama that you could ask for. It comes to me from the original couture client. This is his main pink label that was still being produced in France at this point as opposed to later pieces that were manufactured elsewhere. It was very high end, expensive ready-to-wear that was made to near couture standards. For the Fall 1998 runway this dress was shown in a deep burgundy but my client purchased hers in this glorious all black version.
The dress is classic Lacroix from his early years with all the high end drama we love about his work. The dress is sleeveless with wide straps that curve up and around the shoulder. The bust is meant to be fitted and the neckline is scooped at both the front and the back. There is a full built in corseted inner dress that is boned and shaped through the bodice and has extensive attached underskirts. It is attached all along the neckline and around the arms and then it falls under the outer velvet layer. The outer layer is made of a black velvet that is soft to the touch and very rich in feel. It is shaped with long vertical seaming to lie over the inner dress. On either side of the hip of the velvet layer the fabric has been gathered with extra long ribbons that you can use to adjust the length on the sides up or down as you wish. For the photos, I have put them up a little more so you can see the underskirt, while on the runway shot you can see that they styled it with one side a little longer than the other. I love that you can adjust it like that. The inner corset is made of a combination of taffeta, boning and a fine mesh netting. The entire lower portion of the skirt is finished with his signature gathered and puffed taffeta that gives it tons of volume. Each layer of the fabric is light but when all the layers, and the sheer volume of fabric that has been used, is combined the overall weight of the dress is substantial and it feels like a couture piece. The velvet at the back of the skirt is longer and slightly trained. There is a final gathered seam that runs from the mid-back to the centre of the back of the skirt's hem. For this one the ribbon ties at the top to add detailing there and again you can adjust it if you wish to be longer or shorter. You can see how stupendous this moves in the attached runway video of the burgundy version. This comes from one of his the original couture clients. Excellent condition
Fully lined in a full corseted and skirted underdress as described above. It closes with a hand set side zipper on the inner dress and another zipper on the black velvet top layer. Each side and the back of the velvet layer are adjustable in length with the ribbons that you see. The interior corset is boned and the underskirt is made up of several layers for volume and shape. Tagged a 42
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner corset waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 11" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 59" from shoulder to front hem and the train at the back adjust to same length to up to approx 20" longer
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: Fall 1998 Christian Lacroix Runway.
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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