Iconic Fall 1970 Valentino Well Documented Printed Ribbon Silk Chiffon Dress w Huge Tassel Detail
This is a fabulous fall 1970 dress from the Valentino boutique label. Valentino launched his ready to wear label in 1962, just two years after opening his first salon in Rome. He eventually expanded and added other boutiques. His first New York boutique launched in the fall of 1970 and it caused a sensation. Traffic was backed up 3 blocks with everyone who was anyone trying to get in on opening night. More boutiques followed including one at Bergdorfs. He encouraged his couture clients to also shop in his boutiques. He wanted everyone to have the Valentino experience and it should be noted that he often carried the lines he created for his Couture label into the boutique work. The primary difference was in the fabric and construction details but they were still remarkably close in quality. This especially held true in the early days. The line between the two labels was often blurred and on this dress you can see that in the hand finishing that is has. This one is extra fabulous because it is so well documented.
When searching for the date for the dress we found documentation that has both Marisa Berenson wearing it for Vogue that season and also Naomi Simms who wore it to that opening of the New York Valentino boutique. Which gives it a significant place in Valentino's history. The dress is gorgeous and it is made of a black silk chiffon that has a ribbon weave fused directly into the silk. This gives it an oversized thatched woven effect. In between the ribbon weave the silk is semi-transparent and the play between the two opacities is stunning in person. The entire dress is backed with a black silk chiffon lining and that gives the more transparent parts a backdrop so that the silk feels like it has depth. To highlight the design even more is that gorgeous print made up of a pink and purple and gold coloured threads that run over the entire dress. I love how the pattern is heavier at the bottom and then slowly makes its way up to be just scattered paisley's on the black backdrop by the top of the dress. The collar is small and neat and the sleeves are cut to pouf out above the buttoned cuffs. The sleeves are not lined so you get a sense of transparency there. The dress is cut into a chic sheath that skims over your bust, waist and hips until it flares out just slightly at the hem. There's no seam to break the line at the waist, instead he has placed two square pockets on each hip to detail this area. The pocket are amazing. Each zips to close from corner to corner and the zipper is then detailed with a long knotted and fringed tassel. Another matching tassel details the zipper that closes the front of the dress. In both the reference photos a sash was wrapped around the waist for added shape and you could easily re-create that look. I think it looks equally as well worn straight and sleek. It's nice to have both options because the dress looks dramatically different each way. It is gorgeous and very well made. Excellent condition.
Fully lined in a black silk and zippers to close up the front as described above. Each cuff buttons to close with two silk covered buttons and each pocket zips to close. There's an extra button in the lining of the dress. Hand finishes. The dress appears to have never been worn or worn very little. Tag a size 8 with a hand written size label.
Bust: 17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 52" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
Reference Photos: (1) Marisa wearing Valentino, photo by Elisabetta Catalano in Rome, Vogue September 1970. / (2-3) Naomi Sims attends the grand opening of Valentino Boutique on October 12, 1970 in New York City.
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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