Ady Couture

Iconic Fall 1982 Ady Couture Lausanne for Yves Saint Laurent Silk Leopard Print Dress w Draped Panel

This dress was made by hand in the atelier of Ady Couture who was based in Lausanne Switzerland. Ady herself was a couture trained seamstress and headed a team who had full permission of the Haute Couture houses she worked with to make the designs they showed in Paris for clients based in Switzerland and the surrounding areas. She would purchase the couture fabrics from the couture houses along with the patterns and then make the actual dresses in her atelier. This arrangement with the couture houses was a way to work around customs during this time period and do fittings for clients unable to travel to Paris. So far we have verified that she had this arrangement with Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Givenchy and Ungaro. There may have been others but those are the four labels we have documentation on from the runway. The dress is completely made by hand to Haute Couture standards and it is beautifully tailored and cut. It is one of the most iconic pieces Yves ever did and this one has this added layer of fascinating history to it. 

In the book 'Yves Saint Laurent: Catwalk' the collection notes for this season are a beautiful summation of his work for this presentation: "This bright and colourful collections was full of allusions and reminiscences and details from earlier collections. It conveyed a kind of 'enchanted enchantment', as San Diego Magazine put it, adding: 'Yves Saint Laurent, who has an unbelievable gift for feeling the pulse of his times, marched into centre stage with his incredible collection. His show which is always the high point of the collections, reversed many of his previous themes and led us into a spirited, fun-filled view of today’s life. He seem to be saying, 'let’s not be earnest, life is too short, and boredom is the greatest sin of all.'….  The atmosphere generated by this collection was a kind of 'joie de vie', an antidote to stress and anxiety, both frivolous and magnificent. According to Saint Laurent, 'Haute Couture is opera. And, like opera, it has to be superb.'

This is a dress that when you see it on the hanger is really doesn't look like much but the second it hit the dress form it came to life. I am so pleased to have so many reference photos for this one so you can see just how amazing it is on an actual body. It is made out of a rich light silk that drapes and falls over the body beautifully. The bodice is cut to drape into place in a loose and easy way and then it nips in at the waist. The skirt below that hugs the hips and is crossed over itself at the front. The entire dress wraps around you to close and is held in place by nothing more then hooks at the waist and a series of snaps across the one shoulder. When you unhook it the entire dress opens. It is so simple and yet so brilliantly cut that it is genius. A long attached tie drapes over that shoulder. This extends out from the panel that crosses over your bust and hides the deep plunge underneath. The sleeves are a work of art in themselves. Each is set into the bodice with a high cap and slight pouf. They are then cut to follow the curve of the arm and narrow down to wrist. A zipper is set into each cuff so it fits perfectly. Between those exceptional sleeves and that long panel that trails down to just past the hem it is nothing short of drama and boldness while still feeling exceptionally chic. It is absolutely gorgeous and the leopard print on the silk is just spectacular. He used a few variations of leopard in this collection and this is the one that has a touch of colour worked through the print. Inside the dress is completely finished to haute couture standards with every seam hand finished. I have taken some detail shots for you to see the fine workmanship. This is a very difficult fabric to work with and it is finished to perfection. It is an incredible piece and beautifully made. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Excellent condition 

Unlined with couture finished inner seaming. The dress wraps around you and hooks into place at the waist and then has a series of snaps on the top of the shoulder to hold the draped panel in place. Hand finished throughout. Softly padded shoulders and the padding is also hand made. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Made to Haute Couture standards with a tremendous amount of detail put into its construction.

Sleeves: 23"
Shoulders: 15"
Bust: is loose and open to 23" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 42" from neck to hem with 3" turned under the hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3855

Reference Photos: (1-2) Fall 1982 Yves Saint Laurent Couture Runway.  /  (3) Model in a 1982 Yves Saint Laurent Dress.  /  (4-5) Fall 1982 Yves Saint Laurent Couture by Helmet Newton.  /  (6) A long evening dress in leopard-print satin crepe from the Fall-Winter 1982 Haute Couture collection on display in the studio of the Yves Saint Laurent Archives. Photo by Ithaka Roddam for W Magazine.

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.