Important A/W 1977 "Les Chinoises" Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture Tassel Dress
This dress is an important piece from the 'Les Chinoises' Collection from Fall 1977. This collection corresponded with the launch of Yves Saint Laurent’s new fragrance that year - Opium. The Musee Yves Saint Laurent site says of this collection: "China served as the couturier’s new source of inspiration, and its folklore fed his imagination. Saint Laurent drew on the colors, shapes, and materials of such places as Africa, Russia, Spain, and China for his own extraordinary creative journeys. Yves Saint Laurent, told in Elle Magazine in December 25, 1995; 'Beijing, however, remains a dazzling memory. The China that I had so often interpreted in my designs was exactly as I had imagined it. All I need for my imagine to blend into a place or a landscape is a picture book. … I don’t feel any need to go there. I have already dreamt about it so much.'" It is interesting to see that the fabric that was used for this dress was repeated on several pieces through out the collection showing he love for this particular pattern.
At first glance the dress seems very full but don't let its volume fool you, these can still be immensely flattering on if the proportions are kept in balance once on the body and styled properly. The silk used for the main portion of the dress is very light and fine so that it moves with the body when you move and shows off the curves underneath unexpectedly. It is seamed at the waist but this is dropped and does not bring it in shape wise but rather adds to the volume. The collar is magnificent and it is structured in stark contrast to the silk underneath. It almost feels like a piece of armor as it sit across the shoulders. It is made of a black velvet and detailed with heavy gold and black silk cording that edges the neckline and the outer edge of the velvet. Three huge tassels dangle off the front to give it movement and tie in the 'Les Chinoises' theme. At the back it closes with two knotted cord buttons and below that is a slit that runs down to past the waist for an unexpected flash of bare skin. The body is full and loose with the skirt brought in a bit around the knee for shape. It can be belted for a more defined shape. Each sleeve is cut full to pouf out above the cuff. The deep copper gold print of the silk is gorgeous silk and the color almost seem to have an inner glow to it. It is truly a brilliant Haure Couture dress and it is from one of the most important of all of Yves' collections. A masterpiece. In excellent condition.
Unlined through the body and the collar is backed in silk with inner stiffening. All the interior seams are hand finished to Haute Couture standards. It closes at the back neck with two knotted cord buttons. Each cuff has hidden hook & eye to close. Small hidden pockets along the side seams at the hip. Finished to Haute Couture standards and entirely done by hand. Haute Couture label present and numbered 42477. The open cut will allow for a range of sizes
Sleeves: approx 23"
Shoulders: approx 15" and the velvet extends past that about an inch
Bust: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 25" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 43" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: (1) Yves Saint Laurent A/W 1977 Haute Couture Collection. / (2) At right, model Lisa Taylor, wearing a long chrysanthemum print crepe de chine robe over an ankle-length skirt by St. Laurent; at left, model Beverly Johnson, touching Lisa's hair, wearing a floral print gown in crepe de chine over a back-wrapped blouson dress in black silk jacquard, by Yves Saint Laurent. Photo by Albert Watson for Vogue, 1977. / (3) Yves Saint Laurent Ensemble, autumn/winter 1977–78 haute couture, Polychrome printed black silk damask. Courtesy of Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris. Photo by Lia Chang. / (4) Collection board. Autumn-winter 1977 haute couture collection. © Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris.
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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