Important Spring 1997 Gianni Versace Well Documented Runway Dress w Heart Print by Jim Dine

I always love finding original Versace pieces from when Gianni was alive and headed the label. This is a fantastic piece by him whose twin walked the Spring 1997 runway for Look 30 on none other than the great Stella Tennant. A piece in this sane print was chosen for the ad campaign that year and the twin of this dress was a part of the  2001 Versace exhibit. This was the last spring Ready-to-Wear collection that Versace worked on before his death which adds another layer of importance to the piece. This is a fantastic example of the work he was doing at this time and it is also an amazing dress in its own right.

The entire collection was based around these slinky light weight fabrics and flounced skirts that you see on this dress. For this collection Gianni commissioned several artists to contribute prints and this heart motif that was shown on several items in the show was done by American artist Jim Dine who was known for doing hearts in his work. On the runway only the outer dress was shown over matching red panties and then when it was produced and shipped to stores it came with its little red inner slip dress. The dress is made from an ultra fine sheer red netting and the hearts have been applied onto that netting. Some of them are a deep red with purple edges and then the others have a beautiful little heart within a heart pattern. These are placed in rows over the entire dress. The little slip that goes underneath is a solid red and adding it keeps the dress opaque enough to wear. If you are daring you could of course forego the slip and just wear something else underneath that shows more skin through the top layer. The neck is scooped at the front and the sleeves are long. The dress is cut to skim over the body and it is easy over the bust, waist and hips. The skirt flares out from there and there is a little ruffle in the same fabric around the hem to create that little flounce that was seen throughout the show. This is a stunning and important example from one of his final collections. Excellent condition with one small note below.

The separate red slip serves as the lining and the dress slips over that. The inner slip has no closures and the outer dress closes with a hidden set back zipper. I see a tiny mark on the bodice of the inner dress. Please see the photo after the label shot. The inner dress is marked a size 44. Both pieces have some stretch and I put the comfortable range of measurements below. 

Sleeves: approx 20" and is 12" around the upper arm
Shoulders: no defined seam
Bust: 17-18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist:  to 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Total length: 37" from neck to hem

Inner Slip 
Bust: 16-19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14-17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 21" flat across from side seam to side seam
Total length: 32" from neck to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD4716

Reference Photos/Video: (1-3) Spring 1997 Versace, Look 30. Model Stella Tennant.  /  (4) Spring 1997 Versace Ad Campaign by Richard Avedon.  /  (5) Versace Exhibit at Te Papa Museum in New Zealand, 2001.

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