Incredible 1960s Tiziani Couture by Karl Lagerfeld Yellow Silk Chiffon Dress w Elaborate Beading
This dress is from the archive of the couture house Tiziani. The Tiziani atelier was founded in 1963 by Evans Richards an American who moved to Rome to pursue his fashion dreams. Elizabeth Taylor quickly became a regular client along with Doris Duke, Gina Lollobrigida and Principessa Borghese to name a few. The label is also famous because of the fact that as a young designer Karl Lagerfeld accepted a job there. Lagerfeld worked at Tiziani from 1963 to 1969. This is from that era and is a stunning examples of Karl's early design years. My client originally bought it at an auction several years ago directly from the current owner of the archive. This is an incredible dress and an incredible piece of fashion history.
The dress is made from a very pretty pale yellow silk chiffon that is as light as air and gives the dress its incredible movement. The silk is used for the sleeves and skirt and then the bodice has been heavily and densely beaded. It is incredible to see in person and this is the level of workmanship that you were only find in a vintage piece anymore. The pattern is created in several layers. The silk base has a honeycomb design created by hand with a real metal wire sewn onto the silk. Prong set glass rhinestones are scattered over that. The bead work is set in round intricate medallions that cover the entire bodice at the front and the back. Each medallion is made from beads sequence and large shaped pailettes. In the center of each is an intricate 3-D flower and these are done in different colours of silver and pink. The bead work is extremely fine. The very top edge of the bodice is finished in a row of dangling beads that match the beads in the center of the medallions. These have just a touch of movement when you move. The bead work wraps over the shoulders and continues across the full back. Along the sides he has left part of the pale yellow silk which I found very interesting. It almost makes it feel like a breast plate or armoured vest over the silk chiffon and this is an idea that he continue to use throughout his career. The sleeves are very full and cascade out from a softly pleated shoulder. This gives them extreme fullness and they pouf out fantastically above the cuffed wrists. They are not lined so you get this fabulous touch of transparency through them. The skirt has many many yards of chiffon in its construction so that it feels like it is floating around you when you move. I have included some photos of myself sitting in the dress and you can see how many yards of silk are around me. It is tremendously wonderful to move in. The very bottom of the skirt is finished with a thin strip of stiffening fabric that has been hand rolled inside a tiny hem. This creates a ruffled ribbon effect and the hem curves and swirls beautifully. The work on this dress is meticulous and by hand. It is an amazing piece of fashion history. Excellent condition with a minor note to review below
Fully lined in a hand set yellow silk through bodice and the skirt has an inner skirt that is made of silk and then covered in silk chiffon. It closes with a hand set back zipper. Each cuff buttons to close. Hand work throughout and hand finished inner seams. Unlabeled. There is just the start of some fraying to the inner edge of the top at the shoulders and a tiny bit of darkening under the arms inside the bodice. Please see the final two detail photos. There is couple of really faint darkened areas in the silk here and there but you really have to look for them. Perhaps a touch of grubbiness here and there to the very edges of the hem.
Shoulders: approx 15.5"
Bust: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner hips: 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 60" from shoulder to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-LRG
Reference Photos: Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture.
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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