Incredible 1980s Unlabeled Haute Couture Silk Net & Brown Silk Taffeta Plunge Front Dress

I am now on the second batch of very interesting pieces that are coming from a client whose aunt had most of her clothes made. This dress was most likely 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. This one is similar to the work that a few of those ateliers were doing at the time so is a bit of a mystery. She also did buy Haute Couture pieces from the ateliers so this may be one of those pieces. She tended to remove the labels from the actual couture things so it is a bit of a mystery. Either way it would have been made during the time period my clients aunt lived in Switzerland, from the late 70s to 1993. The dress is completely made by hand to Haute Couture standards and it is beautiful.

The dress is made from a combination of a deep brown silk taffeta for the skirt and an embroidered silk netting for the top. This fabric choices allows it to hold the beautiful lines that you see. The dress is absolutely stunning and a testament to the level of design that you only see in couture pieces. At the front the neckline dips into a deep plunging V that goes almost to the waist. This is edged with an elaborate ruffle that follows the plunge down and then circles the neck. The ruffle is made from an incredible six layers of silk that are stacked on top of each other. They alternate between a black and nude colour. They are incredibly full as a result and the effect they give is very dramatic. The ruffles are also used to finish each incredible sleeve. Here they circle around the wrist and then go up the back of the arm. It makes each sleeve feel like a work of art. The sleeves are set into the shoulders with a subtle capped feel and have very light padding inside to give them the perfect touch of shape. The bodice is made out of a soft embroidered netting in a muted coppery gold colour thread. This is backed by a black silk chiffon so that it has just a hint of transparency to it. The waist is seamed and it is tied with a long grosgrain ribbon for shape. The skirt is set into the waist in an elaborate series of closed pleats that give shape, detail and structure around the hips. The skirt then curves gracefully away from the hips widening out as it nears the floor. It has an incurable amount of volume with several yards of silk taffeta used in its construction. Underneath is a half length interior skirt around the inner hops to help hold the shape. Otherwise all of the volume is created by the cut and the fabric alone. The interior of the dress is completely finished to couture standards with every single seam done by hand. I took a detail shot for you to see the fine workmanship inside. It is an incredible piece and just beautifully made. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Excellent condition 

The bodice is fully lined in a black silk chiffon and the skirt is part lined as described above in a black silk. It closes with a hidden set zipper at the front and there are hidden set zippers at each wrist. Light padding in each shoulder. Hand finished throughout. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. The grosgrain ribbon belt is probably not original to the dress but is included. Made to Haute Couture standards with a tremendous amount of detail put into its construction. It might fit a larger size if you are narrow through the shoulders. 

Sleeves: 25"
Slightly inset shoulders: 14.5"
Bust: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 16" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 41" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED


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.