Incredible Late 1970s Louis Mies Couture Black Silk Taffeta & Lace Off Shoulder Dress w Full Skirting
This is from my same client whose aunt purchased from Ady Couture who I explained in depth in this listing while she was living in Switzerland during the eighties and into the nineties. Prior to that, during the late sixties and into the early 80s her aunt lived in both France and Brussels where she purchased pieces from Louis Mies. Mies was a small independent couturier who did custom work for his clients to couture standards. He designed many piece for the Queen of Belgium and like Ady, he had permission from several of the Haute Couture ateliers to produce their Haute Couture pieces using the patterns and buying the fabric directly from them. I have some new information that he might have sold actual couture pieces through his salon as well. I was not able to find any exact references for this one. It does bear a striking similarity to the 1977 Valentino couture collection pieces and I have included some if those iconic photographs here. Most likely this would have been one of Mies own couture designs. It is absolutely unbelievable in person and one of my favourite personal pieces from her estate so far.
The level that this dress is made to is a beautiful thing to see. All of the finishes have been done by hand and it has all those lovely details that you expect in a couture level garment. It is made out of a fine black silk taffeta and then parts of the design are edged in a beautiful black Chantilly lace. These fabric choices help it to hold its intended shape and give it the lovely volume that you see. The dress has weight to it but it is not overwhelming once on the body. There are so many yards of fabric used in the construction of this gown that it is mind boggling. The neckline is cut wide across so that it sits off the shoulder. This leaves that bare expanse of skin showing that balances the volume of the dress below. It top is very elaborate. There is a six inch cape feeling ruffle that wraps all the way around your shoulders. This was then edged with a 3.5" band of that stunning handmade black lace. Under that the sleeves are set to peek out to give the illusion of a double cape detail but they are actually true sleeves. They are cut very wide and full and each is also edged in the lace to give the bodice a tiered effect on each side. The actual bodice skims loosely over you and there is a black velvet bow at the centre of the neckline. The waist comes in for shape and I added a grosgrain ribbon to pick up on the bow at the neck and define the waist more. The skirt is a masterpiece. It curves out from the waist and falls to the floor where it widens out even more as it nears the hem. It is made up of three full layers. Inside the skirt is a full built in black silk under-skirt that has wide bands of stiffened netting at the hem and part way up the skirt to help hold the volume. Little ruffles run along the seams of this lining where it is pieced together despite the fact that no one would ever see them. The next layer is an exterior one and it is also made of the black silk taffeta. It has two ruffled tiers at the hem, each of which is edged with the black lace. Where the tiers start near the bottom there is another built in band of netting inside to hold the volume on this layer as well. Then the top taffeta layer falls over those two layers. It is cut to end just above top tier of the middle layer. It curves up at the front to meet the seam at the waist and the lines this creates are gorgeous. The final result of all these tiers and layers is incredibly beautiful. The hours of work that it would have taken to implement the detailing on this dress is mind boggling. The dress is made to couture standards with all the inner seams finished by hand. I have included a shot of one of the inner seams for you to see. It is extraordinary and the kind of quality and beauty that you will only find with vintage. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Excellent condition with one note below
Fully lined through the bodice in a black silk and constructed as described above. There is a built in black silk taffeta inner skirt. It closes with a painted metal zipper at the back. The inside is all hand done and it is finished to couture standards. There is a couple small repairs / tiny holes on the ruffle on the neckline. There is so much fabric they get lost in the folds. Please see the final shot after the label. It otherwise looks unworn
Bust: to 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 15" from top of natural shoulder to waist
Skirt: 43" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference photos: Valentino campaign 1977 shot by Deborah Turbeville
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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