Incredible Spring 1981 Pierre Cardin Haute Couture Look 155 Silk Dress w Extensive Beadwork
As soon as I saw this dress I knew I had seen it before and it turned out that I had already saved the photos of it in my archive photo library long ago because I had loved it so much. So it was a thrill to actually have it in hand at last. The dress was Look 155 on the runway for the Spring 1981 season and was one of a series of highly beaded dresses with different patterns. These dress were also a bit of a nod to his 1965 collection where he showcased several fully beaded dresses. This is a side of Cardin that people don't always associate with him and his work but he could do very serious glamour as well as the mod look he was more famous for. This is a gorgeous example of his evening wear.
This dress is extraordinary and any collector of Pierre Cardin will instantly recognize it for the every special piece that it is. The dress is made out of a printed silk that was then sequinned and beaded over the underlying pattern. The silk fabric choice keeps the dress as light and airy while the bead and sequin work give it just a touch of weight so that it falls perfectly once on the body. It's hard to even realize how light the fabric is until you see it in person. The dress is cut to skim over the body with just a suggestion of curves as it works it way over the bust, waist and hips. It has an almost flapper feel to it along with that nod to the 60s making it feel timeless.The dress falls from two wide straps that curve over each shoulder. These meet the bodice that is cut straight across at the front and the back. From there is falls to the hem and gently widens out a touch as it glides over the body. It is covered in beads and sequins. A vertical design runs over the bodice and down past the hips with little vertical rows of bead and sequins to follow the print underneath. The bottom of the skirt is a deep purple and that has swirls of bead work over it. At the front the is a dense application of sequins to form that gorgeous burst of flowers that you see. It is a stunningly beautiful and rare piece that I am very excited to have in the shop. It also comes with its original wide shawl piece that you can wear draped over the shoulders or wrapped around the neck as I have done in some of the photos. You could also use it at the waist or even as a head wrap. This is a stunning piece of Pierre's work. Excellent overall condition with a note below
Fully lined in an ivory silk and closes with a hidden set back zipper. Hand finished throughout. I do see some small areas here and there where there are some missing beads and sequins. I have a small bag of extras that will be sent with the dress. It is not something that feels like it detracts from the dress in any way. Please see the photo after the label shot for an example
Upper edge of the bodice: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Natural bust: 16.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 17.7" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 58" from top of the shoulder to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
Reference Photos: Spring 1981 Pierre Cardin Couture Runway.
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