jacques heim

Rare 1950s Jacques Heim Full Skirted Black Net Dress w Gold Thread Lace

Jacques Heim began his career working at his parents fur business. In 1923 he took that business over and made it into his own vision. Heim began designing a line of made to order, in-house couture pieces that used original fabrics, most notably, those of Sonia Delauney. In 1930 his younf label became an official member of Haute Couture and his self-named label, Jacques Heim, was born. Jacques remained at the helm of his business until his death in 1967. The label was shuttered by 1969.

This dress is a wonderful example of his work in the 1950s. The label has the additional wording of 'sur autorization speciale, Maria Carine Paris' (made by Maria Carine Paris with special authorization). Garments with this label are best explained by this excerpt: 'Maria Carine was owned by Maria Moutet-Chenu. She worked with four couturiers: Heim, Desses, LaRoche, and Lanvin. After the couture showings, each couturier would give her sketches based upon the garments they had just shown. Moutet-Chenu made the toiles which were approved by the designers. Then each garment was cut individually by hand in the Maria Carine workrooms in Paris using the same fabrics that were used for the couture garment. Maria employed hundreds of seamstresses, many of whom worked in their own homes. They sewed each garment individually to exacting standards. This was the highest of early high-end ready-to-wear.'

In other words - this is a fully authorized piece by the couture house. It would have been completely overseen by Heim and was the way the house would have produced demi-couture and ready-to-wear pieces for their clients. Maria and her seamstresses were only utilized to produce garments in this method for a small window of time before more mass market production methods took over that were a lot cheaper. It is a wonderful example of a very small moment in time when the quality was still very high.

I love the classic cut of this dress. It is cut to skim over your curves of the bodice and the sleeves are an extended curve of the fabric of the bust so that there are no seams at the shoulder or arm to break the line. The waist nips in and the skirt is cut slightly slimmer at the front and then very full at the back. I have styled it over a light crinoline to show you the shape. If you wished to get a very full skirted look you could but not without adjusting the inner lining which is cut in a more straight shape. The fabric is wonderful. It is a deep, non-metallic French gold lace that is applied over a fine black silk net. I love that all the edges are left so that the follow the floral pattern in the lace to give them a softer, curving scalloped finish. The sleeves are cut tot he elbow and they, along with the upper shoulders, are left unlined so you see a peek of skin through the lace. It is simplicity mixed with a masterful seaming and cutting and extraordinary fabric. Hand finishes and extra detail throughout. Excellent condition

Fully in a black taffeta and closes with a back painted metal zipper. Pinking shear finishes to the interior seams and hand finished throughout. The added crinoline is not included.

Shoulders: no defined seam
Sleeves: approx 14"
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam, with a good C cup at least
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 16" from neck to waist
Skirt: 28" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Excerpt in the description taken verbatim from the Vintage Fashion Guild

Item# DD1207

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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