Rare 1960s Tiziani Couture by Karl Lagerfeld Purple Silk Dress w Intricate Hand Beading

This dress came from the house archives of the Tiziani label, which was launched in 1963 in Rome by American designer Evans Richards. The label quickly became a favorite among celebrities and socialites including Elizabeth Taylor, Doris Duke, Gina Lollobrigida, and Principessa Borghese. The label is also famous because a very young Karl Lagerfeld designed for the label. Lagerfeld worked at Tiziani from 1963 to 1969 which makes the pieces he designed while there some of the very earliest examples of his work. This piece is unlabeled but I sourced it from a person who had purchased it direct from the owner of the atelier archives through a verified auction.

The dress is made from a purple silk that is heavy enough to keep the shape that you see. It was then heavily beaded by hand in some areas to highlight the design of the dress. The bodice dips into a V neck that is detailed with a knife pleated ruffle edged with a pink silk satin trim. The ruffle is integral to the design of this dress. It is used throughout to accent the lines and design. It defines the band at the waist that gives you shape and is used on both the cuffs and hem. It is also used to define the panel of beading that sits on each sleeve. The sleeves are incredible. They are cut to be a very full pouf above the wrists. At the middle point of each sleeve is a wide panel that is completely beaded all the way around the arm. More beads sit in one shoulder and there is a heavily done design of them that runs over and down the front of the skirt. The bead work is amazing. It is a mix of hand done embroidery, real metal thread, seed beads, crystals and large oversized domed appliques. These catch the light to give the dress a touch of high glamour. The green of the beadwork pops against the purple silk and they add incredible texture. The body of the dress is fairly simple in design. The bodice is cut to skim over you and the waist is defined by that wide band at the waist. It is cut slightly more on the loose and easy side rather then cinched heavily in. The skirt falls to the floor from there and there is a substantial amount of silk in it. It is hand lined in silk. The bottom hem of the skirt is finished with knife pleating and ruffles to tie in the extravagance of the upper part of the dress. It is made entirely by hand and it is finished to a couture level. It is an amazing piece of fashion history. Excellent condition

Fully lined in a purple silk and closes with a back zipper. Each cuff buttons to close. The inner skirt is finished with a wide stiffened hem that is hidden in the silk lining. This helps to give the skirt structure and the volume that you see. Hand work throughout and made to couture standards. Light padding in each shoulder. There is the tiniest bit of fading to the edge of the purple silk lining on the inner arms. It otherwise looks ot have been worn very little if at all.

Sleeves: 23.5"
Slightly dropped shoulders: 16.5"
Bust: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: open
Bodice: 11" from neck to first seam under the bust, and 17.5" from neck to waist
Skirt: 42" from the dropped waist seam to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-LRG

Reference Photo: Cherie, Owner of Shrimpton Couture.

Item# DD3251

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.