Rare c.1947 Nina Ricci Early Haute Couture Strapless Black Lace & Silk Taffeta Dress
This is a rare and early Nina Ricci dress that is not perfect but still quite beautiful and important as it would have been made while she was the head of the atelier. Dresses from this time period in the Nina Ricci history are exceedingly hard to find. The Nina Ricci Haute Couture house was founded in 1932, at 20 Rue de Capucines in Paris. From its very beginning, elegant French women and their daughters sought out the label and made it a part of their loves and wardrobes. Ricci draped her creations on a live model and and quickly became known for her romantic and feminine vision of couture. I have dated this to approximately 1947 based on the reference photos I found that show dress with similar construction and fabrication details.
The dress is constructed from a combination of a heavy black silk taffeta and a dense embroidered lace bodice with a net base. I found some reference photos that show that same lace inset technique used on this dress. I believe the interior structure of the bodice was removed so I will address that first. It has no interior construction and no boning so if it does not fit you bang on you will need to add something for support. The advantage of this, and why I think someone deconstructed the interior, is that in the state it currently is in, the bodice becomes semi-transparent between the lace. The top edges do not seem properly finished if you look at them closely and I think this was a result of removing whatever structure use to be inside not a change in the original design. That all said, you could wear it exactly as is and be fine. The bodice follows the body and the waist is cinched with an inner waist stay that holds the dress perfectly in place. It extends past the waist and into the skirt in a series of angled points and these are also semi-transparent through the lace parts. The skirt is made from yards of silk taffeta and finished with a wide ruffled hem. It is in overall excellent condition for what has been done to it and could be worn as is or with some addition to the interior for more support depending on the fit on you.
Unlined and closes with a fine painted metal zipper. Please read full description above.
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 11.5" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 43" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
Reference Photos: (1) "Minuit" Evening Dress by Nina Ricci, 1947 / (2) Nina Ricci Strapless Evening Gown by Maurice Tabard, 1947.
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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