christian lacroix

Spectacular & Rare Spring 1988 Christian Lacroix Luxe Silk Floral Dress w Back Bustle

This dress is very special and an extremely well documented piece from Spring 1988. It also has the special added provenance of being the twin of one of the four dresses portrayed in that instantly recognizable photo taken in his stunning atelier at that time. That photo is perhaps one of the most famous photos in the Lacroix history. This is from his Luxe label that was only produced the very first couple of seasons. It was very high end, expensive ready-to-wear that was made to near couture standards and was only available primarily to his couture clients and a select few. It was the predecessor to his later regular ready-to-wear collections. It is said that this label only lasted a couple of seasons because some of the couture clients complained at how close the garments were to their Haute Couture pieces. We also found numerous reference photos of the dress as it appeared on the runway so you have an amazing idea of how this dress looks on the body.

Christian Lacroix launched his Haute Couture house in 1987 and his work was instantly adored and revered world wide. He defined an era and he was crowned the King of Couture. A ready-to-wear line soon followed along with perfumes and menswear. His Couture collections in particular were always exotic lavish affairs. He drew his inspirations from across the decades and I doubt there was ever a more high glamour couturier.

The dress is gorgeous. It is made out of a textured silk organza that has a slightly bubbled texture running through it. This gives it this extra added dimension while the lightness of the silk keeps the dress feeling light and airy. Over that is a glorious floral pattern in pinks, yellow and greens set on a black base. It feels so vibrant and beautiful and that combined with the fabric is stunning to see. The sleeves are long and they are cut on a proper curve in the traditional proper dressmakers technique. The shoulders are lightly shaped and the front falls into a shallow V. The dress has a little bit of gathering just at the bust area along the center seam that runs the length of the dress and then it falls smoothly along that seam to the hem under that. It is cut to be fairly straight through the body and meant to skim over you with just a suggestion of shape through the waist. The back has that same sleek shape all the way to the hem and then the bottom 9 inches of the skirt has an inset panel and bustle. This panel is gathered into a curving seam so that it is full and fabulous and at the very center of that there is three half bows done in a black textured silk organza. These are stacked one on top of the other to give that little bit if volume and detail right under your bottom. It is deliciously Lacroix in every way and one of his most famous pieces. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. Excellent condition

The body of the dress is fully lined in a black silk and the sleeves are lined in a white silk. The dress zips to close at the back and each cuff has a zipper to close it. Light padding in the shoulders. Tagged a 44

Sleeves: 22.5" and 13" around the upper arm
Shoulders: 17"
Bust: to 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 16.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 19.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 35" from top of shoulder to hem with 2" turned under the hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-LRG

Item# DD4401

Reference Photos: (1-5) Spring 1988 Christian Lacroix Collection.  /  (6-7) Models in Christian Lacroix Haute Couture Atelier, Paris, 1988. Photos by Arthur Elgort.

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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.