Spring 1959 Christian Dior Haute Couture Ivory & Silver Lace Dress
This exquisite spring 1959 Christian Dior Haute Couture dress was designed during Yves Saint Laurent tenure at the house. The dress is a one-off piece and was a special commission ordered by socialite Patricia Lopez-Huici de Lopez-Willshaw. Patricia commissioned Yves Saint Laurent, the young head of Dior, to make her a party dress to attend a ball with Baron de Rede. It is truly one of a kind. There is no other like it that was ever made. It bear a striking resemblance to the finale wedding dress in the runway presentation for his debut collection for Dior in the spring of 1958. You can easily imagine that this dress was derived from that one, updated to show the waist more and be reflective of Ms. Lopez and her personal style. An interesting side note - when Yves departed the house of Dior and opened his own Couture Atelier, Mrs Lopez Willshaw was his very first client and bought the very first dress produced. Which shows just how close the two were.
The dress is constructed from a hand made ivory Chantilly French lace that is outlined with a real silver cording. This fine silver cord has been meticulously hand applied to the lace. It follows the outline of, and defines each delicate lace motif. The entire exterior layer of the dress has this technique applied to it. The embroidered bodice is encrusted with mother of pearl sequins, tiny perfect glass crystals, each hand prong set, and finished with perfectly matched pearls. This is all the work of Lesage and each crystal and sequin is placed there by hand. The waist is caught up in an extravagant ivory silk bow that adds a simple and romantic touch. The skirt billows out to an extreme shape and fullness and the shape is built in through layers and layers of silk netting and tulle underneath. The inner construction of the dress is absolutely exquisite with a boned and corseted interior with attached garters. Under the skirt there are a full seven layers of silk tulle and net underskirts to achieve the shape that you see. It is a beautiful example of Yves' early work and a wonderful example of the golden years of Haute Couture. Excellent condition with some small notes to review below.
Fully lined in a ivory silk with extensive boning, inner construction and skirting. It closes with an intricate combination of stays, zippers, hooks and snaps. The seven layers of inner skirts are attached with some having addition half layers at their hems for additional volume. There is some minor darkening to the lace here and there and I see some very minimal areas of small repairs to the top layer. Very small areas here and there of minor separation in the lace. None of this compromises the strength or integrity of the dress and it is strong and wearable with the care. In person the color presents as an ivory with a touch of a cafe au lait color and it deepens slightly as it nears the bodice. Note that the two studio photos provided as reference photos were darkened for effect. The color of the dress is closest to the main photos of it provided. It best will fit a modern 0-2
Bust: 15.5-16" flat across the back from side seam to side seam with cups built in that would fit an A-B cup
Waist: 12" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 6" from top of bodice to waist
Skirt: 35" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS
Reference ohotos: (1&2) As photographed for creative purposes by Ted Belton. Stylist: Amanda Lee Shirreffs. Hair & Makeup: Erin Heather. Model: Ginni Connors at Elmer Olsen. (3) 1958 Yves Saint Laurent with Victoire in wedding dress and Christine in trapeze-line dress (4) Yves Saint Laurent and the house models of maison Dior (5) Cover of Paris Match (6) 1958 Dior dress
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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