Spring 1998 Valentino Haute Couture Strapless Dress w Elaborately Beaded & Sequin Skirt
This is a version of a dress from the Spring 1998 Haute Couture collection. I have included a reference photo here and you can see the similarities between the two dresses. It was not unusual for a client to have a dress completely customized to her and this most likely is a one off with no other exactly like it made. The dress is absolutely exquisite. It is a stunning example of Mr. Valentino's couture work during this time period.
This dress is absolutely beautiful. It is strapless with a fitted and sculpted bodice. The bodice and back have been shaped and set by hand into wide flat curving panels that wrap around the bodice. It is a masterpiece lesson in couture techniques. The top of the bodice has a wide panel that curves over the sweetheart shape and then extends down into the skirt. Inside it is boned and has a full an inner corset for support and to hold the dress perfectly in place. At the back the pleats wrap around toward the zipper, cross over themselves and then extend into the skirt. The inner skirt of the dress is made of a fine black silk netting that is backed by silk chiffon. That netting is then completely covered with a dense application of bead and sequin work that is entirely done by hand. I believe that the bead work was done by Lesage. It is all done completely by hand and this level of fine workmanship that would have taken many many hours to complete, perhaps even into the hundreds of hours. The outer skirt lays over this inner skirt and opens in an angle down the front so that you see part of the inner beaded skirt. What is truly incredible is that even though the entire inner skirt is beaded al the way around, you only see that one part of it from the front. That is the level of work that you see only in couture. The dress appears to have never been worn, or worn very little. Excellent condition
The inner skirt is fully backed in a silk chiffon. The outer panels of the skirt are unlined. The inner bodice has a netted silk corset that is boned and cupped. The bead work extends all the way up to just under the bodice on the inside. There is a zipper to close the corset with a second zipper over that to close the outer layer. Inner waist stay that hooks to close. The dress is completely finished by hand to haute couture standards. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. My photos do not do it full justice and it really needs an actual body to bring it to life.
Bust: to 17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam, with a B-C cup
Inner waist: 14.25" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 10" from top of bodice to inner waist seam
Skirt: 40" from inner waist seam to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photo: Valentino Spring 1998 Haute Couture Collection
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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