Spring 1999 Oscar De La Renta Pale Green Striped Silk Taffeta Billowing Over Dress & Pant Set
This billowing silk taffeta dress and pant sent was shown in two color-ways on the Spring 1999 runway; this green and taupe set and a blue stripe and yellow pant version that has a slightly different sleeve. The twin of the blue version was exhibited as a part of the 2016 ‘Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective’ exhibition at de Young Museum, San Francisco, curated by André Leon Talley. The exhibit was broken into different themed galleries and this dress was a part of the garden themed section. Oscar was an avid gardener and the works in this section took inspiration from that life long passion. “A garden is probably the most spiritual and pure of joys. It’s a communion with nature and beauty in the most simple and fundamental form.”– Oscar de la Renta.
In an interesting twist, one of the other dresses that was a part of the garden section of the exhibit was a pale blue striped Haute Couture Balmain dress designed by Oscar and my client had a that dress as well. It is listing along with this one today. It is incredible coincidence to have both dresses in at the same time with that shared bit of exhibition history behind them and both are exceptionally beautiful.
It is interesting to see the cross over from the earlier Balmain piece to this one. Variations on the striped silk taffeta fabric was central to the theme of many of his pieces during this time period. This is definitely one of the most dramatic. The silk is light in weight so that when you walk in this it billows out behind you in the most fantastical kind of way. It is exceptionally long so you get a serious dose of drama behind you that I love. The impact it has in real life and how it moves once on is undeniably beautiful. It is made up of two pieces. The green and ivory striped silk overdress and pair of slim taupe silk taffeta pants that go underneath. The pants are cut very simply with a flat front and no waist banding. They run in a slightly tapered cigarette shape and land just about the ankle depending on your height. Over this is that amazing open front dress. It really needs an actual body under it to truly bring it to life and you can see how it will sit once on from the runway reference photo. It is cut to be very loose and easy. The dress part of this set should fit almost any size and body type as it is deliberately cut full and oversized. The entire edge of the neckline is elastic and finished with a ruffle above that. It slips on over the head and the elastic allows you to pull it down the shoulders leaving a bare expanse of skin. Each sleeve is cut to be incredibly wide and full. It is open through the bust with a row of silk covered buttons and loops running down the centre. The buttons end above the top of the pants so that you get a peak of skin showing between. The body of the dress drops to about the hips and then the skirt is set into that in a curving, ruffled detailed seam that wraps around and dips slightly at the back. The lower skirts are tremendously full and they are cut to trail out behind you in the most fantastical, high drama way. The dress is at its original unaltered length. The fabric is so light that it billows and puffs out around you at the slightest bit of movement. It is dramatic but feels wonderfully light once on. It is perfectly suited to his love of nature and botanical themes. It appears to have never been worn or worn very little. Excellent condition with a small note below.
Both pieces are unlined. The pants close with a hidden set back zipper. The outer dress slips on and closes at the front with hand covered silk buttons and loops. I see some scuffing and storage marks near the hem of the back skirt. All are minor and they get lost in the extreme length and amount of fabric. I photoed the worst one and that shot is after the photo of the label. It otherwise appears to have been worn very little if at all. Both tags are hand numbered 2256. Sourced from the original couture client. If the pants did not work size wise it would be easy to wear something different under it as the over dress should fit a large range of sizes as it is open through the entire body and generously cut.
Length: approx 64" from neck to shortest point of the front hem, 84" to longest point of the back hem
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 42.5" from top of bodice to waist
Inseam: 32" from inner seam to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: Pants SML-MED, Over dress OSFA
Reference Photos: (1) Spring 1999 Oscar De La Renta Runway. / (2-4) Photos from the ‘Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective’ exhibition at de Young Museum, San Francisco. Curated by André Leon Talley. / (5) Photo from the book "Oscar De La Renta: The Retrospective" by Jennifer Park and Molly Sorkin.
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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