In 1996, the same year this gown was made, Hanae Mori was awarded the Order of Culture by the Emperor of Japan. This after a long and lustrous career including becoming the first Japenese women to become a member of Le Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne in 1977. In the Encyclopedia of Fashion they say of her work:
"....examples used bright hot colors, juxtaposed in one ensemble to provide interest, bringing a strong Japanese feel to their narrow hues, frequently harking back to the kimono for their silhouette and cut. It is in this area that her work is most inspired, bringing together European tailoring and Japanese color and ideals of beauty. She uses the Japanese love of asymmetry to further develop her style and the linear patterns she prints onto her distinctive silks. She exploits the natural appeal of such fabrics with a well-defined sense of cut to illuminate her realistic styles. By doing so, Mori is providing both an alternative to and a definite rejection of the type of elaborate couture confections that mold the female form into fantastical shapes, ignoring the woman beneath the fabric.......The designer is also a favorite of the Japanese royal family and Thailand's Queen Sirikit."
To find a true piece of her Haute Couture is exceedingly rare and when the design is as beautiful as this one is, it just makes it that much more special. This gown is entirely original - the long wrapped silk skirt is topped by a hand beaded silk chiffon top.This is couture on the highest level with everything about the piece deliberate and constructed to work as a whole. It is made of the finest silk and the design is a custom print with hand painted detailing along the skirts hem. The dress is a simple cut with bead work hand applied to the entire bodice and in black and white beads as the pattern on the underlying silk dictates. The skirt wraps and secures over itself with a high high slit ensuing while it drapes around the hips and legs in a beautiful swath of silk. At the waist she works in a touch of the East with that wonderful bow. Underneath is a short mini skirt that is built in and has just the slightest touch of padding - acting to both create shape around the hip and also to keep your modesty intact when you sit or move with that high cut exterior skirt. The top is semi-transparent and zips to a low plunge on the front. The shocking flash of brilliant turquoise under the skirt is the perfect dramatic finish to the black and white palette. Museum quality. Excellent, seemingly unworn condition
The skirt is lined in a brilliant turquoise silk and the under-mini-skirt is lined in black silk. The bodice and sleeves are unlined. The bodice closes with a front zipper. Her signature tiny fabric covered snaps sit at each cuff. There are some loose and missing beads on the top but no jarringly bare areas. Completely made by hand as per the the standards of Haute Couture. Numbered tag underneath labeled "HC 1363 (perhaps the first number is a 7?) Pe 6-12-96"
Bust: 17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 53" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.