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A Christian Dior Haute Couture Evening Dress Numbered 218551 Circa 1959-1965

$16,748.48

About

Circa 1959-1965 France Exceptional raspberry satin silk grand soir dress by Christian Dior Haute Couture numbered 218551 . Very Closed to the named Athena dress from the period of Yves Mathieu Saint-Laurent's assistantship with Monsieur Dior or possibly from the Marc Bohan Period. Long dress in asymmetrical sheath draped over one hip with a large bow ending in a train. On the opposite shoulder a large pleated drape hugs a large plunging neckline. Whalebone bustier, lined with white net sewn and original black and white woven satin label bearing the number handwritten on the back 218551. This dramatic and asymmetrical model can be compared to "Dovima and the elephants", the most famous fashion photograph immortalized by Richard Avedon in 1955. Or the sketch on the photograph of Yves Mathieu Saint-Laurent taken in 1954 during a competition organized by le Secrétariat International de la laine, which was used as a press photo when he was appointed head of the House of Dior in 1957. Exceptionally clean dress, without any trace of use, having probably never been worn. Excellent condition of color and conservation. Dimensions: Equivalent size 35/36 France. Height 137 cm, chest 82 cm, waist 61 cm, hips 90 cm.

Details

  • Designer
  • Brand
  • Dimensions
    Marked Size: Equivalent size 35/36 France. (EU)
  • Style
    1959-1965 (Of the Period)
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Excellent Condition and Color.
  • Seller Location
    Toulon, FR
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU633313578672

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping

    Ships From: Toulon, France
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 2 days of delivery.

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About the Designer

Christian Dior

When Christian Dior launched his couture house, in 1946, he wanted nothing less than to make “an elegant woman more beautiful and a beautiful woman more elegant.” He succeeded, and in doing so the visionary designer altered the landscape of 20th century fashion.

Dior was born in Granville, on the Normandy coast, in 1905. His prosperous haute bourgeois parents wanted him to become a diplomat despite his interest in art and architecture. However, they agreed to bankroll an art gallery, which Dior opened in 1928 in Paris with a friend.

This was the start of Dior’s rise in the city’s creative milieu, where he befriended Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau. After seven years as an art dealer, Dior retrained as a fashion illustrator, eventually landing a job as a fashion designer for Robert Piguet, and in 1941, following a year of military service, he joined the house of Lucien Lelong. Just five years later, with the backing of industrialist Marcel Boussac, the ascendant Dior established his own fashion house, at 30 avenue Montaigne in Paris.

Just two years after the end of World War II, the fashion crowd and the moribund haute couture industry were yearning, comme tout Paris, for security and prosperity, desperate to discard the drab, sexless, utilitarian garb imposed by wartime deprivation. They needed to dream anew.

And Dior delivered: He designed a collection for a bright, optimistic future. “It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian!” exclaimed Carmel Snow, the prescient American editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, famously proclaiming, “Your dresses have such a new look.” The press ran with the description, christening Dior’s debut Spring/Summer haute couture collection the New Look. “God help those who bought before they saw Dior,” said Snow. “This changes everything.”

Dior’s collection definitively declared that opulence, luxury and femininity were in. His skirts could have 40-meter-circumference hems, and outfits could weigh up to 60 pounds. They were cut and shaped like architecture, on strong foundations that molded women and “freed them from nature,” Dior said. Rather than rationing, his ladies wanted reams of fabric and 19-inch waists enforced by wire corsets, and the fashion world concurred. The debut got a standing ovation.

In the subsequent decade, Paris ruled as the undisputed fashion capital of the world, and Christian Dior reigned as its king. With the luxuriously full skirts of his New Look, suits and his drop-dead gorgeous evening dresses and ball gowns worthy of any princess, Dior gave women the gift of glamour they’d lost in the miserable years of war.

On 1stDibs, find an exquisite range of vintage Christian Dior clothing, jewelry, handbags and other items.

About the Seller
4.9
Located in Toulon, France
Platinum Seller
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Established in 2010
1stDibs seller since 2017
285 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
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