Christian Dior

CHRISTIAN DIOR Fall 1957 Haute Couture "Venezuela" Draped Silk Evening Dress Size XXS-XS

This rare and highly collectible vintage Christian Dior Haute Couture dress from Fall 1957 was given the name "Venezuela" by the designer and is crafted from an olive green silk. The dress has substantial weight and features a divinely draped bodice and a very full skirt with a hem circumference of approximately 350,0 cm/138.0". It has the typical interior mesh corset with boning, an internal waist stay and closes at the back with a zipper and a hook and eye. The outer dress closes above that with a zipper from hip to waist and three metal hooks that sit hidden right next to the thee decorative buttons at the back. The thick outer silk is backed with a fine mesh for even more structure, and there are four layers of black mesh forming a built-in petticoat plus a black taffeta underskirt that is reinforced with a more rigid mesh.

Black-on-white label reads "Christian Dior Paris". Handwritten label to interior hemline reads "N28 Venezuela 2877 37". Executed by Mode Ginetta, Palermo.

The "Venezuela" dress originates from Fall 1957, Christian Dior's last collection before his untimely death in October 1957, and belongs to his most important and critically acclaimed designs. Versions of this dress are held by Le Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (dusky pink, executed by Atélier Hélène), The Metropolitan Museum, New York (black) and LACMA, Los Angeles (black).

Bibliography: "Christian Dior" by Richard Martin and Harold Koda, published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1996, p. 200: "Spiraling gathers reflect the tensions of the surplice draping of the bodice. Dior's adroitness in combining draping and tailoring techniques is evident in the cummerbundlike back closure, in which drapery seems to be resolved in a convention of tailoring. Dior's bold swathes of cloth across the waist function as painterly gestures, marking an X at the waist."

Reference pictures: 1) Carmen dell'Orefice by Richard Avedon, 2) Victoire by Guy Bourdin, 3) Simone d'Aillencourt by Henry Clarke.

CONDITION
This dress is in excellent vintage condition with rather minor signs of general wear and age. The outer fabric is fresh and strong. There are a few superficial dents, scratches and creases as shown in the pictures of our condition report but nothing severe or detracting. One small dirt mark to the skirt. No shattering, thinning, moth damage, stains, discolourations, rips, holes etc. The internal mesh layers and underskirt appear intact. The edges of the mesh are all left raw and unhemmed. Please do note that four out of six bones of the interior corset are broken within their textile settings, as visible as in the detail pictures. Please download the condition report with close-ups of fabric, interior seams, buttons, boning etc. here.

SIZE
Approximately size XXS-XS

MEASUREMENTS
Bust 43,0 cm/16.9"
Waist 62,0 cm/24.4"
Length 114,0 cm/44.9"