Dior Autumn/Winter 1959
This remarkable and important dress was designed by Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior's Autumn/Winter 1959 haute couture collection. Named 'Folies Amoureuses', the dress is made from black taffeta and lace by Brivet. It features an artfully ruched bodice, accented with two decorative bows, and a full layered skirt with five rows of lace trim. It was photographed for L'Officiel in September 1959.
The 'older sister' of this dress (provoctively named 'Labia' by Saint Laurent) was another hugely important design from the collection and was photographed for Vogue, and by Avedon on model China Machado.
As one of the most successful collections by Saint Laurent during his short tenure at Christian Dior, it attracted many celebrity clientele, including the beautiful Elizabeth Taylor who ordered this same design for herself. Who knows, perhaps this is the very same dress worn by Elizabeth herself!
This dress, probably a Patron Original, has lost is label but is beautifully made. The bodice is lightly boned and the zip closure hidden by ingenius swags of black taffeta that cross over to mask the opening. The skirt seams are not finished by hand which leads me to believe it is demi-couture. Two other unlabelled examples of a Dior Patron Original from the same collection featured the same boned taffeta bodice, as opposed to Dior's signature bobinnette bustier.
Shoulder to Hem: 110.5cm/43.5"
This dress is in absolutley impeccable condition, and almost looks unworn. The fabric and lace are still soft and incredibly luxorious and the bodice (including the boned underbodice) is all intact, with no flaws to note.
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