I had this listed as from a slightly earlier collection based on the range of time that I knew the owner was purchasing couture during, and also on similar gowns from another season. However, since then I have found the editorial from Vogue, 1973 featuring a young Catherine Deneuve and am certain that this is the twin of this dress. It also apparently appears in the September issue of Elle from that same year but I have yet to hunt that one down. I will add it once found.
The gown is amazing and it its simple silhouette belies the masterful attention to detail that is shown in every breathtaking stitch. It is insanely sexy despite the fact that it covers you from head to toe and is not fitted in anyway. It is entirely done by hand and the silk chiffon is of the highest possible grade and as fine and light as a feather - it literally floats and swirls around you. Two layers of fine, lightweight bias cut silk chiffon sit atop each other through the body with the sleeves left in a single layer. The top layer is a soft, romantic pastel periwinkle blue and the inner layer a soft dove grey. It is cut to float over the body in a cascade of silk from the angular cut shoulder. The draping and effect that all that fabric creates is incredibly romantic and beautiful. Each sleeves is cut so that it puffs voluminously above the fitted cuffs. The closure is hidden along one of those angled seams and is a series of tiny, fabric covered snaps that lie under the seam. The attached ties is miles long and you can style is numerous ways -some I have shown here. That shoulder line is one that he repeated often through the years and it is wonderful to see one of the first examples of what became a signature design detail. He actually repeated this design in the 1980s collection and an example of that is held at The Met, however by then he was also experimenting with tiers and layers rather then one flowing length to the floor as we see here. I have included the Vogue editorial with Catherine Deneuve in the dress and also a shot from a recent shoot we had done so you can see how the dress sits on a modern girl. It is truly a brilliant, brilliant gown and when you see it in person you will be astounded at the level of craftsmanship and care put into the construction and by its sheer, breathtaking beauty. A masterpiece. In excellent, museum quality condition with two small items to note below.
The Yves Saint Laurent atelier is no longer producing Haute Couture making the exclusivity factor of owning one of their haute couture pieces even greater. The rarefied world of true Haute Couture and the truly limited productions of each piece makes finds like this especially gratifying. Haute Couture is the very pinnacle of the fashion experience and I would hazard to say that vintage versions are even a little more special then modern ones. This dress comes direct from the daughter of the original Haute Couture client and has not been on the market prior to my having it here. It is also from early on in Yves career, making it hat much more desirable
Lined in a high grade bias cut silk chiffon with the sleeves left unlined. It is completely made by hand as the parameters of Haute Couture dictates. It closes with a series of handset, fabric covered snaps that run under and along one of the angled shoulder seams. Each cuffs buttons with a silk covered button. There is one tiny smudge of darkening to the fabric on the fabric near the hip but when on it gets lost in the folds and does not detract in any way (pictured). I see one well done repair on the sleeve and again with the volume of fabric there this is mainly seen when lying flat and being inspected. Priced with these in mind and that it presents as excellent once on. It is even more wonderful in person.
The bias, open cut allows it to fit a variety of sizes as it will simply flow and drape into place.
Sleeves: approx 28" but puff up when on
Shoulders: no defined seams
Bust: bias cut allows approx 16-20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 56" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-MED
Photographed for creative purposes by Ted Belton, Stylist: Amanda Lee Shirreffs, Hair & Makeup: Erin Heather, Model: Karis. Reference photos: 1973 Vogue magazine
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
Documented 1973 Haute Couture Yves Saint Laurent Silk Gown LU128376812