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1950s Christian Dior Demi Couture Gold Silk Dress With Detachable Shawl



This arresting Christian Dior new York 1950s silk evening dress showcases some incredibly skillful construction and exudes timeless glamour. The fabric is luxurious textured silk in pale gold and has been artfully tailored to create the designer's magnificent trademark 'New Look' silhouette. Forward folding pleats on either side of the gown have been tailored at the bodice to form a gorgeous fan shaped bodice. The same pleats continue down the length of the dress before opening out into the flared ankle length skirt with an impressive forwards thrusting dynamic. The reverse of the skirt features a single inwards facing pleat that lifts the dress accentuating the feminine waistline. The bodice is cut horizontally with half moon shaped panels on either side to protect modesty. The over shoulder straps are 2 inches thick and of the same silk fabric. A key feature of this extraordinary piece is the accompanying shawl which can be detached if desired. Ruching at the front on either side creates a dramatic sculpted effect so that the shawl stands away from the shoulders at the front. Large round buttons encrusted with Swarovski crystals affix the shawl on either side of the bodice. The piece is consolidated with a central seam that runs the length of the front. There is a central zip fastening at the reverse. This exceptional piece is in overall excellent vintage condition; however, it should be noted that there are some very pale watermarks on the lower part of the skirt at the front, and some minute damage to the fabric on the inside hem that is not visible when worn. We also believe that the dress may have been altered as the hem has been taken up at some point. That said, the workmanship matches the skill with which the garment was manufactured. Priced accordingly and still a truly remarkable piece which would be an excellent alternative bridal dress. Would best suit US size 2 - 4, UK size 6 - 8.


  • Designer
  • Brand
  • Dimensions
    Length: 37.5 in. (95.25 cm)Marked Size: 2 (US)Bust: 32 in. (81.28 cm)Waist: 25 in. (63.5 cm)Hip: 32 in. (81.28 cm)
  • Style
    New Look (In the Style Of)
  • Place of Origin
    United States
  • Period
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    London, GB
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU5509599752

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $34 Standard Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 6-18 days.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: London, United Kingdom
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About Christian Dior (Designer)

Christian 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. There, the visionary couturier would alter the landscape of 20th century fashion.

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 — an expansive collection of which can be found at 1stDibs — Dior gave women the gift of glamour they’d lost in the miserable years of war.

About the Seller
4.9 / 5
Located in London, United Kingdom
Platinum Seller
This distinction is for experienced sellers who continually surpass customer expectations.
Established in 2011
1stDibs seller since 2013
346 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 3 hours
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