What Is Old Is New

When it comes to fashion, the old adage “What is old is new again” has never been more true. We recently came across this dress by accident and we were immediately struck by both the silhouette and the amazing floral pattern silk fashion fabric. At first we thought that this was an 1880s Worth gown that we hasn’t seen before but upon further research, it turns out that this was an evening dress that was designed and constructed in 1994-1996 by the French designer Christian Lacroix.  Below are some more views of the dress:

In looking at this dress, one is struck at the use of asymmetrical draping (sound familiar?) for the skirt and the assymetrical neckline. The fashion fabric consists of a floral design of large scale flowers in orange, lavender, red, and white with green accents on a bright yellow background. The silk appears to be a watered silk and the flowers are softened. Below is a closer view of the neckline:

The neckline and upper part of the dress front are trimmed with jeweling, spangles and applique flowers which further enhances the floral effect- note how the eye is drawn upwards. Below are a couple more views:

This is a gorgeous dress and in many respects would have been perfectly at home in the 1880s…just for comparison, here’s something similar that was made by Maison Worth in the late 1880s:

Worth, Ballgown, c. 1880-1890; Preservation Society of Newport County

We wish that we’d been able to locate a picture of the Lacroix dress being worn on the catwalk but unfortunately no- it would have been nice to see this dress in motion, worn by a live person. But nevertheles, it does deomonstrate that old styles are constantly being reused, often in ways more exquisite than the last iteration. We hope you’ve enjoyed this little excusion into modern haute couture. 😄

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