Vintage early to mid-1960s Givenchy cream silk-and-wool crepe sheath features four horizontal garlands of embroidered pink and purple flowers with muted chartreuse leaves. In between these sweetly zigzagging flower chains, a scattering of raffia-petalled daisies adds dimensionality to the dress.
The slim, sleeveless silhouette is defined at the waist by a trompe l’oeil sash which is really a combination of an inset waistband and a doubled strip of fabric “looped” over to drape the left hip.
With a deeply scooped, squared back, the front bodice of the dress is shaped by vertical waist darts extending into gentle folds of fabric over the bustline. Pairs of seams create gusset-like panels at each side, and closure is a ¾ nylon zip at the rearmost side seam on the left.
Gentle gathers below the waistline ease the narrow lines of the dress, which is fully faced in matching cream satin. Seams are pinked and the hem is bound in ribbon tape.
No fabric content tag is present, but burn tests and close examination indicate that the slightly lustrous, lightweight crepe is a silk/wool blend.
The label reads “Created by Boutique Givenchy, Paris”; this label precedes the designer’s “Nouvelle Boutique” label and is rather scarce.
When Givenchy boldly opened his first boutique in December 1963, in the same building as his salon, he was one of the first Paris couturiers to do so. High quality ready-to-wear had not taken root in France as it had in countries like the US which imported and copied Paris designs, and the fashion options available in Paris itself veered between the extremes of haute and cheap. Unlike his second, “Nouvelle Boutique” (which opened five years later), Givenchy’s original boutique targeted couture customers on their way out from an upstairs fitting, with its elegant decor (gold and white, with chandeliers, a marble floor, and antique furnishings) and expensive, semi-custom garments, which were all designed by Givenchy himself and then produced in a range of sizes in the couture workrooms.
Measurements of this lovely spring or summer sheath are: Bust 36”, waist 27”, hips 36”, shoulder to top of waistband 15.5”, top of waistband to hem 25.5”, and center back to hem 30.5”.
Good/very good condition, with one discreet period mend to the back right waistband (photo #7). In addition, the raffia petals on several of the flowers have bent out of shape.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild