Circa 1971-2 Lanvin wool voile maxi dress with full skirt, tie neck, and billowy ¾-length sleeves evokes a magical forest with its vibrantly-hued floral-and-geometric print.
Combining the folkloric with the psychedelic, polka-dotted and stripe-outlined sections of the print seem to overlay the stylized leaves, flowers and trees like the vests, aprons and decorative borders of regional dress. Jules-Francois Crahay, Lanvin’s designer at the time, was noted in the early 1970s for his many references to regional dress, done in bold, colorful prints, which he planned out with brush and paint on paper.
The striking palette--neon pink, kelly green, crimson and orchid grounded by earthier shades of sage, forest green, and violet, as well as graphic black and soft white—fuses the differently patterned areas into a single, harmonious design..
The buttons run from the neckline to below the hips, subtly switching color from purple above the gently-pleated waist to black below it. Puffed gently at the shoulders, the full sleeves are elastic-gathered at the bottom. Sheer pink silk voile lines the bodice and sleeves; skirt is lined in emerald green satin.
Label reads “Lanvin, Paris New York”; this label began in 1971, when Jules-Francois Crahay arranged for the entire Lanvin collection to be produced—line for line, and in the original fabrics-- in the US by New York dress manufacturer Andrew Arkin. Sold with the Lanvin label, these reproduced designs retailed in a far more accessible price range than the Paris originals (at $100-200, roughly equivalent to $600-$1100 in today’s currency, as compared to $1000 for a typical Lanvin couture evening dress in 1970, or $6000 today). The first Arkin-produced Lanvin collection, shown in New York in April 1971, was a huge success, and other seasonal collections followed on its heels, to satisfy popular demand.
Tag size is a vintage 8. Exact measurements are: Bust 36”, shoulders 15”, waist 26”, hips 38”, sleeves 18.5”, length shoulder to waist 15.5”, and length waist to hem 38”, and length center back to hem 55”.
Good/very good condition, with a pinhole at the back waist and a ½” section next to the hook-and-eye at the front waist where the fabric weave has been stressed (photo #8).
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild