Thursday, May 17, 2012

Christian Dior Fringed Dress - 1958

Brilliant red silk faille fashions this gorgeous party gown by Christian Dior for Spring, 1958.  Christian Dior died in October of 1957 and Yves St. Laurent was promoted to head designer in 1958.  We'll never know if Dior himself had conceived of this gown before his death, or if the design is purely St. Laurent's.  But isn't it wonderful?  The silk has been fringed at the edges of the underskirt and at the ends of the bow.  Fringing silk is a time consuming process.  This is not a separate trim that is applied to the hem of the dress.  Rather, the edge is left unfinished and the weft threads are removed one by one, leaving the warp threads to form the fringe.

You've probably seen the same technique used on the edges of napkins.

Here you can see a seamstress removing the weft threads on a decorative collar.  This technique is pretty easy to do on a loosely woven linen, as shown here.  I cannot imagine the hours it must have taken to get the same effect on the tightly woven silk faille used in the Dior gown.