Robe de Mariée de Christian Dior: Autumn/ Winter 1979-80
I’ve always thought of this Christian Dior pattern as extremely elegant, and I just love the shape of that skirt! This design was taken from the Christian Dior Haute Couture collection for Autumn/Winter 1979-80, designed by Marc Bohan, and that pegged balloon skirt was a major theme in the collection and was used for evening gowns and cocktail dresses as well as for the traditional climax of an Haute Couture show, the bridal ensemble, translated into pattern form as Vogue 2545.
I can’t seem to find 2545 in any of my Vogue Patterns magazines from 1979 and 1980, so I can’t identify the exact time of release, but I’m guessing it must have been sometime in 1980. 2545 must have been a popular pattern as it was still available for purchase in the April 1988 store catalogue, if not later than that. I can see why it would have been popular, it is so beautiful, so classic, and a refreshing alternative to the usual A-line or column silhouette of bridal gowns. It has always reminded me of the gown worn by Grace Kelly when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956, hers was designed by Helen Rose, a costume designer from MGM studios. It shares a similar silhouette with the Dior of 1979, both have a slightly similar bell-shaped skirt with deep tucks at the waistline, both have a fitted bodice with long sleeves and a high neckline, and both have a cummerbund to finish the waist.
Below are some images of gowns from the same collection that feature the bell-shaped skirt.
There is a video on youtube with brief clips of this Haute Couture collection by Dior and also of an Yves Saint Laurent collection from the same season, however I’m quite sure that the Saint Laurent collection is the Rive Gauche (prêt a porter) collection. The picture and sound quality isn’t great but the bridal gown of 2545 is easily recognisable, and also the gowns that precede it with the same shape of skirt can be seen. There’s a gorgeous lilac number in there, too. It’s interesting that both Dior and YSL show very similar trends for daywear in the form of plaid and tartan. I also love seeing the models doing their own make-up surrounded by the buzz of anticipation before the show!
I’d be thrilled if someone asked me to make this dress for them for their special day. I would most likely soften the shoulder line by reducing the size of the shoulder pads, or for a wedding held during warmer weather I’d change the bodice to a strapless or sleeveles version with a more open neckline. But really, the bodice could be adapted in almost any way as long as it was still close fitting, and the dress would still be amazing because it’s all about that fabulous skirt! I have a few copies of 2547 in my pattern collection, just waiting to be used some day…
Copies of 2547 can currently be found on eBay and etsy, including the etsy store ‘patternvault’.
UPDATE: June 14, 2013:
I recently acquired some Vogue Patterns magazines from 1981 and in the March/April issue I found Vogue 2457 included in a two-page bridal feature, along with an Emanuel Ungaro design. I’m not sure if this is the first intance of 2457 showing up in Vogue Patterns magazine, the only other issue could be the Septemner/October 1980 issue, which I don’t yet have in my library.
Here is the two-page spread (remember to right click and open in a new tab to see the larger version):