Strapless Silk Evening Gown with Stole, 1952


Red silk dress with stole. Corselet in bodice made of white cotton net, stiffened with boning. Dress lined with multiple layers of net. Loose, slip-like lining of white and dark red silk. Skirt has been shortened a fraction. Rectangular stole folded in half; additional fold stitched in back. Stole has self-fabric fringe and two silk fabric loops for arms. Clothing label: AUTOMNE-HIVER 1952/Christian Dior/PARIS/MADE IN FRANCE. Stamped on label: 24345. Handwritten on tag sewn on back of label: 53991. This garment was owned by Elizabeth Parke Firestone, daughter of Mr. Harvey Firestone of Detroit, Michigan.From Dior's Profile Line, this is the ultimate evening gown, perhaps the most stunning in the collection. Of deep red silk faille, it is strapless, form-fitting, and of simple yet classic lines that surely made Mrs. Firestone look extraordinary. It is highly structured with linings, slips, and nets, which is characteristic of Dior's work. It was made with three pairs of shoes - in the event that one pair was ruined while dancing, it could be easily replaced. Dior used a great deal of red in his lines, but it was an extremely unusual color choice for Elizabeth Firestone. She usually preferred powdered pinks and fuschias over true reds.

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