August 10, 2011

FINE FORM: Ode to a Dior Dress

Lately I’ve been living in the grips of an obsession with the Met Costume Institute’s online library. For the vintage lover, this site is a paradise searchable by designer, era, and function, all the lovely dresses lined up on screen like tempting macaroons in a patisserie window. Their collection makes me thirsty, thirsty, as if no matter how many images I consume it will be impossible to fill this parched wanting—

That is, until I saw this:
Galliano for Dior, spring/summer 1998. Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute collections.
This dress was the long drink of clear water, the oasis turned real and not mirage: this gown was and is it—the perfect ball gown.

The streamlined bodice, the sugary bow-accented neckline balanced by the almost-macabre black, the combination of playful ruffles and a fear-me voluminous skirt—as balanced and integrated as a poem in silk, something this exaggerated and simple could only come from the house of Dior.


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