This is an archetypal 1990s minimalist design by revered label Balenciaga from the Le Dix ready to wear range. This has all the hallmarks of the house's young and influential fashion designer at the time – Nicolas Ghesquiere. We are certain that this dress is from around the time he took over as creative director of the fashion house, after the departure of Josephus Thimister in 1997. An almost identical dress, Look 41, from his debut collection featured the same clean lines of this dress. Made in Paris, it is meticulous but austere in its construction. The fabric composition label reads as 100% silk with an intricate mixed fibre/cotton lining. The top layer of the dress has a straight bodice and dropped waist with no delineation on the waistband as such. However the dress from the sides of the lower waistline is enveloped in a double tiered shroud of silk chiffon gauze and the top layer has been gently shaped to give a curved train at the back thus giving this piece amazing fluidity of movement and volume. It fastens to the side with a modern concealed zip and internally there is a separate lining to the dress and cotton bandeau which is lightly boned and finished with a grosgrain ribbon under the bust band. This provides support for the body so that the top layer holds the minimalist shape. There is a separate zip for this internal part of the dress and the construction ensures that it could be worn without undergarments if desired.
This is a wonderfully understated example of minimalist edgy aesthetic that categorised the late 90s and Y2K fashions. The dress is in excellent condition - perhaps it may never have been worn as we can't find any signs of wear.
Labelled a French size 40 but it runs small. Our model is a UK size 8 top, UK size 10 bottom - this was a little tight in the hips. Overall, this is best fit for UK size 10 or smaller, with a slimmer hip. This dress could be altered by a professional trained seamstress if desired.
Bust - 33 in (83.8 cm)
Waist - 33 in (83.8 cm)
Hip - 38 in (96.5 cm)
Length - 54.5 in (137.2 cm)
Shoulders - FREE