Nina Ricci Haute Boutique black silk gown 1980s | XS

1980s clothing

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Size: XXS-XS
Bust: 32.5” flat, to fit maximum 32”
Waist: 24.5” flat, to fit maximum 23.5”
Hip: full
Length: 55.5” from shoulder to hem in front
Underarm to waist length: 7.5”
Waist to hem length: 41”
Sleeve: 14” long, with 15” opening
Shoulder to shoulder: 13”
Label: Nina Ricci Haute Boutique Paris, 100% Silk (viscose/rayon trim)

Now, those are what I’d call some seriously fabulous sleeves! This early 1980s Nina Ricci evening gown in lightweight black silk features gigantic puffed sleeves, trimmed with tiny glass beads and sequins, as well as large velvet bows embellished with rhinestones. The dress is quite goth girl-meets-Princess Diana, in its unique style! The fitted bodice of the gown has a deep V neckline, a shape echoed by the pointed waist seam at the center front. There are no bust darts. The dramatic sleeves have curved hems, to echo the round shape of the extra-large sleeve “puffs”. Rather than the usual rounded, puffed sleeve, each sleeve is actually constructed of two large half-circles, with a central seam down the side, so that all the volume is seen at the front and back, rather than on the side of the sleeve. Below the fitted bodice, the skirt is quite full, with pleats gathered into the waist at the front and back. The evening gown is fastened with a center back zipper. The bodice has an attached, black silk organza lining, while the skirt has a black silk taffeta underskirt, with an enclosed band of “horsehair” around its hem, for more body and fullness. The fiber content is labeled as 100% silk except for trimming (the rayon velvet bows at the front and back of each shoulder, and the beading, sequins, and flat-back rhinestones). I would describe the fabric as similar in feel to silk organdy, but less sheer, with a crisp hand and a plain weave. This fabulous 1980s designer evening dress by Nina Ricci is what I would call “demi-couture”: it has a fair amount of hand finishing, and it is beautifully made, throughout. It is in excellent condition. However, although it has been freshly dry cleaned, there is a lingering odor from the original owner’s perfume that we have not been able to completely remove. If you are very sensitive to scent, this may bother you, although it is not an unpleasant odor. Other than the perfume scent, the dress is in wonderful condition, with no other issues to note.