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Basha Gold

1970s Lanvin Haute-Couture Multicolored Florals Wool Skirt & Shawl Set


Lanvin is one of the most established fashion houses in Paris. Begun in the late 1800s, Jeanne Lanvin began with a client list that included family and friends. By 1909 Lanvin was an official member of the organization overseeing Parisian haute couture. This delightfully light-weight wool ensemble from Lanvin was created under the direction of Belgian born Jules-François Crahay. Crahay was head designer at Lanvin from 1964-1984, and had a reputation for making good, but safe choices in design. His 1977 collection, which is likely where this ensemble originated, was considered a breakthrough.

A generously cut semi-circular shaped shawl and matching gored skirt are made from silk screened wool. The floral pattern has been designed specifically for this line, pulling inspiration from European embroidered folk costume. The hems of both the shawl and skirt are finished with a band of box pleats, adding dimensional luxury and physical weight to assist with overall drape. The box pleating on both is finished with red satin backing, neatly encasing all stitching. The ankle length skirt has considerable fullness as well, with a hem that measures over 80 inches.

Because the fullness of the skirt has been added through goring, the waistband is attached smoothly without any gathers. A metal zipper and button provide closure at the center back. Both the shawl and skirt are intentionally left unlined to keep the ensemble light and allow the fabric to drape without bulk.

This couture ensemble is a rare find, and illustrates a defining moment in Parisian couture. As Bernadine Morris, fashion correspondent for The New York Times, noted in 1977, “The first bravos of the fall couture showings resounded in the Cercle Interallie on the Faubourg St. Honoré where Jules-François Crahay presented his collection for Lanvin. It was done in a brilliant haute couture peasant style, ranging all over history and the globe…”

Size estimate: S/M


Skirt Waist: 28 inches

Length: 38 inches

Shawl Width: 85 inches

Length: 41 inches

This mid -1970s ensemble by Jules-François Crahay for the House of Lanvin is in excellent condition. Made from a tropical weight wool, the shawl and skirt are smartly cut to exploit the luxuriousness of the fabric which is identified on the selvage as "Jenast Paris Haute Couture". Drawing inspiration from European folk dress, the screen printed fabric is a chipper blend of navy blue and bright floral imagery.

The semi-circular shawl falls to hip length and is finished with a box pleated hem. The hem, which is backed with a red satin band, provides enough weight to maximize the drape of the fabric. The gored skirt, which closes in the center back with a metal zip and button, is similarly finished.

Both pieces remain unlined, giving the fullness ample opportunity to swish lavishly at the hips and ankles. High-quality vintage pieces like this are yours to live in and love while increasing in value every year. It’s never too soon to start collecting them, as an investment in your wardrobe—and in yourself.

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