After the sudden death of Christian Dior in 1957, his assistant Yves Saint Laurent took over as artistic director of the legendary fashion house. Following the tradition of the house, he achieved critical success with his first collection, called the “trapezoid line” in keeping with its silhouette. This two-piece cocktail dress illustrates this loose line that does away with the waist and combines a simple, square top with a flared skirt. The shirt-like, straightfalling bodice of fine silk taffeta has a flat oval neckline and a small bow that sits at the waist is the single ornament. Underneath this, the hemline meets in a central scallop. The quarter length sleeves give way to a trapezoidal line to the shoulder. The dress closes in the back with seven buttons. The skirt is not made separately, resulting in a loose figure-skimming cut with a nonetheless impeccable fit. The slanted slit pockets on both sides of the skirt accentuate the trapezoid form. The dress was shown at the fashion show in the category robes habillées and was presented by the model known as Nicole.


  • Title: Two-piece "New York" Cocktail Dress
  • Creator: Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior
  • Date: Spring/summer 1958
  • Rights: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Stephan Klonk │ Text © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Christine Waidenschlager
  • Provenance: 2003 Kamer/Ruf collection; 1993 Christie’s, London, estate of Olivia de Havilland, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Proof of manufacture: Woven black on white label in left side seam: Christian Dior, Eté 1958 Paris
  • Place of origin: Paris, France
  • Length: Dress: fl./bl. 101 cm; bodice: fl./bl. 45 cm
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018417
  • Type: Ensemble
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/kunstgewerbemuseum/home.html
  • Medium: Plain weave black silk-wool fabric from Staron Lining: black silk taffeta

Additional Items

Zweiteiliges Cocktailkleid "New York"

Two-piece "New York" Cocktail Dress

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