London, South Kensington
12 December 2000
Yves Saint Laurent
A shimmering sleeveless sheath dress of white fine tulle encrusted with white, silver and opalescent paillettes, the neck and shoulder straps embroidered with large faceted rhinestones within bands of smaller similar rhinestones, labelled in ink with hand-written details 19 Mr. Therond A Mlle Esther - worn by Dame Margot Fonteyn for gala occasions in 1965; accompanied by a corresponding costume sketch in pencil, ink and watercolour on Yves Saint Laurent printed sketch paper, labelled Croquis No.19 -- 105/8x8½in. (27x21.5cm.); three corresponding photographs of Fonteyn wearing the dress, one featuring her with Fredrick Ashton, circa 1965 and another one featuring her with her husband Tito, after a first night in Paris, 1965, signed and inscribed by subject on reverse, largest -- 13¾x9½in. (35x24cm.) the third, also reproduced in a magazine article regarding Fonteyn's favourite designer, Yves Saint Laurent, Woman, April 3rd, 1965 (5)
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Woman Magazine, April 3rd, 1965, p.26 (illus.)
MONEY, Keith Margot assoluta, New Zealand: Fair Prospect Print, 2000, p.265
It would appear that this dress does not bear an Yves Saint Laurent label, because it was an original model, straight from the catwalk. According to Keith Money, Fonteyn's size was in her favour when buying couture ..She shopped on a very restricted budget, but had the advantage of being able to buy models with scarcely an alteration, and chose shrewdly; always.. one evening dress so eye-catching as always to get noted and photographed.... This dress would seem to have been her arresting choice for 1965.
See illustration p.12
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