Christian Dior’s Fall/Winter 1949 Cynge Noir gown

This exquisite Cynge Noir (black swan) evening gown by Christian Dior comes from the Autumn/Winter 1949 Milieu du Siècle line. This marked Dior’s sixth collection. The gown was crafted from silk-velvet, net and faille textiles by Bianchini-Férier. At the time he designed this collection, Christian Dior stated “A golden age seemed to have come again. War had passed out of sight and there were no other wars on the horizon. What did the weight of my sumptuous materials, my heavy velvets and brocades, matter? When hearts were light, mere fabrics could not weight the body down.” 


The Cynge Noir is a two-tone grey and black ballgown which features a strapless structured bodice. Black velvet backs the grey silk at the bust line of the gown in an elegant band. Extending from the waist band is an oversized black velvet bow which seamlessly incorporates with the grey silk of the skirt. This angular bow was a signature of Dior during this period. I love how this gown manages to be both understated and a statement piece at the same time.

Several versions of this gown exist today, some of which now remain in the archives of V&A Museum (number T.117&A-1974), The Met (accession number 1974.312.2a,b), Mccord Museum (accession number M967.25.9-1-3) and Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (accession number 1979.51.15a-b).