I found this Carmen Marc Valvo Dress/Coat piece at a thrift store, a couple of years ago. It is really stunning - it has soutache trim all over, buttons covered in matching fabric all up the front, and on the sleeves. It is 100% wool, but miraculously, it does not make me immediately itch, although the longer I wear it, the more I am aware of little prickles. This dress/coat/thing is unlined. I don't think there was ever a lining, because it looks finished on the inside. Usually when I see linings taken out of things, there are fabric remnants, pieces of interfacing, or raw-looking seams. It has large, sculpted shoulder pads - but they are not 1980's linebacker power shoulders.

This piece has a Spanish or Moroccan vibe, to my eye, but also a little bit steampunk, because the bottom half has a swinging movement to it.

I think this is from the 1990s, but maybe early 2000s? I'm not sure. I have googled this garment, and could not find anything. I went to the CMV site, and sent a message inquiring, but never got a response.

Has anyone ever seen anything like this, or have a general idea of what year it was made?

At some point when I have some time to play with my closet, I'm going to do a style lab here.

Some of the terms I've searched: embroidery, Spanish, soutache, and passementerie. If you can think of any other words to describe this sort of work, please let me know!

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