Happy Boxing Day! And with most Christmas parties Covid casualties, here’s an opportunity to admire the ‘little black number’ that you might have chosen for your office get-together.
This stunning dress bears a label for ‘Gabrielle Chanel, Paris,’ and dates to 1921, the dawn of the ‘flapper’ age.
Chanel is renowned for its couture ‘little black dresses’ – but this is the earliest example ever to come on to the market.
It might be an idea if I now give way to the auction house description:
“Narrow yellow on black woven, Gabrielle Chanel label, No 16995, of black silk crêpe with plain chemise-like front bodice with dropped waistline, open upper sleeves, side sashes that tie at the back with beaded square ends, the skirt below and central rear bodice panel covered in a shimmer of black bugle beads arranged in an overall diapered lozenge pattern, the dropped waistline with draped rouleau effect swags over the hips and massive tasselled ties with deep fringes to the front, with integral lace-edged petticoat, bust approximately 34in…”
Phew, there’s more…
“The matt texture finish and simplicity of the silk crêpe de chine bodice contrasts with the dazzling sparkle of the patterned bugle beads on the skirt. The bodice front gives the impression of being an over-tunic, when in reality it is a seamed bodice integral to the body of the dress. The rouleaux beadwork panel to the hips and the large tassels further emphasises Chanel’s dropped waistline.”
Couldn’t have put it better myself.
The dress appeared at Kerry Taylor Auctions in London earlier this month. A great rarity, it found a new owner for £12,000.
Picture: Chanel dress, £12,000 (Kerry Taylor Auctions).