1920s Chanel – beaded silk gown

Today I have something special for you – a silk 1920s evening gown from the House of Chanel. I photographed her today before she goes to her new home – a Sydney based collector who is sure to appreciate it as much as I have.

Tomorrow we’re driving up to Sydney for the vintage fair and book launch, and it seemed the perfect opportunity to deliver her to her new home. I couldn’t possibly entrust such a cargo to Australia Post!

She needs professional restoration and isn’t quite wearable at the moment – although she looks solid, it wouldn’t take long before those white and silver beads started to fall. In fact, as well as packing her well in acid free tissue paper, she comes with a bag of beads that have found their way loose.

Beaded Chanel '20s dress

As you know, I do lots of repairs and restoration on vintage but despite my strong skills, some pieces need to be entrusted to museum-level restorers or preserved as they are. I will leave that choice up to her new owner.

Detail of beaded skirt - '20s Chanel.

If you look closely at the hand-beaded skirt, you will see that the rows of beads start as all white on the top level, gradually increasing rows of silver so that the beads are all silver by the bottom. It produces a lovely graduating effect, that shines under the lights. A lady kicking up her heels with a vigorous Charleston would be quite a sight to see! This dress was made for dancing, I’m quite sure.

Close up of beaded skirt - '20s Chanel

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  1. Oh Nicole! How amazing. It must be hard to let go of something so beautiful but it sounds like it’s going to someone that will truly appreciate it. Gasp! It’s fabulous! Thank you for sharing your photos. 🙂

  2. Did you hear the “eeeeeee” all the way from Sydney? I promise on bended knees that I will look after this gown…already sounding out colleagues on undertaking the restoration work. Looking forward to the booklaunch tomorrow!

  3. Hi!! We are currently making a research to a dress from our collection that has very strong similarities with this dress. I know that it may have been forgotten, but do you remember if this dress keeps still the channel label? Ours has another known as “Jacquet” and we are considering of those pieces were bought by licenses and reproduce by other fashion houses…it will help to us if you may have some photos of the interior dress of a confirmation that this a Channel is?
    Thank you and looking forward to your answer

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