Spring 1976 Chanel Haute Couture Silk Jersey Dress & Lesage Beaded Jacket
True Haute Couture pieces by Chanel are an extraordinary find as they are so very rare and hard to come by. This one, like several other of the Haute Couture pieces in the shop at the moment, are from one of my clients whose mother purchased the majority of her Couture pieces between 1973 to the mid and late seventies. This particular set has the added provenance of having its twin photoed on actress Sylvia Kristel. We also found the original presentation photo from the couture collection that year and it shows you just how gorgeous this set will sit on the body once on. It is an incredibly beautiful example of the work that the Chanel ateliers were doing during this time period.
The set is two pieces. A silk jersey dress that has incredible lines and then a matching silk jersey cardigan that is hand beaded. The dress is made out of two distinct layers. There is a complete inner dress made out of a silk crepe that is cut to skim over you and act as an inner lining. Attached to sit over that is a silk jersey exterior layer. The jersey is all cut on the bias and it is incredibly flattering. The neckline sweeps across the collar bones and sits wide at the front. A thin and open keyhole runs down the center of the bodice from just under the top of the neck to just above the waist. The waist itself is gathered into this elaborate circle that is entirely and meticulously made from hand set pleats. This creates a pretty and soft effect at the front. All around that circle is a series of soft pleats that span outwards. The back is cut onto a deep V for a little bit of skin to show. The skirt falls in a draped column and there is no seam at the waist so the line remains long and beautiful. Over this is a soft cardigan made from the same silk jersey on the exterior. Inside it has been hand lined in a matching red silk chiffon. All of the edges of the cardigan have been covered with beautiful beaded flowers and a border that is made from red and black glass tube beads. These would have been applied and created by hand by Lesage to the exact specifications given by Chanel. The bead work gives the design a slightly raised effect and they have a subtle glimmer in the light. I love this contrast between the bareness of the dress underneath with the coverage of the cardigan. It gives you two completely different looks to work with and wearing it with the jacket completely transforms the look and feel of the dress. It goes from a more bare and sexy dancing dress to something that feels more formal but still with that sense of ease created by the silk jersey. Both pieces are entirely made by hand as Haute Couture dictates and the fabric would have been made specifically for Chanel and this piece. This is a fine and rare example from this time period. It is truly brilliant and when you see it in person you will be astounded at the level of craftsmanship and care put into the construction. In excellent overall condition with notes below.
The dress has an inner attached silk dress and there is a wide grosgrain band that hooks to close at the interior of the waist, The inner dress zips to close under that and the outer dress buttons into place with a series of hand covered silk buttons in a matching fabric. The jacket is fully lined in a red silk chiffon and hooks to close down the front. Both pieces have been completely hand made. The label was removed at some point. There is a are some small marks that I have photoed. They may come out with a more aggressive or specialty cleaning. Please see the photos starting after the shot of the way it closes at the back.
The color in person is more a deep raspberry/ soft burgundy with a bit more of a red pink tome then how it photoed. The waist measurement is taken of the inner grosgrain band. You should be able to add to it if you needed more room and get another inch or two to work with. It is all hidden under the exterior dress so would be a very doable tweak.
Bust: approx 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner grosgrain at waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner lining hips: to 18.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 60" from top of shoulder to hem
Slightly inset shoulders: 14"
Bust: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 15" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 17" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 25" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: (1) SS 1976 Chanel collection in Paris, January 23 1976. / (2) Dutch actress and model Sylvia Kristel in Chanel, January 27 1976.
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
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