First RTW Collection Fall 1983 Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld Black Caped Bodice Silk Chiffon Dress

Fall 1983 marked the first fall ready-to-wear collection that Karl did for the label. So any piece from this first year is now a part of fashion history. This first year was instrumental to what Chanel was to become as a brand. He pulled inspiration from the twenties and thirties, something he continued to do throughout his career, and mixed it with that classic Chanel feel. He said at the time 'Even if she never did it this way, it’s very Chanel, no?'.... We were very excited to find the reference shot included here that has a variation of this dress made in a black lace. Documentation on these early collections is rare. It is absolutely gorgeous in person

This Chanel dress is so good. It is also a rare piece from Karl's first year at Chanel which adds to its collectability. The cut of the dress is timeless. The dress is made from a layers of black bias cut chiffon. The layers float over each other and play on transparency of the fabric. The bias cut makes it incredibly comfortable once on the body. The fabric is light in weight but with enough substance to hold the that wonderful curved shape that you see. The bodice skims over you and has a V neckline. The neckline is edged in a black satin ribbon. I love the little bow that sits at the base of the V for a very Chanel feel. The back is also dips into a V but there it is cut shallow and wide so that it sits higher up on the back of the neck. Attached to the ribbon edging of the neckline is a silk chiffon caplet that cascades all the way around you. It falls over each arm and drapes down the back to the waist. When you move even the slightest it moves with you for a pretty effect. The waist is seamed and cinched. The skirt falls under that and is cut to follow the curve of the hips. I love the little slant pockets that edged in the same black silk ribbon. These sit on each side of the hip. At about the knee the skirt flares out in a dramatic expanse of silk chiffon. More silk ribbon is set to separate the lower skirt and this last bottom part flares out and around you. It has a more transparent feel to it since it is only layers of chiffon.  When you walk the movement it creates is incredible. The final perfect touch are the little satin covered buttons that run all the way down the back and the final flat little flat blow at the base of the ribbon detailing. Beautifully constructed and it looks to have been worn very little if at all. It is an amazing example of Karl's very earliest work for Chanel. Excellent condition

Fully lined in a matching black silk chiffon and it buttons to close at the back. It is tagged a Chanel 42. I see a repair along the hem. The bias cut fabric does have some give between the ribbons.

Bust: to 17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 13" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 17.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 17" from top of shoulder to waist, and does come up a bit once on
Skirt: 41" from waist to hem

Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED

Item# DD3867

Reference Photo: Fall 1983 Chanel.

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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Please review all measurements carefully. More often than not, vintage garments do not fit any size category exactly. If in doubt, measure a garment of your own that fits and is a similar cut and compare it's measurements to the listed measurements below.