Runway Fall 2011 Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld Black & Ivory Knit Dress w Fringed Open Back
The Fall 2011 show was set in a 'forest' constructed on soil that was meant to look burnt and desolate. When asked why he did the set like this, Karl responded by saying 'The world is a dark place'. To offset that gloom he put bright white lights at both ends of the runway to signify hope. In talking about the clothing itself, Vogue's Tim Blanks said in part; 'He (Karl) elaborated on the audacious theme he established for Spring, where jackets and coats looked moth-eaten or tattered. Here, many of the looks had the ashy appearance of clothes that had weathered a natural disaster because they'd been packed tightly in a trunk.' He noted this dress in particular saying; "The palette stayed shadowy throughout, the proportions slightly man-sized, with rounded shoulders. Even the more overtly "feminine" pieces looked like damaged goods, say a skirt of spectacularly shredded chiffon or a pair of full-length knit sheaths that dissolved into loose strands of wool at the back.' and finished his review with; 'Aside from the mesmerizing scenario, the collection's genius lay in Lagerfeld's supernatural prescience about the way a lot of young women want to dress now, mixing the street with enough high fashion fantasy to make the result seem rich and strange.'. The dress is gorgeous and it is always nice to find the twin of a runway piece. I included reference photos, video and one bit of a shot of the back of the dress so you can see how it works on an actual body.
This Chanel dress is wonderful. The cut is simple and classic from the front and yet the back is very avante garde and unique. It is made from a soft but chunky boucle feeling knit that combines black with a grey tinged ivory to keep with the theme of the show. On the runway Karl paired it with knit versions of his signature gloves and a low boot. The wool is light in weight but with enough substance to hold the shape. The light weight makes it a lot easier to wear then you would think. The look of weight comes from the nubbiness of the knit but it is actually quite light. The bodice of the dress has a scooped neck that is finished with a ribbed pattern. The sleeves are barely there and are also edged in that same ribbed pattern for contrast. It is cut to skim over the bust and waist. The skirt continues from there, gliding over the hips and then the dress falls to the floor and gently widens out as it nears the hem. It is in its original supermodel length. At the back it has a curved cut out that leaves the entire back exposed but then he has crossed straps over it for a bit of a peek-a-boo effect. All of the edges are finished in a fringe from the same wool to give the dress that tattered feel that was the theme of the show. Glittering black rhinestone encrusted buttons with the double C embossed onto them close the neck and straps at the back. The construction is immaculate. Excellent condition.
Unlined and slips on to wear. The straps at the back and at the neck button to close. It appears to have been worn very little if at all. It is tagged a Chanel 44. The fabric does have some stretch so should work on a range of sizes.
Bust: has no true side seams but will cover up to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 14-18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 18-22" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 61" from neck to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: MED-LRG
Reference Photos/Video: Fall 2011 Chanel Runway Collection, Look 45. Model: Jac Jagaciak.
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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