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Basha Gold

Chanel Lace and Striped Camellia Empire Dress S/S 1988


In addition to other signature design details, the camellia flower is another symbol of Chanel. Supposedly her favorite flower, some say due to being given a bouquet by a lover while others say it was following her attendance of La Dame aux Camélias, the camellia has continued to showcase the soft side of Chanel designs.

Emphasizing a vibrant femininity, the Spring/Summer 1988 collection was full of delicate laces and exuberant colors, this dress features an elegant black lace bodice with a prominent square neckline that frames the décolletage.

A satin waistband at a high empire waistline separates the lace bodice from the pleated silk skirt printed with camellia flowers in indigo, teal, emerald, gold, and ruby red on a black and white striped ground. The skirt falls in a classic column silhouette that, in harmony with the vertical stripes, lengthens the body.

A classy combination of timeless lace and an unexpected patterned skirt speaks to Chanel’s simple aesthetic and grand personality. A rare find, this dress can be seen in the featured images from the 1988 runway.

Size estimate: Medium

Size: 40 FR


Shoulders: 16 inches

Sleeves: 25 inches

Bust: 34 inches

Empire / high waist right under bust: 30 inches

Hips: full up to around 44 inches

Length: 55 inches

This dress closes at centre back with a concealed zip and snaps. The inside of this dress offers just as much as the exterior. The main portion of the bodice is lined with matching black silk chiffon that allows a soft contrast to the unlined sleeves. A 4-inch mesh boned corset belt allows for exceptional fit and support.

The skirt is lined in a crème chiffon. In very good condition, there is a pull at the bottom near the hem that is not noticeable during wear (see close-up image) Professionally eco dry cleaned and pressed, high-quality vintage pieces like this are yours to live in and love while increasing in value every year. It’s never too soon to start collecting them, as an investment in your wardrobe—and in yourself.

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