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1990s Chanel Creme Silk Knife Pleats Camellia Bow Belted Shirt Dress Documented
Karl Lagerfeld has always evoked the stylish essence of Coco Chanel. Creative Director for Chanel since 1983, Lagerfeld’s work during the 1990s seemed to possess the kind of glam that grows out of historic allusion and expert material manipulation. However, the luxurious quality of silk and attention to minute construction details make it much more than the 1950s-era shirt dress typology that it borrows from. Knife pleats are sewn with perfection into the shoulder yoke at both back and front, and are anchored into a smooth waist band.
The crisply pressed pleats of the skirt also fit neatly into the waist band, and are stitched closed through upper hip level. The pleats then fall free from the hips, swishing with delightful swing to a midi-length. Chanel logo silk lines the skirt. The primly turned collar, cuffs, and center front opening are topstitched in an echo pattern, providing elegant stability and finish to these elements.
The center front is secured with a run of gold Chanel logo buttons, which are also signed on the back. A beautifully articulated Camellia brooch with black satin ribbon can be removed. The final ensemble is made with a cream white topstitched belt. This features large geometric gold buckles at front and back, which clearly reference Chanel’s gold chain-weighted jackets as well as her love of bijouterie. French model and aristocrat Ines de la Fressange wears this dress with enviable aplomb. This sumptuous dress is always contemporary and sophisticated.
Shoulders: 15 inches
This 1990s era vintage dress by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel is in very good condition with two minor issues as shown in the photographs. A pleat at the back of the dress has a black mark at the very bottom corner that did not come out when professionally cleaned. The belt also has a black wear mark, which is not visible if buckled at this 25” waist notch. This cream satin silk shirt dress is pleated from the shoulders to the waistline, and from the waistline to midi length hem.
Knife pleats, which are symmetrically folded from the center out, are stitched down for a smooth fit over the top of the hips and then fall free to the hem. The skirt is lined in Chanel logo silk. The turned collar, short sleeved cuffs, and lengthwise center front opening are topstitched in an echo pattern. Gold Chanel buttons fasten the dress closed.
A removable white Camellia brooch fits tightly under the neckline, with black satin ribbons streaming down behind it. The cream white topstitched belt is ornamented with a series of gold buckles, with the center front buckle operating for closure. Professionally 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.