Design House: House of Chanel (French, founded 1913)

Designer: Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (French, Saumur 1883–1971 Paris)

Date: ca. 1924

Culture: French

Medium: wool

Credit Line: Purchase, Irene Lewisohn Bequest, 1975

Accession Number: 1975.7


Particularly known for her innovative sportswear designs, Chanel used knits, such as jersey or knit tweed, to great advantage. Here, in this early example, she has created a dress that is both unmistakably stylish and completely practical with elements of construction that serve both decorative and functional purposes. A dress made of supple knitted fabric like this would not require much seaming to achieve a comfortable fit, but here the seams also flatter, emphasizing the slim verticality of the design. Even the braided self-fabric trim serves as button loops at the center front and sleeve cuffs. While the overall design is elegant, Chanel has also created a dress that slips over the head like the comfortable sweaters she first sold in Deauville.