Evening dress

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

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

Date: 1926–27

Culture: French

Medium: silk, metallic thread, sequins

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Georges Gudefin, in memory of Mrs. Clarence Herter, 1965

Accession Number: C.I.65.47.2a, b


In addition to her revolutionary knit sportswear innovations, Chanel's evening wear from the 1920s gave the illusion of metal metamorphosed into supple knits with her use of metallic lace, lavish embroidery, and beading. The exquisite workmanship was executed by Chanel's own embroidery workshop. This example features metallic lace and sequins applied in tightly overlapping rows. The ornament of the dress, in both pattern and color palette, resembles the Asian lacquered screens which the designer loved and collected.