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Did I Stumble Upon a Vintage Chanel Suit - Please Tell Me

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Candace Lane, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Candace Lane

    Candace Lane Registered Guest

    Recently I was at an estate sale - picked up a vintage suit that was missing its label and buttons.
    Since then, I have become convinced it may be a real Chanel. I'm on a Fashion Investigation - how to authenticate this?

    A few facts: it has Two Eclair metal zippers in the back of skirt (one on each butt cheek) , it has hand-sewn lining, three-piece sleeve construction, tailored buttonholes and impeccable construction. The fabric is tweed, but not 100% wool, I think. It seems like has some rayon or nylon or something "tougher" than a natural fiber. This fabric reminds me of the dacrons of the early 60's.

    the most interesting part is the two zippers in the skirt. Who did that kind of stuff and when?

    I appreciate anyone's input - thanks :)
  2. Candace Lane

    Candace Lane Registered Guest

    oh darn, having trouble uploading the pics :(
  3. cactusandcattails

    cactusandcattails VFG Member

    If you are trying to upload from your computer files, they are probably too big. Try resizing them.
  4. Candace Lane

    Candace Lane Registered Guest

    what size is preferable?
  5. cactusandcattails

    cactusandcattails VFG Member

    I'm not really sure, but if you use the more options button when you post, you can preview your post. If the photo is not too big it will show in the preview.
  6. Candace Lane

    Candace Lane Registered Guest

    I'll try again - thanks
  7. Candace Lane

    Candace Lane Registered Guest

    I'll try again tomorrow. Can't get anything to upload.
  8. I've had a couple of skirts with two zippers, although I think at least one had the two zippers in the front, not the back.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the suit and I'm curious: would not expect Chanel to use a synthetic material, although I could be wrong. All the Chanels I've seen have been pure wool.
  9. pastperfect2

    pastperfect2 Alumni +

    Candace, love to see your photos when you get them posted, but truth be told, we can't actually authenticate a garment from photos. You will need someone who can actually hold it in their hands. It does sound like a high quality suit.

  10. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

    i find that sizing photos to about 450 pixels at the widest or tallest seems to load best here.
  11. Candace Lane

    Candace Lane Registered Guest

    [​IMG]ok - here goes again
  12. Candace Lane

    Candace Lane Registered Guest

    here's another[​IMG]
  13. Candace Lane

    Candace Lane Registered Guest

    inside construction
  14. Candace Lane

    Candace Lane Registered Guest

    here's the double zippers in the skirt - perfectly hand sewn in - "Eclair"[​IMG] embossed on zipper pull
  15. thespectrum

    thespectrum VFG Member Staff Member

    I would think only Chanel would be able to authenticate it for you.
  16. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    I doubt there would be anyone at Chanel who could or would help - they aren't the friendliest corporation... However, you could take it to someone with knowledge of Chanel sewing and finishing techniques like Claire Schaeffer, who has authored several books on Chanel sewing techniques. However, that would be a professional evaluation and you would probably have to pay for the service. The problem is, even if it is attributable to a real Chanel the suit will never be worth what one with its original label, buttons, and matching blouse would be worth, so for a resale purpose, it would not be worth the cost.
  17. Candace Lane

    Candace Lane Registered Guest

    Jonathan, thanks for that assessment - I think I will add some vintage buttons and put my "alterations lady" label on it :) and then market it as a vintage haute couture suit from France. The Eclair zippers are authentic - the suit looks great, no flaws. Someone will love it. Wish I could fit into it - maybe 40 yrs ago I could - lol.

    nice forum
  18. joules

    joules VFG Member

    It's wonderful to see the excellent couture level construction, the matching of the fabric at the pockets, etc. I can totally understand your hunch.

    I'm glad Jonathan mentioned Claire Schaeffer, as I was going to mention her as well.
    I've had the pleasure of dropping by her couture sewing workshops, and this is the sort of garment one would see.
    Perhaps it was sewn by one of her students.
  19. I hope you don't mind me saying this, but I see no evidence that your suits is "haute couture", a very overused word in fashion. You could certainly call it hand finished or even bespoke (assuming that the measurements were not standard, and there were other evidence that it was tailored) but I would also not use "made in France" unless you had provenance or a label to that effect.

    Many sellers make educated guesses about their stock, but a guess is just a guess - and especially for valuable garments, it's best to stick to the facts. There are people you could take it to for authentication, as others have said.

    I think you probably have a very well made Chanel copy from the '60s, but an expert would need to see it, as she will know the signs that we can not see. Is there any evidence that there were labels that have been removed? It's common to take buttons off when a garment is disposed of.
  20. Candace Lane

    Candace Lane Registered Guest

    since the only "label" that I'm able to confirm is the "Eclair" etched into the zipper pulls, I did extensive research on that brand of zipper. Eclair zippers are Indeed from France, used in high end fashion houses, i.e. Hermes, Chanel, and others.

    there are pin holes left in the lining where a label would be, and there are thread loops on the sides of the jacket lining... like where a chain would have originated. It was actually this item that made me first think of Chanel. I couldn't figure out why there would have been buttons sewn in that location... then I remembered the chain.

    Since I have yet to find a single RTW Chanel suit with a double zipper in the skirt, I was thinking it could have been a custom order.

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