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Vintage Chanel dress ??!?!?!

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Laquita, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Laquita

    Laquita Registered Guest

    Ladies...my hands are literally shaking as I write this! I can't thank you enough for verifying what I thought to be true. OMG- it is the vintage lottery, I just can't believe it!!! I had no idea a label would be sewn in this location....and although the dress needs restoration, it is in pretty good shape- the appliques need some resewing, you can see where it was let out at the side seam, etc. My question now is- who the heck do I contact??!?!?! Charles Whitaker, Sothebys, Christies...or Chanel????
    You all have been so helpful and excited about this dress...thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!!!
  2. nostalgic*collections

    nostalgic*collections Registered Guest

    You won the vintage lotto!!!! Great find.

    And Jody - Love, love, love your avatar!!
  3. Catbooks1940s

    Catbooks1940s VFG Member

    i am SO thrilled for you!! we all *dream* of things like this happening, and here it really has happened - to you!

    my hands would be shaking too :lol:

    i can't see where it was let out, but it sounds like it will only need minimal restoration. i haven't kept up with the big auction houses, as to who would be best for this, and who's still doing vintage. not chanel, perhaps sotheby's.
  4. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

  5. pastperfect2

    pastperfect2 Alumni +

    Karen Augusta, Leslie Hindman and Charles Whitaker all do vintage and couture auctions.

    One thing you might do is do arm yourself with some research on your own and see if you can find sketches or photos in fashion mags or books ( there are quite few on Chanel, and a number of 30s fashion books) that show this design.

    The only thing I notice is that the label is sewn on poorly on one end, in a way they would not have done. That doesn't mean it was switched - it could have been falling off and the owner restitched it or had someone do it.

    Do not try to have this cleaned or do the repairs yourself. You could actually lower the value.

  6. Laquita

    Laquita Registered Guest

    I noticed the label too,Hollis- that one end is sewn in black thread. Interesting,right??
    I will research this design...it would be amazing to find some type of drawing or photograph.
    I thought I should take this to Madame Paulette in NYC to have cleaned and restored...you think this is the wrong approach??
    Again- all your responses and enthusiasm are so wonderful to read...thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!!!!! And all info is cherished, believe me!
  7. Catbooks1940s

    Catbooks1940s VFG Member

    i agree with hollis, that one end of the label was clumsily retacked. no doubt it was in danger of falling off on the one end. i've had several pieces like that.

    mme paulette is exactly the right person to take this to. i've heard nothing but great things about her work.

    please do keep us updated! this is very exciting. i've certainly gotten vicarious thrills from your find!
  8. Laquita

    Laquita Registered Guest

    I will definitely keep you all updated...the support has been amazing, and as a life long addict of vintage clothing and textiles, of estate sales and auctions, this is beyond thrilling!!! I'm just bouncing off the walls right now. The dress is quietly resting on our guest bed, with the door closed, so my cats don't make a bed on her!!!
  9. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Administrator Staff Member

    :fainting: Wow, this is vintage lottery 10 times over!!! What an incredible find--it's stunning! I love the feminine look and shape (much more than I like the later work). And really, it looks to be in extremely nice condition. I also agree that the one end of the label must've been re-tacked by the owner to keep it secure.

    And to imagine you found it balled up in with other things--incredible good fortune. The stuff all our dreams are made of. The vintage gods were smiling on you! (The only thing I've ever found balled up in other stuff is a 1940's nightgown--nice, but not Chanel!)
  10. I've been watching this thread from last night, waiting for your photos. I'm in the UK so I was asleep in bed when all this excitement happened. Just wanted to say how delighted I am for you! :cheer: :excited:

    Please keep us all updated with your progress and research. :USETHUMBUP:
  11. Well done Laquita! We all dream of finds like this, so it's nice to know that they do happen.

  12. TinTrunk

    TinTrunk Registered Guest

    I am literally agog! :jawdrop:

    I've come late to this story, but reading through I couldn't bear the tension before the pictures appeared! And then to see what a truly fantastic dress it is . . . well, I'm speechless!

    Congratulations Laquita! I thought things like this only happened in dreams!

  13. listitcafe

    listitcafe Registered Guest

    Dont take it to Madam Paulette. I have had problems with them let the auction house advice you on restoration.

  14. Lucitebox

    Lucitebox Registered Guest

    A quick drive-by and I had to stop in to drool! Woot! What a find, Laquita!

    ...Putting my hanky away and driving off again...
  15. vivianbelle1955

    vivianbelle1955 VFG Member


    Gorgeous! And what an amazing find, seemingly forgotten about and just mixed in with other vintage textiles. Wow.

    Congrats on your wonderful discovery :)
  16. lkranieri

    lkranieri VFG Member

    How absolutely exciting and wonderful for you! A great story and a fantastic find.

  17. Laquita

    Laquita Registered Guest

    You all are SO kind and supportive- I just knew I found the right place to ask about this amazing dress!! Chris, that's so disappointing to hear about Madame Paulette!! I think for now I will research to find any images, if they exist. Then contact some auction houses. I question using Charles Whitaker auction houses- I have been to some of their auctions and although they were fun and had wonderful things, I don't know if they would be the best place for this gown. I am still completely shell shocked!!
    I'd like to offer something after all the kindness I've been shown here- if any of you live anywhere near Philadelphia, there's an amazing vintage clothing auction north of there this Saturday- and I do mean amazing, wish I could make it. Victorian through 1960's, with a lot of dead stock 1940's gowns, lovely purses,etc,etc. If anyone wants the info I will post it.
    Again- I can't thank you all enough for everything!!!!!
  18. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    If you are near Philadelphia then may I suggest you take the dress to Bret Fowler for restoration. He worked at FIT in New York for years and has done all my restoration work including the CHristian Dior dress I posted about recently. His work is flawless and he lives in Stroudsburg PA. I can give you his contact number via U2U or email me at [email protected]
  19. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Administrator Staff Member

    Laquita, is that the Andi Charkow auction that's this Saturday? One of these days I MUST go to one. It's about an hour and half drive, maybe a little more, for me, but they always have the nicest things. I just don't have time or money to go to tomorrow's!

    You really might try contacting Karen Augusta about your Chanel gown.
  20. Laquita

    Laquita Registered Guest

    It is the Andi Charkow auction-if you go to auction zip, the photos are mind blowing-really fantastic.
    Jonathan, thank you so much for that info- I will email you after a little more research on this. I could go to him, my sewing studio is in Sullivan county NY, but we work in NYC- so he's not too far. I am nervous taking the dress to someone, so I'm glad you like his work.
    I will add a little detail about this dress that will really blow your minds. The box with all the textiles was bought by someone else- I had gone outside to make a call and missed it. I was fuming because I really wanted the dress that was balled up in the box. After some hesitation, I approached the woman and told her how much I loved the dress. She said-"Oh, I was going to give it to my granddaughter, she loves to play dress up or make clothes for her dolls. I'll sell it to you....for 3 dollars." I gave her a five dollar bill for it. True story.

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