Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto

Evening Dress

1939 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This long evening dress is made of red grosgrain silk and red chiffon. The dress has a sleeveless and tight-fitting bodice made of red grosgrain. The bodice fastens down the front with hooks and eyes and is finished with a ribbon of black, white and red grosgrain fashioned from the fabric selvedge. The narrow shoulder straps are made of the black, white and red selvedge ribbon. The dress has a full skirt of red silk chiffon, which falls from double, inverted pleats.

This evening dress, designed for the Spring/ Summer 1939 collection, is a remarkable example of Chanel's skills in developing elegant eveningwear, creating a simple yet stunning evening dress for the sporty, modern woman of the 1930s. The striped ribbon gives an informal sporty touch to the garment.


Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Machine-sewn silk grosgrain and silk chiffon
Brief description
Evening dress of silk, designed by Coco Chanel, Paris, Haute Couture, Spring Summer 1939
Physical description
Long evening dress of red silk grosgrain and red silk chiffon. The dress has a sleeveless and tight-fitting bodice made of red silk grosgrain, ended with tabulated peplum. It fastens down the front with hooks and eyes. The bodice is finished with a ribbon made of black, white and red grosgrain. It has narrow shoulder straps made of black, white and red grosgrain ribbon. The dress has a full skirt of red silk chiffon, which falls from double, inverted pleats over a straight cut petticoat. It has red silk crêpe lining with scallop trim in red silk chiffon.
Dimensionsapproximately British size 10
Production typeHaute couture
Marks and inscriptions
  • 'CHANEL' (Woven label on middle back in dark grey on cream)
  • '50631' (Model number in black on white tape (could be 50031))
Historical context
This evening dress is a remarkable example of Chanel's skills into bringing elegant sportswear into the evening, creating a simple yet stunning evening dress for the modern woman.
Summary
This long evening dress is made of red grosgrain silk and red chiffon. The dress has a sleeveless and tight-fitting bodice made of red grosgrain. The bodice fastens down the front with hooks and eyes and is finished with a ribbon of black, white and red grosgrain fashioned from the fabric selvedge. The narrow shoulder straps are made of the black, white and red selvedge ribbon. The dress has a full skirt of red silk chiffon, which falls from double, inverted pleats.

This evening dress, designed for the Spring/ Summer 1939 collection, is a remarkable example of Chanel's skills in developing elegant eveningwear, creating a simple yet stunning evening dress for the sporty, modern woman of the 1930s. The striped ribbon gives an informal sporty touch to the garment.
Other number
50631 - Couture number
Collection
Accession number
T.32-1978

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Record createdNovember 13, 2003
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