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Tag: Chanel

The Chic Geek Comment What the 1978 Christie’s Chanel auction tells us about the changing attitudes in collecting vintage fashion

The final look in the V&A museum’s new Chanel exhibition features a very austere and catholic looking black buttoned dress with white dog collar. It was the star item – featuring on the cover of the catalogue – at the 1978 sale at Christie’s of Coco Chanel’s possessions. It was bought by the V&A museum at the ‘Sale of the Personal Collection of Chanel’ to add to its extensive fashion collection.  While I don’t know how much the museum paid for it, I am certain it wouldn’t be able to buy it today. Fashion wasn’t looked at the same then. It was something that came and went and wearing second clothes had more of a stigma than sartorial statement. It had a value, but it was a niche market to fill a gap in a museum collection. Many brands didn’t have archives...

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Exhibition: The Chic Geek Visits the V&A Museum’s Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto

Don’t go for the clothes – they are pretty, but a reminder that Chanel doesn’t have any definitive iconic items like say a YSL Mondrian dress or a Le Smoking – go for the birth and foundation of a megabrand. The exhibition encapsulates the power and commercial importance of perfume and something everybody from a queen – there’s a letter from Queen Elizabeth II thanking for a gifted bottle of No.5 – downwards can buy. One of the most interesting takeaways is the revelation that the Chanel No.5 bottle was based on the Place Vendôme in Paris. The Wertheimer family, who still own Chanel, were Coco’s original perfume partners and helped her relaunch couture in the 1950s and the subsequent brand we know today. They understood the importance of clothes and fashion...

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