Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (French, 1883–1971). Ensemble, 1922. Brown silk georgette with red, green, and blue stylized floral silk thread chainstitch embroidery. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2005 (2005.114a, b).
When Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel, first saw this ensemble, he immediately lifted its hem and examined the reverse of the lavish embroidery. “This is not handwork. It is machine,” he declared. Read more »