Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekend Reading 4: "I want you to go to Chanel and buy anything you want"

From D.V. by Diana Vreeland.  For you from RARE vintage.  Read on...

"I loved the clothes I had in the thirties.  I can remember a dress I had of Schiaparelli's that had fake 
ba-zooms-  these funny little things that stuck out here.  When you sat down, they sort of went... all I can say is that it was terribly chic.  Don't ask me why but it was."

Image from Shocking!  The Art and Fashion of Schiaprelli by Dilys E. Blum

Maybe Diana Vreeland was wearing this 1937 "brasserie" dress in "Sultry" Rose satin (a cyclamen color lighter then Shocking Pink).  The September issue of Vogue said that sex appeal was no longer a matter of subtle suggestion, particularly if one wore Schiaparelli's dress with built-in "uplift" brassiere.  

"I loved my clothes from Chanel.  Everyone thinks of suits when they think of Chanel.  That came later.  If you could have seen my clothes from Chanel in the thirties- the dégagé gypsy skirts, the divine brocades, the little boleros, the roses in the hair, the pailetted nose veils - day and evening!  And the ribbons were so pretty.

A world of pretty: 1932 Chanel evening ensemble from the Costume Institute

Christian Berard and Coco Chanel (wearing a nose veil??)

I remember my great friend Leo d'Erlanger saying to me in Paris, "Diana, I want to give you a present.  I know what you love more then anything is clothes, and I know that you love Chanel's clothes more then anyone else's.  So I want you to go to Chanel and buy anything you want."  (JC: I long to hear someone say those exact words to me - and, of course, ahem, this would be for Chanel haute couture!)

So I went to Chanel and I said to my vendeuse - the vendeuse is a kind of maitre d'hotel in a maison de couture - "perhaps I'll buy something a bit more...mmm... luxurious then I usually do."

This is the dress I ordered: The huge skirt was of silver lamé, quilted in pearl's, which gave it a marvelous weight; then the bolero was lace entirely encrusted with pearls and diamanté; then underneath the bolero was the most beautiful shirt of linen lace.  I think it was the most beautiful dress I've ever owned."

D.V. by Diana Vreeland (if you don't already own it, might I ask why?  Order away at Amazon!)

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