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Pingat lace cape

#7417 $1,200

Chantilly lace flapper dress cape, c.1925

The brief Flapper Era (1924-1929) defined the whole decade. The short and showy flapper styles came to an abrupt end with the stock market crash of 1929. When I viewed the 2005 Chanel exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was impressed by how modern the flapper styles appear today.

It is always a treat to find an antique dress with the original slip. All too often they have become separated, leaving us to wonder about the original design. If you want to change the mood of this dress with a different color slip, I suggest you save the original for future reference.

Alluring as well as ladylike, black lace has intimated romance and mystery for 400 years. This "modern" flapper interpretation jazzes up the mood with accents of brightly colored tambour embroidery.

The torso is straight to the drop waist. The skirt, straight in front and full in back, has layers of bias-cut panels. The bias cut molds the dress to the woman, rather than vice versa. Madeleine Vionnet invented the bias cut in 1922, only three years before the creation of our stylish dress.

The slip is skillfully constructed with a layer of sheer black silk chiffon over the chartreuse satin lining. The top and bottom are edged with black lace. Both pieces slip on without closures.

The cheerful red-yellow-blue tambour embroidery personifies the unbridled optimism of the mid-1920s. Even 90 years later, one feels an attraction to this style, unconsciously and at a distance, just as the sea is swayed by the moon, although without being drawn closer to the moon.

The condition is almost excellent. The dress is perfect. The slip's satin under layer, which has been shortened and taken in on the sides, still has all the original fabric and can be let down and out.

The dress measures: 36" bust, 34" waist, 50+" skirt, and 42" from shoulder to hem.
The slip measures: 34" bust and waist, 40" hip, and 42" from shoulder to hem.

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