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123,670 Embellishments and Nearly 1,000 Hours of Work: The Jaw-Dropping Details of Chanel’s Iridescent Couture Gown
123,670 Embellishments and Nearly 1,000 Hours of Work: The Jaw-Dropping Details of Chanel’s Iridescent Couture Gown

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This shimmering Chanel couture look has a whopping 123,670 embellishments—and that doesn’t even include the boots. Here, the house shares exclusive details and images of how the dress was made.

Chanel couture gallery

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Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

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Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

Pretty is the word that comes to mind when you flip through Chanel Spring 2018 Couture. Pastel tweed suits, feather-trimmed coats, shimmering gowns—as Vogue’s Sarah Mower put it, the show embodied “what couture season in Paris used to be: a breath of spring wrapped in a prettiness designed to lure customers to Chanel HQ on the Rue Cambon.” While a fountain in the middle of the runway might qualify as grandiose for other designers, for Karl Lagerfeld, it was subdued; consider his waterfall set for Spring 2018 or Resort 2018’s Greek ruins. The manicured garden was straightforwardly beautiful, as were the clothes—particularly the iridescent pastel gowns that appeared near the end. Kaia Gerber’s weightless feathered minidress was arguably the most Instagrammed look of the day, but it’s Grace Elizabeth’s gown you may soon see on a red carpet.

Chanel’s atelier shared a few special details about the dress exclusively with Vogue. Comprised of a bejeweled, almost-sporty tank and dropped-waist tulle skirt, it features a jaw-dropping amount of work: For starters, there’s a whopping 123,670 embellishments. The top alone includes 40,000 beads, 5,650 stones and Swarovski pearls, and 74,300 sequins and required 820 hours of meticulous work by Chanel’s petites mains. Zooming in, you’ll notice the embellishments are so densely embroidered—and some of them are so tiny—that it’s hard to see where they end and begin. Look closer, and the skirt has a subtle luster, too; 440 Swarovski crystals are scattered throughout.

Even the low-heeled ankle boots were hand-embellished with 11,880 beads and 122,500 sequins. They looked refreshingly walkable with such an ultra-haute gown. Above, see Chanel’s exclusive photos from backstage (where photographers are rarely permitted to shoot) and a few snaps of Elizabeth’s final fitting, then revisit all of our couture coverage on Vogue Runway.

Grace Elizabeth in a final fitting.

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Grace Elizabeth in a final fitting.

Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

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