The '92 Chanel Chain Dress

Chanel 1992 Gold Black Dress

When I saw this beautiful dress on Rupaul’s Drag Race for the first time, I was immediately drawn to it.

At first glance, I thought it was a Versace-inspired dress because of the design house’s penchant for black and gold aesthetic. And that Versace was known for ultra-glamorous creations combined luxurious classicism with overt sexuality.

Case in point Elizabeth Hurley when she wore the famous Versace safety pin dress at the premiere of Four Weddings, upstaging her then boyfriend Hugh Grant.

So I decided to do a bit of research and soon found out more about this iconic dress.

(Source: @WillowPillQueen Instagram)

Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 14, Episode 3 “A Pair of Balls”

In this episode. The queens put their design skills to the test, stomping the runway in a Double Ball Challenge:

  1. Hide and Chic Ball: Zebra Print Resort, Leopardprint Evening Wear, Animal Print: Bridal Couture
  2. Red, White and Blue ball: Red Hot Resort, Evening Wear: Why it gotta be White?, Red White and Blue: Bridal Couture

When Willow Pill hit that runway with this look, I gagged.

For her Leopardprint Evening Wear look, she thought of using the black-on-black leopardprint and giving a different twist to the theme – donning a beautiful black dress that featured large gold chains, camellias, and a curly hair updo.

Such a serve. 

black Chanel chain dress


Her classic gown appeared to be an homage to the iconic Chanel gold chain dress designed by Karl Lagerfeld for the Chanel Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1992 collection. Which was worn by Christy Turlington.

It was giving me 90’s supermodel glamour and the dress made a comeback in 2019 when actress Lily Rose Depp wore the same black Chanel dress at the Met Gala.

Sailor Moon

Naoko Takeuchi, writer and illustrator of the iconic manga of all time, Sailor Moon was a huge fan of high fashion and would incorporate haute couture design into her work.

In an illustration book released in 1996 for the Sailor Moon series, Naoko drew Sailor Pluto wearing the exact replica of the vintage Chanel dress with gold jewels.

Elegant. Stunning. The black chain dress designed by Karl Lagerfeld has indeed gone through many iterations in media and pop culture and will forever be iconic.

90s Chanel truly knows no bounds.

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