Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of the estate of Mrs. William H. Crocker, 1954
Not on view
First established in the 1890s by the four Callot sisters as a lingerie and lace business, Callot Soeurs evolved into a premier dressmaking house in the early years of the 20th century. The garments from Callot Soeurs in the Brooklyn Museum collections incorporate the signature elements of the house: antique lace trimming, Orientalist textiles, lavish embroidery that includes bead- or ribbonwork, or a combination of these elements. Madame Gerber, the eldest Callot sister, served as the primary designer for the house until 1927 when her sons took over the business. In this example, the visible selvedge edge emphasizes the draped construction of the overskirt. The use of fabric in this manner conveys a sense of spontaneity and a relaxed structure to the dress. This design sensibility is in keeping with a new sense of freedom in fashion that began in the 1910s as women abandoned the highly structured gowns of the late 19th and early 20th century.