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. Many garments from Callot Soeurs in the Brooklyn Museum collection incorporate a signature element of the house, Asian-inspired textiles and trimmings sometimes in the form of lavish beadwork as in this example. In this gown from 1914, the decorative scheme is as deliberate as that of a scenic kimono, in which no part of the pattern repeats itself. Radiating bars resemble fans unfolding, while the different textures of textiles and beads are layered with all the care evident in a fine piece of lacquerware. Both the motifs and the color palette of black and ivory relate to prized Japanese fan boxes decorated with that traditional decorative technique.