Carolyn Schnurer (American, born New York, 1908–1998 Palm Beach, Florida)
Textile manufactured by Ameritex (American)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Carolyn Schnurer, 1955
Not on view
During her twenty-year career in fashion, from 1944 to 1964, Carolyn Schnurer (1908-1998) was a pioneer in the newly emerging American sportswear industry. Directing her designs toward young active women, Schnurer developed coordinates and dresses that were unfussy, required minimal foundation garments and could be worn for a variety of occasions. Particularly renowned for her culturally-inspired resort collections, rather than a blatantly costumed appearance, Schnurer's designs typically featured one or two understated thematic details in the cut or fabric, while maintaining a classic American silhouette.
In all of Schnurer's collections, she worked closely with American textile manufacturers to develop collection-specific designs. In this bathing suit is from her "Destination Norway" collection, the printed stylized knot motif pattern is taken directly from a hand-woven tapestry which Schnurer viewed at a museum in Oslo. The brace-style straps, variations of which are found throughout the collection, are perhaps the most creative and charming execution of shoulder straps in Schnurer's career.