Attributed to Callot Soeurs (French, active 1895–1937)
Attributed to Madame Marie Gerber (French)
silk, metal, pearl beads, rhinestones
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Gifford B. Pinchot, 1962
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. The design of this example from 1910-1912 uses multiple layers of different textures to create an overall asymmetrical look. The raised-waist silhouette recalls gowns of the Napoleonic period, while the embroidery pattern resembles the configuration of boteh and palmettes on shawls of the same era. The discerning clientele of the Callot sisters would have appreciated the historical references of this gown, adapted for contemporary taste. Madame Gerber, the eldest Callot sister, served as the primary designer for the house until 1927 when her sons took over the business.