Gilbert Adrian (American, Naugatuck, Connecticut 1903–1959 Hollywood, California)
Textile manufactured by Bianchini-Férier (French, founded Lyons, 1888)
Length at CB (a): 57 in. (144.8 cm)
Length at CB (b): 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Janet Gaynor Adrian, 1963
Not on view
While he often incorporated animal motifs or patterns in designs throughout his career, Adrian likely found new inspiration for this dramatic dress during an African safari the designer took with his wife, the actress Janet Gaynor (1906-1984) in 1949. The choice of a bold textile, custom-made for Adrian by the French house of Bianchini Ferrier, ensured the dress received significant attention in the fashion press that season. Gaynor wore this gown to an event at the Los Angeles showroom and headquarters of Adrian Ltd. in Los Angeles and later donated it to the Brooklyn Museum's collection.