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Button

Designer:
Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
Maker:
Attributed to Jean Clemént (French, 1900–1949)
Maker:
Attributed to Roger Jean-Pierre (French, active 1934–1976)
Date:
fall 1939
Culture:
French
Medium:
leather, synthetic, metal
Dimensions:
1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 1955
Accession Number:
2009.300.1497a–f
Not on view
Several of these buttons and fasteners were shown in "A Slice of Schiaparelli: Surrealism in Fashion from the Brooklyn Museum." Patricia Mears named and dated them as follows:
"Tinsel Candlestick" jacket fasteners, winter 1937-38
"Playing Card" emblem buttons, fall-winter 1939
"Ship Tacking Hinge" jacket pins, ca. 1935
"Crown" button, fall 1937
"Victorian mirror" suit pins, spring 1938
"Cricket" jacket pins, fall 1938

Throughout her career, Schiaparelli was inspired by and collaborated with many artists such as Salvador Dalí, Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, Albert Giacometti and Jean Schlumberger. She often worked with two artists in particular to execute her whimsical fastener designs, Jean Clement and Roger Jean-Pierre. Compared to the other buttons in the collection, this set shaped like the spade, club, heart and diamond playing card suits is a more conventional example of Schiaparelli's button iconography. She used her buttons and fasteners as a way to display motifs from her current collection or impart a small sense of her own personal wit and cleverness. Her buttons were a highlight on most of her tailored jackets and showed a sense of creativity, whether strictly humorous or representing a particular artistic movement, collection or period. They were also an opportunity for Schiaparelli to experiment with unusual materials, such as the leather of these buttons.
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