Carolyn Schnurer (American, born New York, 1908–1998 Palm Beach, Florida)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Carolyn Schnurer, 1952
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 maintained a classic American silhouette while incorporating the cultural theme in fabric selection or construction detail.
This dress is from Schnurer’s “Flight to Japan" collection. In addition to traveling to Japan, she also made stops in Hong Kong and Myanmar (Burma). This cloud-scroll patterned dress is based upon a Burmese princess's costume and is one of a few examples in the collection that was inspired by a culture other than Japan. The peaked shoulders are a playful interpretation of the pagoda, an architectural feature prevalent throughout Asia.