Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Dress

Designer:
Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
Date:
1932–35
Culture:
French
Medium:
linen
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, 1954
Accession Number:
2009.300.1859
Not on view
Schiaparelli's operation at 4 rue de la Paix, which she occupied from 1927-35, had a sign on the door that read "Schiaparelli Pour Le Sport." As the name implies, the collections focused on clothing for day and sport, such as sweaters, separates and bathing suits. Many of her early sweater designs featured a mottled effect produced by using black and white yarns, foreshadowing her career-long use of interesting, textured fabrics. The blue and white mottled effect on this day dress is similar to the look of those famous sweaters from Schiaparelli's first collection in 1927. It is also reminiscent of denim, the quintessential American fabric first worn by gold miners in the nineteenth century. It was still a relatively obscure, working-class fabric during the first half of the twentieth century, making it a witty and quirky choice for a couture garment. The clip fasteners on the back of the dress are an early example of her partiality to unusual closures that would later become an outlet for her Surrealist leanings.
Marking: Label: "Schiaparelli/4. rue de la Paix/Paris/12271"
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