Textile design attributed to Sarah Lipska (Polish, 1882–1973)
119 1/2 in. (303.5 cm)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Adelaide Goan, 1955
Not on view
This object is from a collection of sample embroideries, which was originally owned by Morris de Camp Crawford, editor of Women's Wear Daily, who collected objects which told the story of fashion and fabric history. Included in this collection was a group of textiles which illustrated what American and French designers and manufacturers were using. According to Crawford's book The Ways of Fashion, the work of Polish artist Sarah Lipska (1882-1973) was represented in this collection. Lipska is an enigmatic figure, who is known to have worked with Leon Bakst as a set and costume designer for the Ballets Russes, and later in the 1920s as a fashion designer in Paris at 4 rue Belloni, and finally as a sculptor. Extant examples of her work are rare. Although only a few pieces in the Brooklyn Museum collection bear a label or a signature, others bear hallmarks of her work, such as a distinctive form of whip stitching on appliqué work, unusual abstract motifs, and Cubist-inspired patterns.
Fagoting, a pulled thread technique, is used here to apply the delicate lamé appliqué to the gossamer chiffon ground. It is highly unusual to use the fagoting technique in this way, as it is usually employed as a decorative touch. The result is a very refined embroidery, which would have been time-consuming and used only on the finest of French couture clothing.