Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mercedes de Acosta, 1955
Not on view
Mercedes de Acosta and her sister, Rita de Acosta Lydig (1880-1929), were known for their stylish and highly individualized style of dress. While most of the garments and accessories in the Brooklyn Museum collection belonged to the elder of the sisters, Rita, at least two pieces belonged Mercedes, who was an actress, writer and friend of many Hollywood stars of the 1930s and 1940s (2009.300.3174 and 2009.300.2394). This coat, with its similarities to the made by Poiret at Mercedes's behest also in the Brooklyn Museum collection, probably was another garment worn by the actress. Inspired by Cossack tunics, it includes the bands intended for bullets sewn across the bust which are a feature of those uniform-like garments. This design has been made fashionable with extended sleeve length and fin-like hip protrusions at the center back.