Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. William Rand, 1976
Not on view
Gabrielle Chanel is the designer most responsible for establishing the modern way of dressing that encompasses comfort, function and simplicity. Chanel championed ensembles comprised of soft knit fabrics early in her career and remained committed to the practicality of matched pieces when she reopened her house in 1954. Instead of humble knits, however, in the 1950s and 1960s she sought out complex textiles made of textured weaves which sometimes gleamed with metallic threads, like this example. Chanel's eye for practicality also can be seen in the overall design of this suit. Together the garments appear to be a skirt and jacket, but the skirt is actually a dress. This design eliminated the need for a blouse, a practice Chanel often employed to minimize bulk and maximize comfort.
Marking: Label: "Chanel" Tape label with number on jacket