Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Jane Holzer, 1977
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. Rene Mancini, maker of the shoes, was the originator of the classic two-tone black and beige Chanel pump. For this ensemble, the shoes are orange and gold to coordinate with the textile of the suit.