Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Dress

Date:
1902–4
Culture:
American
Medium:
cotton
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Oscar de la Renta, 1994
Accession Number:
1994.192.18a–c
Not on view
The pigeon-breasted silhouette favored in the first decade of the twentieth century was called the monobosom. This wide well-padded expanse of bosom was the preferred ideal that persisted until World War I. Its massive pouch-like shape was a consequence of the lowered topline of the corset. The breasts were allowed to hang freely, so that their apex, if it were possible to discern (it is not), would appear to fall near the base of the sternum. Pulchritude was the effect essentially sought, but with no disclosure of the breast's natural form. Even in very décolleté evening gowns, cleavage was not desirable.
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