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Ensemble

Designer:
Vera Maxwell (American, 1901–1995)
Date:
1948
Culture:
American
Medium:
(a-c) wool (d) silk (e, f) leather
Dimensions:
(a) Length at CB: 31 in. (78.7 cm) (b) Length at Side Seam: 44 1/2 in. (113 cm) (c) Length at CB: 21 1/2 in. (54.6 cm) (d) Overall: 34 x 34 in. (86.4 x 86.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Vera Maxwell, 1953
Accession Number:
C.I.53.61a–f
Not on view

New possibilities for travel prompted many reasoned changes in womenswear. Clothing had to be versatile, suitable to differing weather conditions, and capable of traveling or being packed without crushing and looking rumpled. Maxwell addressed those many demands and then added plastic-lined pockets for the ultimate in practicality. Diaper, washcloth, toothbrush, and other necessities could be carried with ease in such sensible pockets. Yet in Maxwell creations, as for Cashin and McCardell, the pockets are purposefully conspicuous: they are declared in the design as if to challenge the utility of similar outfits made without their functional and prosaic benefits. Maxwell offered an intelligent equilibrium reminiscent of an architectural functionalism that deliberately benefits from its most practical features.

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Suit

Artist: Vera Maxwell (American, 1901–1995) Date: 1945 Medium: wool Accession: 2009.300.3484a, b On view in:Not on view

Ensemble

Artist: (a-c, f) Vera Maxwell (American, 1901–1995) Date: ca. 1965 Medium: Silk Accession: 2009.300.7531a–f On view in:Not on view

Coat

Artist: Vera Maxwell (American, 1901–1995) Date: 1951 Medium: Wool Accession: 2009.300.7089 On view in:Not on view

Skirt

Artist: Vera Maxwell (American, 1901–1995) Date: ca. 1955 Medium: Wool Accession: 2009.300.7090 On view in:Not on view

Ensemble

Artist: Vera Maxwell (American, 1901–1995) Date: 1956 Medium: Silk, wool Accession: 2009.300.7067a–c On view in:Not on view