Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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"Carnival Dress"

Designer:
Madeleine Vionnet (French, Chilleurs-aux-Bois 1876–1975 Paris)
Date:
1936
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Harrison Williams, 1952
Accession Number:
C.I.52.24.3a, b
Not on view
The skirt of this ensemble references crinolines of the 1850s and 1860s. Traditionally made out of wired hoops connected by canvas tapes, crinolines were worn under a skirt to give it a fashionable bell-shaped volume. In an early example of underwear as outerwear, however, Vionnet has exposed the crinolines to create dresses of remarkable beauty and sensuality. Made out of tulle, they appear as fragile and diaphanous as a Portuguese 'man-of-war'.
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