Attributed to Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
Made by Bonwit Teller & Co. (American, founded 1907) Salon de Couture
(a,b) silk, cotton
(c) silk, cotton, metal
(d) metal, glass
Gift of Julia B. Henry, 1978
Not on view
In July 1936, Civil War broke out in Spain. Many people saw it as the showdown between the political left and right in Europe and, at the time, was considered the greatest crusade of modern times. Many designers responded with collections inspired by Spanish dress. Karinska and Schiaparelli showed their support for the left-wing cause by creating dinner suits influenced by toreadors. During the politically turbulent years leading up to the Second World War, fashion often reflected socio-political realities. As Schiaparelli commented in Shocking Life, "Fashion even in the most difficult years, when it goes eccentric and foolish, undoubtedly retains some relation to politics."