Gilbert Adrian (American, Naugatuck, Connecticut 1903–1959 Hollywood, California)
Textile designed by Salvador Dalí (Spanish, Figueres 1904–1989 Figueres)
Textile manufactured by Wesley Simpson, Inc. (New York)
Gift of Jones Apparel Group, USA, 2002
Not on view
As a costume designer for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Gilbert Adrian created striking garments for a fashion-show sequence in the film The Women (1939) that echo Elsa Schiaparelli’s Surrealist designs. Adrian’s work for his own fashion house, founded in 1942, would continue to reference modern art. This trim evening dress, created from a textile designed by the artist Salvador Dalí for the firm Wesley Simpson, brings to mind Schiaparelli’s collaborations with the same artist a decade earlier. Playing with the effect of the print, Adrian introduced an area of black fabric at the left shoulder shaped like a face in profile, onto which he appliquéd sections of Dalí’s motif of fractured, anthropomorphized rocks.