Evening dress

Designer: Louiseboulanger (French, 1878–1950)

Date: 1928

Culture: French

Medium: (a) silk, feathers; (b) silk

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Wolcott Blair, 1973

Accession Number: 1973.6a, b


Feathers of the 1920s swayed with the new music and dance, benefited from Orientalism's panache and bent for the exotic, and allowed clothing to be more fluid and flexible than ever. Here, the feather trim is individual filiments of ostrich plume knotted together to form longer strands. Each segment is dyed a different tone for the effect of an ombré cascade. The feather in nature is a beautiful form, but Louiseboulanger's feathers are purposely governed and distilled beyond natural beauty to achieve a trim synthetic and sophisticated.