Bonnie Cashin (American, 1915–2000)
Turquoise suede and blue, turquoise, and green striped wool mohair
Gift of Helen and Philip Sills Collection of Bonnie Cashin Clothes, 1979 (1979.431.50a,b)
The wearer is ready for day or evening in this elegant ensemble. As rustic, tactile, and colorful as Cashin's favored mohair is, this outfit works chiefly in terms of silhouette. The profusion of skirt materials can be pulled up and even stuffed into pockets ("retroussée dans les poches") to create a look reminiscent of late eighteen-century fashion. The Cashin silhouette, however, is more simply achieved with an unusual skirt fastener. She called this favorite device her "dog leash" in recognition of that simple hardware. The effect is to winch up the cloth and make the mohair more layered and luxurious by a profoundly simple hitch. A suede bodice, a surprising element for evening, provides a luxurious contrast as well.