Ball gown

Design House: House of Jacques Fath (French, founded 1937)

Designer: Jacques Fath (French, 1912–1954)

Date: ca. 1951

Culture: French

Medium: silk, glass, metal, plastic, rhinestones, mink

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Giorgio Uzielli, 1984

Accession Number: 1984.606.3a, b


Known for flattering dinner dresses that set off the head and shoulders with an audacious décolletage, Fath created a cantilevered outer bodice with a modest ivory satin underbodice. The extended plane of the outer bodice is like the soaring shapes of Saarinen's buildings, establishing an artifice within the canon of modernist restraint. Fath played with contrast—of matte and shiny, of ivory and black, of white fur and gold bullion—as a rich textural perimeter for the dress.