Evening ensemble

Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)

Manufacturer: House of Lesage (French, founded 1922)

Date: winter 1937–38

Culture: French

Medium: silk, metal

Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Millicent Huttleston Rogers, 1951

Accession Number: 2009.300.1167a, b


Dinner suits with square shouldered jackets and long skirts were a Schiaparelli specialty. Here she made use of the unparalleled skills of the Lesage embroidery house to embellish the jacket with heavy padded foil strip embroidery in a large floral design typical of the Baroque period. A black swan ornament at the waist adds a whimsical yet slightly sinister note recalling the dark forces of Von Rothbart and his daughter, the black swan Odile, in the ballet Swan Lake.