Evening ensemble

Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)

Designer: André Perugia (French, 1893–1977)

Date: winter 1937–38

Culture: French

Medium: silk, metal, leather, plastic

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: 2009.300.1168a–c

Description

Custom textiles such as this one were important vehicles of expression for Schiaparelli. A mottled pattern of deep greens injected with a glittering gold wood-grain motif transmogrifies the human body, like a fleeing Daphne, into a tree. Deploying industrial zippers as decoration on evening wear was an early iconoclastic gesture that became a signature Schiaparelli design element.

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