Coat

Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)

Date: 1932–35

Culture: French

Medium: cotton, metal

Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 1955

Accession Number: 2009.300.1212

Description

An early example of Schiaparelli's work and her predilection for audacious closures, this coat was worn by the endlessly chic Millicent Rogers, a devoted Schiaparelli client. The simple silhouette is enlivened by the buttons, in the form of bullet shell casings. Schiaparelli used creative materials and shapes for her closures, such as metal, plastic, ceramic and composition in the form of masks, gumdrops, pianos and leaves. The majority of her closures were objects that were not traditionally used as a closure, but became functional as well as decorative when used by Schiaparelli. Her work is characterized by an overall artistic quality, rather than strictly a fashionable vibe, and details on this coat such as the closures and the unique seaming on the pockets, make it a good example of that quality.

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