Beachwear

Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)

Date: summer 1930

Culture: French

Medium: silk

Dimensions: Length at CB (a): 48 in. (121.9 cm)
Length at CB (b): 46 in. (116.8 cm)
Length at CB (c): 27 1/2 in. (69.9 cm)

Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Frederick H. Prince, Jr., 1967

Accession Number: 2009.300.1336a–c

Description

Schiaparelli experimented with new ideas for cut and construction as well as decoration from the outset of her career. Sportswear was her first design endeavor. In this early example, made to be worn for casual beach activities at a fashionable seaside resort such as the Côte d'Azur or Biarritz, she added a quirky yet stylish element to the standard dressmaking concept of a wraparound by cutting two half dresses, each with one armhole, that wrapped and tied to make a whole. Each of a different color, they could be reversed, as could the two-tone cardigan jacket that completed the set.

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