Dress, ca. 1940
Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
Blue plain weave cotton; L. at CB 43 in. (109.2 cm)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Millicent Huttleston Rogers, 1951 (2009.300.146)
In her 1954 autobiography, Shocking Life, Schiaparelli recounts a childhood episode in which she planted flower seeds in her mouth so that they would grow into a garden and beautify her face. Evoking that early fantasy, she cut designs from a fabric custom-printed with flower-seed packets and applied them in scattershot fashion on this simple summer dress. One appliqué functions as a pocket on the right side. A conspicuous gold zipper runs the full length of the back.