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.