Claire McCardell (American, 19051958)
Red silk damask
Gift of Irving Drought Harris, in memory of Claire McCardell Harris, 1958 (C.I.58.49.4a,b)
McCardell's enthusiasm and acumen for European fashion history is well documented, but her interests extended East as well. This evening dress suggests Chinese roots in its textile, pleating, and color, but also evokes Japanese origins in its wide, obi-like sash and columnar silhouette. In a global eclecticism, the dress is cut like a poncho, with its top crisscrossed over the bodice to create the kimono-like surplice neckline.