Evening dress

Design House Callot Soeurs French
Designer Marie Callot Gerber French

Not on view

First established in the 1890s by the four Callot sisters as a lingerie and lace business, Callot Soeurs evolved into a premier dressmaking house in the early years of the 20th century. This gown from 1914 exemplifies the fashion aesthetic of the time, in which multiple layers and textures of fabric were intended to give the appearance of an unstructured and spontaneous design. The use of the selvedge edge at the front of the dress, for example, was an intentional technique used by couturiers of the period to express the idea that fabric was wrapped and draped with minimal tailoring. More careful examination, however, reveals the gown's unusual construction. The train itself forms a pleated overpanel at the back of the bodice, accomplished through a complex series of drapes and folds. Only a designer of Madame Gerber's caliber could maintain the overall feel of simplicity while executing the complicated design of this dress.

Evening dress, Callot Soeurs (French, active 1895–1937), silk, metal, rhinestones, French

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