Edward Molyneux (French (born England), London 1891–1974 Monte Carlo)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Howard C. Brokaw, 1960
Not on view
Often remembered as Captain Molyneux, Edward Molyneux began his career with the English couturiere Lucile, Lady Duff Gordon, as a fashion sketcher and later assistant, traveling with her from London to New York and Chicago. Returning after WWI with blindness in one eye, Molyneux opened his own couture house in 1919 in Paris at 14 rue Royale. He opened several other branches, in both Monte Carlo and Cannes, and finally London. Molyneux had an artistic flair and obsession with the bourgeois. His clientele included the social elite as well as stars of the stage. Working in luxurious fabrics, he created exquisite pieces for both day and night, his colors of choice being navy, black and beige. His simplistic masterpieces were perfect for the woman who desired to look "absolutely" right.
This evening ensemble from the mid-twenties is a perfect example of the refined designs of Molyneux. The neutral color choice subdues the eye yet on close examination, the extent of beading is astonishing. A provocative touch is the low cut overblouse, made appropriate by the sheer underdress beneath. This is a classic example of the boyish cut so favored by all women during the twenties.
Marking: Label: "Modèle Molyneux/5, rue Royale/Made in France"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity," May 5, 2010 – August 15, 2010.