Gilbert Adrian (American, Naugatuck, Connecticut 1903–1959 Hollywood, California)
Textile manufactured by Bianchini-Férier (French, founded Lyons, 1888)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Janet Gaynor Adrian, 1963
Not on view
While he often incorporated animal motifs or patterns in designs throughout his career, Adrian likely found new inspiration for this dramatic dress during an African safari the designer took with his wife, the actress Janet Gaynor (1906-1984) in 1949. The choice of a bold textile, custom-made for Adrian by the French house of Bianchini Ferrier, ensured the dress received significant attention in the fashion press that season. Gaynor wore this gown to an event at the Los Angeles showroom and headquarters of Adrian Ltd. in Los Angeles and later donated it to the Brooklyn Museum's collection.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Adrian: American Glamour," May 14, 2002–August 18, 2002.
Brooklyn Museum. "American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection," May 7, 2010–August 1, 2010.
Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "High Style: Twentieth-Century Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection," March 14, 2015–July 19, 2015.
Cincinnati Art Museum. "High Style: Twentieth-Century Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection," November 7, 2015–January 24, 2016.