Beachwear, Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973), silk, French


Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
summer 1930
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Frederick H. Prince, Jr., 1967
Accession Number:
Not on view
A creative example from Schiaparelli's early career and exemplary of her talent for sports clothes, this beach or resort ensembles would have been worn while vacationing at one of the many fashionable seaside resorts, such as the Côte d'Azur or Biarritz. During the 1920s and '30s, beach pajamas and other clothing to be worn while lolling on the beach or enjoying the shops and restaurants on the boardwalk saw an explosion in popularity and many couturiers offered styles in their collections. This inventive and original Schiaparelli design allows for numerous variations, as the dress is two halves that tie together to make a whole and the jacket is reversible. From the Brooklyn Museum's Prince collection, composed of various examples of 19th and 20th century couture, this ensemble was possibly worn by the donor, Virginia Mitchell Higginson, who married Frederick H. Prince, Jr., in 1935, and traveled with the Prince family in France.
Marking: Label: "Schiaparelli/4. rue de la Paix/Paris"
Brooklyn Museum. "American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection," May 7, 2010–August 1, 2010.