Carolyn Schnurer (American, born New York, 1908–1998 Palm Beach, Florida)
Textile manufactured by ABC Fabrics
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Carolyn Schnurer, 1951
Not on view
During her twenty-year career in fashion, from 1944 to 1964, Carolyn Schnurer (1908-1998) was a pioneer in the newly emerging American sportswear industry. Directing her designs toward young active women, Schnurer developed coordinates and dresses that were unfussy, required minimal foundation garments and could be worn for a variety of occasions. Particularly renowned for her culturally-inspired resort collections, rather than a blatantly costumed appearance, Schnurer's designs maintained a classic American silhouette while incorporating the cultural theme in fabric selection or construction detail.
From Schnurer's "Flight to India" collection, this dress illustrates the designer's ability to convey the cultural theme through textile and drape in a relatively simple sundress and wrap. The textile print and color combination, which are inherently Indian in character, are based upon a cotton voile sari that Schnurer purchased in the northern city of Ahmedabad, the largest textile-producing center in India. Schnurer pays homage to the regional and cultural variations of draping the sari that she observed throughout her travels in India with the addition of the two-part sash, which can be draped in numerous fashions at whim.
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.