Evening ensemble

Design House Philippe & Gaston French

Not on view

The 1920s was the era of the flapper - a liberated woman who danced all night, sipped cocktails and frequently smoked. She was a carefree spirit and this was expressed through her dress. Hemlines rose and waistlines dropped, creating a tubular silhouette. Sheer and delicate fabrics were used, revealing more skin, and heavy beading was a common adornment, for the beads would catch the light and sparkle while the wearer was in motion. For a fabulous night on the town, a lady had to have the appropriate wardrobe and this evening dress is a perfect example of a well-made dress of the period. It is a visually appealing piece with the combination of the ombré fabric and the refined beadwork. The floating panels on the skirt are a classic design element of the 1920s dresses and would have been quite eye-catching while the wearer danced the Charleston and the Black Bottom.

Evening ensemble, Philippe & Gaston (French, founded 1922), silk, beads, metal, tortoiseshell, feather, probably French

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