Evening dress, Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973), silk, glass, rhinestones, metal, French

Evening dress

Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)
fall 1939
silk, glass, rhinestones, metal
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 1954
Accession Number:
2009.300.3154a, b
Not on view
A theme that Schiaparelli continually revisited throughout her career was the cosmic realm. In this evening dress from fall 1939, the belt, featuring glyphs of Jupiter and Mars, is the more obvious reference, but the embroidery, all applied by hand, could symbolize shimmering stardust or astrological symbology. In planetary mythology, Mars, the god of war, is the rebellious son of Jupiter and Juno. Jupiter, or Zeus, was worshipped as the king of gods in ancient Greece. Although A-line construction was not typical for 1939, Schiaparelli's designs often differed from the accepted style, choosing instead to express her ideas unfettered by the trend of the moment.
Marking: Label: "Schiaparelli/21.place vendôme/Automne 1939"
Jewish Museum, New York. "Helena Rubinstein: Beauty is Power," October 31, 2014–March 22, 2015.