Habit à la disposition

Textile design attributed to Sarah Lipska Polish

Not on view

This object is from a collection of sample embroideries, which was originally owned by Morris de Camp Crawford, editor of Women's Wear Daily, who collected objects which told the story of fashion and fabric history. Included in this collection was a group of textiles which illustrated what American and French designers and manufacturers were using. According to Crawford's book The Ways of Fashion, the work of Polish artist Sarah Lipska (1882-1973) was represented in this collection. Lipska is an enigmatic figure, who is known to have worked with Leon Bakst as a set and costume designer for the Ballets Russes, and later in the 1920s as a fashion designer in Paris at 4 rue Belloni, and finally as a sculptor. Extant examples of her work are rare. Although only a few pieces in the Brooklyn Museum collection bear a label or a signature, others bear hallmarks of her work, such as a distinctive form of whip stitching on appliqué work, unusual abstract motifs, and Cubist-inspired patterns.

This appealing design features pleasing geometric embroidery, incorporating motifs drawn from many cultures. Clothing in the 1920s in particular was often inspired by non-Western and folk dress, and the motifs used on this dress embroidery are reminiscent of dress of several cultures. The silver metallic chain stitch embroidery is extremely fine, and the matte effect of the silver contrasts beautifully with the subtle sheen of the lavender metallic cord. The graphic positive-negative effect created using these materials is bold and visually intriguing.

Habit à la disposition, Textile design attributed to Sarah Lipska (Polish, 1882–1973), wool, metal, French

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