Cocktail dress

Design House:
House of Dior (French, founded 1947)
Designer:
Christian Dior (French, Granville 1905–1957 Montecatini)
Date:
fall/winter 1955
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Henry Rogers Benjamin, 1965
Accession Number:
2009.300.363
Not on view
A classic sheath from Christian Dior's 1955 fall collection, this cocktail dress illustrates the designer's subtle appropriation of menswear styling. The glossy black satin recalls the lapel facing of a man's tuxedo, as does the double-breasted effect created by the self covered decorative buttons. Dior never forgets his client's femininity, however. The silhouette hugs her curves, with the boatneck calling attention to her neck and collarbone. Yves Saint Laurent returned to this notion of a tuxedo for women in 1959 with two dresses for Dior now in the Brooklyn Museum collection (2009.300.362a–d and 2009.300.20a, b) and again in the 1970s with his well-known "le smoking" ensembles.
Marking: Label: "Automne-Hiver 1955/Christian Dior/Paris/Made in France/77979"