Designer Bonnie Cashin American
Textile designer René Bouët-Willaumez

Not on view

Bonnie Cashin created award-winning clothing known for its casual comfort. As the daughter of a dressmaker, she was exposed to textiles and fashion nearly from birth and began designing professionally in 1925, at age 17. Prior to establishing her own company in 1951, she designed for Adler & Adler and Twentieth Century-Fox. Thereafter she worked with manufacturers such as Sills and Co. and Coach to offer fashion and accessories in every price bracket. She was adept at manipulating organic components into modern basics which could easily be mixed, matched and layered for the active woman. Her brightly colored leather trim, metallic toggle hardware and shaped knits are still a recognizable trademark of her work today. In 1962 the Brooklyn Museum, with her assistance and donations, staged, "Bonnie Cashin Presents Her Living Sketch Book," which was a retrospective of her work. Cashin's forethought to preserve her past while still designing is one which makes her work still accessible today.

Designed while Cashin was working for Twentieth Century-Fox and Adler & Adler, this dress shows inventive construction utilizing the aquatic-themed print of the textile, manipulating it to create mirror images on each side of the center seam. The imaginative use of "The Birth of Venus" on the shoulders and the stimulating mermen down the center back seam indicate that the fabric may have been printed à la disposition.

Dress, Bonnie Cashin (American, Oakland, California 1908–2000 New York), synthetic, American

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