Evening ensemble

Designer Bonnie Cashin American

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.

Pink, a color congruously associated with wholesome femininity, is often deployed by Cashin as lining for her evening ensembles, like this one. The alluring symbolism resonates in the emerald green coat being opened to reveal the distinctly feminine shape of the 1950s with its cantilevered hip yoke, full skirts and sweetheart neck framed by the bubblegum pink lining of the coat itself. Ingenious touches, such as a simple pink lining, epitomize Cashin's work throughout her career.

Evening ensemble, Bonnie Cashin (American, Oakland, California 1908–2000 New York), silk, American

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