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"Aubade" evening ensemble

(a–e) House of Dior French
(a–e) Yves Saint Laurent French, born Algeria
(f, g) Delicata French

Not on view

Elizabeth Parke Firestone, for whom this evening ensemble was made, patronized maison Dior beginning with Christian Dior’s first collection and continued to be a regular client of the house once Yves Saint Laurent was named chief designer in 1957. In his debut spring/summer 1958 collection, Saint Laurent introduced his “Trapeze” line–relaxed through the waist and swinging into a full skirt–which anticipated the A-line silhouette of the 1960s. Alongside these forward-looking styles he continued to show the nipped-in waists and expansive skirts of past Dior collections, which appealed to the conservative tastes of clients such as Firestone. Her sense of style earned Firestone an honorable mention by the panel of fashion experts who managed the International Best-Dressed List, which was established in 1940 by fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert; the recognition acknowledged both Firestone’s discriminating taste and her social prominence.

Firestone’s attentiveness extended to every element of her wardrobe. When placing an order with a design house, she often requested additional fabric be sent to her shoemaker in order to have perfectly matched accessories. In this case, her ensemble was completed with a pair of shoes made by the shoemaker Delicata from the same warp-printed silk taffeta.

"Aubade" evening ensemble, (a–e) House of Dior (French, founded 1946), (a-e) silk, (f, g) silk, leather, (h, i) wood, French

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© 2019 Nicholas Alan Cope