Couturiers have long relied on featherwork to realize their artistic expressions. The House of Lemarié, founded in 1880, has supplied most of the featherwork for the couture, producing effects that enhance and even surpass those of nature. Feathers are split, dyed, twisted, stripped, and knotted together to create an exquisite artifice. In this dress by Givenchy, individual filaments of ostrich plume, dyed and stripped, are applied to the silk by hand and are anchored upward and against the grain to form a field that is gently animated.
Marking: [label] "Givenchy/Paris
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Haute Couture," December 7, 1995–March 24, 1996.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "WILD: Fashion Untamed," December 7, 2004–March 13, 2005.