Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

close-button
Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Evening dress

Designer:
Madeleine Vionnet (French, Chilleurs-aux-Bois 1876–1975 Paris)
Date:
fall/winter 1938–39
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk, spangles
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Harrison Williams, Lady Mendl, and Mrs. Ector Munn, 1946
Accession Number:
C.I.46.4.4a–c
Not on view
In Jungian psychology, the appearance of black birds in dreams is considered a bad omen and allied to fear of misfortune. For the Romantics, they hovered over battlefields to feast on the bodies of the slain. As a chilling prelude to war, the birds on this dress swarm around the body of the wearer like ominous raptors. At the same time, they serve as criticism of the vanity and ostentation of le beau monde. Like the bird who cries cras, cras (tomorrow, tomorrow), the black bird symbolizes those who are caught up in worldly pleasures.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Dance," December 9, 1986–September 6, 1987.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The 10s, the 20s, the 30s: Inventive Clothes (1909–1939)," December 13, 1973–September 3, 1974.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Seeds of Fashion," February 15, 1951–August 31, 1951.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Blithe Spirit: The Windsor Set," November 1, 2002–February 9, 2003.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paris Openings, 1932–1940," November 19, 1940–February 11, 1941.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "WILD: Fashion Untamed," December 7, 2004–March 13, 2005.

The John Wanamaker Auditorium. "Exhibition of Dresses Worn by Well-known Women of Europe and America," May 1, 1940–May 31, 1940.

John Wanamaker. "Exhibition of Dresses Worn by Well-known Women of Europe and America," June 5, 1940–July 5, 1940.

Related Objects

Evening dress

Artist: Madeleine Vionnet (French, Chilleurs-aux-Bois 1876–1975 Paris) Date: fall/winter 1937–38 Medium: silk, rayon Accession: 1986.517.6 On view in:Not on view

Dinner dress

Artist: Madeleine Vionnet (French, Chilleurs-aux-Bois 1876–1975 Paris) Date: ca. 1935 Medium: silk Accession: 1976.29.11 On view in:Not on view

Evening coat

Artist: Madeleine Vionnet (French, Chilleurs-aux-Bois 1876–1975 Paris) Date: 1934 Medium: silk, plastic Accession: 1976.304 On view in:Not on view

Blouse

Artist: Attributed to Madeleine Vionnet (French, Chilleurs-aux-Bois 1876–1975 Paris) Date: ca. 1935 Medium: silk Accession: 1976.29.16 On view in:Not on view

Coat

Artist: Madeleine Vionnet (French, Chilleurs-aux-Bois 1876–1975 Paris) Date: ca. 1935 Medium: fur Accession: 1976.29.14 On view in:Not on view