Evening jacket

Design House Schiaparelli French
Designer Elsa Schiaparelli Italian

Not on view

The evening suit was immensely popular during the five years leading up to the Second World War. Symbolizing urban chic, it epitomized the soignée style of Café Society. Highly photogenic, it enabled women to move freely and comfortably between the different sites of fashionability - the theatre, the restaurant and the nightclub.

In the decoration of this jacket, embroidered rococo hand mirrors with fractured faces, Schiaparelli conjoins the languages of historicism and surrealism to suggest a world on the verge of war. Horst's photograph of shattered glass reflecting a young girl acts as a counterpart to Schiaparelli's cracked set of mirrors. The girl's prayer-like pose, combined with the large Red Cross in the background, acts as an ominous prelude to the casualties of war.

Evening jacket, Schiaparelli (French, founded 1927), silk, glass, plastic (cellophane, cellulose nitrate, phenolic resin), French

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