Evening ensemble, Bonnie Cashin (American, Oakland, California 1908–2000 New York), (a) leather; (b) wool, leather, American

Evening ensemble

Bonnie Cashin (American, Oakland, California 1908–2000 New York)
Philip Sills & Co. (American, founded 1946)
fall/winter 1964–65
(a) leather; (b) wool, leather
Credit Line:
Gift of Helen and Philip Sills Collection of Bonnie Cashin Clothes, 1979
Accession Number:
1979.431.50a, b
Not on view

The wearer is ready for day or evening in this elegant ensemble. As rustic, tactile, and colorful as Cashin's favored mohair is, this outfit works chiefly in terms of silhouette. The profusion of skirt materials can be pulled up and even stuffed into pockets ("retroussée dans les poches") to create a look reminiscent of late eighteen-century fashion. The Cashin silhouette, however, is more simply achieved with an unusual skirt fastener. She called this favorite device her "dog leash" in recognition of that simple hardware. The effect is to winch up the cloth and make the mohair more layered and luxurious by a profoundly simple hitch. A suede bodice, a surprising element for evening, provides a luxurious contrast as well.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Ingenuity," April 2, 1998–August 16, 1998.