Evening dress

Designer: Claire McCardell (American, 1905–1958)

Manufacturer: Townley Frocks (American, founded 1929)

Date: 1945–55

Culture: American

Medium: silk (?)

Credit Line: Purchase, Polaire Weissman Bequest Fund and Gifts from Various Donors Fund, 1997

Accession Number: 1997.511a–d


A bravura swag of drapery cuts across the chest with the elegance of a Madame Grès bodice and the implicit protocol of a sash or banner. Applying the same principles of wrapping that animated her daywear, McCardell also wrapped for evening, letting the ease of a plush evening gown define the body with a gentle boldness.