Carolyn Schnurer (American, born New York, 1908–1998 Palm Beach, Florida)
Textile manufactured by Dan River Mills (American)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Carolyn Schnurer, 1951
Not on view
During her twenty-year career in fashion, from 1944 to 1964, Carolyn Schnurer (1908-1998) was a pioneer in the newly emerging American sportswear industry. Directing her designs toward young active women, Schnurer developed coordinates and dresses that were unfussy, required minimal foundation garments and could be worn for a variety of occasions. Particularly renowned for her culturally-inspired resort collections, rather than a blatantly costumed appearance, Schnurer's designs maintained a classic American silhouette while incorporating the cultural theme in fabric selection or construction detail.
This dress, from the "Flight to India" resort collection, illustrates Schnurer's adept manipulation of one fabric to created several pattern variations, particularly evident in the skirt pleats. The turned-back tabs of the bodice back are a play on the backless chaniya choli prevalent throughout India, and are a feature in the "Flight to India" collection.