Evening ensemble, ca. 1938
Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973); André Perugia (French, 1893–1977)
Green silk faille, metallic thread, gold kidskin, beige plastic; L. at CB (a) 62 in. (157.5 cm), (b, c) 5 x 9 in. (12.7 x 22.9 cm)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Millicent Huttleston Rogers, 1951 (2009.300.1168a–c)
Custom textiles such as this one were important vehicles of expression for Schiaparelli. A mottled pattern of deep greens injected with a glittering gold wood-grain motif transmogrifies the human body, like a fleeing Daphne, into a tree. Deploying industrial zippers as decoration on evening wear was an early iconoclastic gesture that became a signature Schiaparelli design element.