Evening ensemble

Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)

Designer: André Perugia (French, 1893–1977)

Date: winter 1937–38

Culture: French

Medium: silk, metal, leather, plastic

Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Millicent Huttleston Rogers, 1951

Accession Number: 2009.300.1168a–c

Description

A characteristic Schiaparelli often employed in her designs is the use of unique and often intriguing textiles. This sleek dress, with matching shoes by famed shoe designer André Perugia, is a striking example of that design distinction. The many layers and shades of green in the print, similar in feel to ikat weave, produces depth and the additional metallic threads woven throughout lend a luminous quality, making the overall effect like sunlight shining over a mysterious forest. Millicent Rogers, the original owner of this dress, gave her entire wardrobe to the Brooklyn Museum, and throughout the almost 200 examples of Schiaparelli's work from Rogers' collection, this ensemble best illustrates Schiaparelli's love of unique fabrics as well as the close working relationship Schiaparelli enjoyed with Perugia, which lasted throughout her career.

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