Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Theater suit, 1938

    Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (French, 1883–1971)
    Silk

    Gift of Diana Vreeland, 1954 (C.I.54.16.1a,b)

    This suit made of ruby red silk velvet was inspired by a costume worn to a masquerade party in 1938. Called 'Watteau" and modeled after the dress of the male figure in a painting by Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721), the suit represents a successful melding of contemporary and historical styles. The suit was intended to be worn with a flared floor-length skirt; the original owner, Diana Vreeland (1903–1989), shortened the skirt when the garment was in her personal wardrobe. Chanel herself wore a version of this suit executed in black velvet.

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    Theater suit, 1938

    Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel (French, 1883–1971)
    Silk

    Gift of Diana Vreeland, 1954 (C.I.54.16.1a,b)


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