Evening dress

Design House: House of Givenchy (French, founded 1952)

Designer: Hubert de Givenchy (French, born Beauvais, 1927)

Date: 1968–69

Culture: French

Medium: silk, feathers

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Claus von Bülow, 1971

Accession Number: 1971.79.4


The feathers of this dress are stripped down to the tip to create an artificial profile. Indicative of the couture in seeking an improvement even on nature, these contrived feathers elaborate on the feathers' natural shaping to create a self-conscious artifice. The shorter feathers have been anchored into a scallop pattern that overlaps to imitate a scale or coat in nature, but there is no element left to chance or to nature's carelessness. The longer plumes are affixed at the stem to be tremblant and animated on the dress.