Evening dress

Designer: Halston (American, Des Moines, Iowa 1932–1990 San Francisco, California)

Date: 1970s

Culture: American

Medium: silk

Credit Line: Purchase, Janet A. Sloane Gift Fund, 1994

Accession Number: 1994.414.6


The one-shouldered gown appeared in many of Halston's collections. He was especially interested in the bias-spiraling of fabric over the body. His most popular designs were often repeated in a variety of luxurious fabrics—silk chiffons, crepes, jerseys, hammered satin, and even cashmere knits. Halston rarely discussed the actual technical aspects of his work. On close examination, however, the apparent simplicity of his designs is extraordinary in its minimalist resolution. His teal gown extends into a wrap, as if himation and chiton were merged. Although modest in its coverage of the body, its fissured and angled neckline and tentative anchoring on the right shoulder convey a potential for nudity and allude to the classical Greek fashion of anchoring the himation at the shoulder to fall down one side.