Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973)

Date: 1939–41

Culture: French

Medium: cotton

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: 2009.300.146


In her 1954 autobiography, Shocking Life, Schiaparelli recounts a childhood episode in which she plants flower seeds in her mouth so that they will grow into a garden and beautify her face. Evoking that early fantasy, she cut designs from a fabric custom-printed with flower seed packets and applied them in scattershot fashion on this simple summer dress. One appliqué functions as a pocket on the right side. A conspicuous gold zipper runs the full length of the back.