Tuesday, December 31, 2013

History's Runway: Lady Haig's Schiaperelli New Year's Gown, 1938

The Victoria & Albert Museum

Lady Alexandra Dacre (then Lady Alexandra Haig) wore this fascinating ensemble at a masked carol party in December 1938 to mark the change of the year to 1939. The gown was designed by Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) who was celebrated for her attractive, sophisticated, and whimsically designed evening clothes. 

Salvador Dalí, Christian Bérard and Jean Cocteau were among the contemporary artists who designed fabrics and accessories for Schiaperelli whose designs were largely influenced  by Cubism and Surrealism.In 1935, Schiaperelli was the first to introduce the motif of the exposed zipper—a trend that popular designers of today claim as their own original property.   

Schiaperelli’s masterful work is evident in this ensemble.
  The evening jacket is of black satin backed marocain, with long sleeves--ffitted, collarless and single-breasted with two gathered patch pockets. The neck edge is decorated with a bold embroidered pattern.

The long black dress is crafted of satin backed marocain and features a low V neck, adorned with a ruffle. The back is low and square with the famous exposed zipper.  

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