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Harlequin

Fancy Dress Costume
1951 (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This Harlequin costume was worn for a fancy dress ball in Venice, Italy. It was a special order from Schiaparelli. Before her closure in 1954, Elsa Schiaparelli was one of the most famous and influential fashion designers of the mid-twentieth century. Her designs were elegant, playful and often strikingly surreal.

Hubert de Givenchy designed for Schiaparelli’s boutique before launching his own label in 1952. This 1951 ensemble is the Museum’s earliest recorded outfit by Givenchy. The short jacket is made in satin patchwork and has cropped trousers. Detachable yellow ruffles give an appropriate sense of fun. This party outfit combines Schiaparelli’s playfulness with Givenchy’s youthful, wearable elegance.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 5 parts.

  • Jacket
  • Trousers
  • Ruff
  • Ruff
  • Wristlet
Materials and Techniques
Silk satin and organza
Brief Description
Fancy dress costume consisting of silk satin jacket and trousers and silk organza ruffs and wristlet, 'Harlequin', designed by Givenchy for Schiaparelli, made in Paris and worn in Venice, 1951.
Physical Description
Silk satin jacket and white trousers with silk organza yellow ruffs and wristlets. The jacket has a geoetric pattern in blue, white, yellow and black.
Credit line
Given by Lady Stella Ednam
Object history
Designed by Hubert de Givenchy while working at Schiaparelli, for Stella, Lady Ednam to wear to the Bestigul Ball, Venice, 4th September 1951.



Givenchy worked at Schiaparelli between 1949-1951 as her boutique designer. (some sources say 1947-1951, but others assert Givenchy was Jacques Fath's design assistant from 1947-1949) In 1952 he launched his couture house, so this is a very early example of Givenchy's work before he designed under his own name.
Summary
This Harlequin costume was worn for a fancy dress ball in Venice, Italy. It was a special order from Schiaparelli. Before her closure in 1954, Elsa Schiaparelli was one of the most famous and influential fashion designers of the mid-twentieth century. Her designs were elegant, playful and often strikingly surreal.



Hubert de Givenchy designed for Schiaparelli’s boutique before launching his own label in 1952. This 1951 ensemble is the Museum’s earliest recorded outfit by Givenchy. The short jacket is made in satin patchwork and has cropped trousers. Detachable yellow ruffles give an appropriate sense of fun. This party outfit combines Schiaparelli’s playfulness with Givenchy’s youthful, wearable elegance.
Bibliographic Reference
Fashion : An Anthology by Cecil Beaton. London : H.M.S.O., 1971
Collection
Accession Number
T.396 to D-1974

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record createdDecember 21, 2004
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