Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Summer evening dress - The Parachute Collection
  • The Parachute Collection
    Elsa Schiaparelli, born 1890 - died 1973
  • Enlarge image

The Parachute Collection

  • Object:

    Summer evening dress

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (designed)

  • Date:

    early 1936 (designed)
    early 1936 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Elsa Schiaparelli, born 1890 - died 1973 (designer)

  • Museum number:

    T.42:1 to 3-2010

  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, Room 40, case CA10, shelf FIG6 []

Physical description

Summer evening dress of bias-cut white organdie over a matching slip, with a wide sash of purple satin.

Place of Origin

Paris (designed)


early 1936 (designed)
early 1936 (made)


Elsa Schiaparelli, born 1890 - died 1973 (designer)

Historical context note

The silhouette of the skirt, which suggests an opening parachute or flower, is similar to that of a black and white rippled-satin mid-calf length dinner dress in the collection (T.391-1974). The dinner dress is a documented and published design from the Parachute Collection of summer 1936 (ref. Paris Centre de Documentation de Costume, Schiaparelli, Album no 11, 1936, p.79; design also reproduced on page 92 of Dilys Blum's book 'Shocking! The art and fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli').

The "Stratospheric" and "Aeroplane" silhouettes of the Parachute collection for summer 1936 (which was presented February 1936) were inspired by parachutes and aerodynamics. On a visit to Moscow, Schiaparelli had been fascinated by the sight of Russian citizens parachuting from a specially set up tower. As a child, she had jumped out of a window using an umbrella as a parachute, so this was also reflected in her designs for this collection. Another influence was Leonardo's parachute drawings.

- Daniel Milford-Cottam, 2011

Descriptive line

Summer evening dress, white organdie, trimmed with purple velvet and satin, Schiaparelli, Paris, 1936.


Fashion; Clothing; Evening wear; Women's clothes; Formal wear; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.