thumbnail 1
thumbnail 2
+5
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Evening Ensemble
1938 (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Elsa Schiaparelli often used classic tailored jackets as a perfect foil for her gloriously adventurous embroideries. Her clothes were smart, sophisticated and often wildly eccentric, and she had a huge following. Her ideas, coupled with designs she commissioned from famous artists, were carried out with considerable skill. Salvador Dalí, Christian Bérard and Jean Cocteau, for example, designed fabrics and accessories. Jean Schlumberger produced costume jewellery and buttons. Art movements such as Cubism and Surrealism influenced her designs. She used tweed to make evening wear and hessian for dresses. She dyed furs, put padlocks on suits and popularised Tyrolean peasant costume.

This jacket shows how Schiaparelli used historical and traditional embroideries, including magnificent ecclesiastical vestments, as sources of inspiration. The fronds and leaves are worked in bronze and gold coloured fine metallic threads and bright metal strips. Blue and pink oval glass rhinestones form stylised flower heads. In addition, tiny blue and gold sequins are scattered over the jacket to create interesting visual and textural effects. Three embossed metal buttons resembling star-like flowers fasten the garment. The deep hue of the silk velvet sets off the rich golds of the baroque design perfectly.

Lady Trevor Roper wore this ensemble, which forms part of the Cecil Beaton Collection. Sir Cecil Beaton was a society photographer. With great energy and determination Beaton contacted the well-dressed élite of Europe and North America to help create this monument to the art of dress. The Collection was exhibited in 1971, accompanied by a catalogue that detailed its enormous range.
watch Introducing Elsa Schiaparelli Fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli (1890 – 1973) was one of the most remarkable couturiers of the 20th century, known for her subversive, sometimes overtly surreal designs. In this film, Sonnet Stanfill, Senior Curator of Fashion & Textiles, takes a closer look at some of Schiaparelli's mo...
object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Skirt
  • Jacket
Materials and Techniques
Silk velvet, embroidered with rhinestones, sequins and silver-gilt threads, fastened with metal buttons
Brief Description
Evening ensemble consisting of embroidered silk velvet jacket and skirt, designed by Schiaparelli, Paris, autumn-winter 1937-38.
Physical Description
Evening ensemble consisting of silk velvet jacket and skirt.
Dimensions
  • Height: 1650 (Note: Footprint mounted)
  • Width: 500mm (Note: Footprint mounted)
  • Depth: 500mm (Note: Footprint mounted)
  • Jacket waist (measured inside garment) circumference: 69cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Jacket bust (measured inside garment) circumference: 101cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Jacket across back width: 36cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Nape waist length: 45cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Jacket nape hem length: 57cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Jacket sleeve (underarm cuff) length: 47cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Jacket sleeve (shoulder cuff) length: 64cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Skirt waist (measured inside garment) circumference: 65cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
  • Skirt waist hem length: 107cm (Note: Measured by Conservation)
Credit line
Given by Lady Trevor Roper
Object history
Published pg. 104 Modern Fashion in Detail – Provenance: Lady Trevor Roper now Lady Dacre of Glanton.

Extremely luxe velvet

Photo Notes:

CF closure: sun flower buttons



Jan G. Reeder, Curator, The Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Taken May, 2011, Compiled September, 2011







Summary
Elsa Schiaparelli often used classic tailored jackets as a perfect foil for her gloriously adventurous embroideries. Her clothes were smart, sophisticated and often wildly eccentric, and she had a huge following. Her ideas, coupled with designs she commissioned from famous artists, were carried out with considerable skill. Salvador Dalí, Christian Bérard and Jean Cocteau, for example, designed fabrics and accessories. Jean Schlumberger produced costume jewellery and buttons. Art movements such as Cubism and Surrealism influenced her designs. She used tweed to make evening wear and hessian for dresses. She dyed furs, put padlocks on suits and popularised Tyrolean peasant costume.



This jacket shows how Schiaparelli used historical and traditional embroideries, including magnificent ecclesiastical vestments, as sources of inspiration. The fronds and leaves are worked in bronze and gold coloured fine metallic threads and bright metal strips. Blue and pink oval glass rhinestones form stylised flower heads. In addition, tiny blue and gold sequins are scattered over the jacket to create interesting visual and textural effects. Three embossed metal buttons resembling star-like flowers fasten the garment. The deep hue of the silk velvet sets off the rich golds of the baroque design perfectly.



Lady Trevor Roper wore this ensemble, which forms part of the Cecil Beaton Collection. Sir Cecil Beaton was a society photographer. With great energy and determination Beaton contacted the well-dressed élite of Europe and North America to help create this monument to the art of dress. The Collection was exhibited in 1971, accompanied by a catalogue that detailed its enormous range.
Collection
Accession Number
T.398&A-1974

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJanuary 6, 2004
Record URL