Black and White Striped Dress
Brief Item Record
Title: Black and White Striped Dress
Description: Black, white, and grey striped two piece dress in a fit and flare silhouette. Cotton sateen, black cotton, black felt, metal, and elastic; fitted cotton sateen bodice (a) is strapless, with a sweetheart neckline, princess seams, natural waistline, hook and eye closures at the center back, and cotton lining; matching flared cotton sateen skirt (b) is knee-length, with an elastic waistband, metal zipper at side, felt lining, stripes radiating from waist to hem.
Full Item Record
Costume Item Type Metadata
The dates are still uncertain. The label in its entirety reads “Schiap-Sport -21 Place Vendome Paris 46,” indicating a date of 1946. While we have been unable to find a match for this dress in other collections to confirm its date, there are a few strapless (and sometimes striped) dresses to compare it with (2) (3), and the Schiap-Sport label seems to have been more popular in the late part of Elsa’s career (1940s and 50s) (4).
Elsa Schiaparelli was born in Rome, began her career in America, opened her first atelier in Paris, moved back to New York in 1941, and returned to Paris in 1945. She worked with surrealist artists Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau, was associated with Man Ray and Gabrielle Picabia, the wife of Francis Picabia, and was known for blurring the line between dressmaking and art. Schiaparelli closed her doors in 1954, but not before creating a legacy that would go on to inspire designers like Geoffrey Beene, Charles James, and Yves Saint Laurent (5).