Woman's Dinner Jacket

Designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, French (born Italy), 1890 - 1973. Embroidered by Lesage, Paris, founded 1922.

Made in Paris, France, Europe

Winter 1936-1937

Fulled wool, gold and metal thread embroidery, gold paillettes

Center Back Length: 20 1/2 inches (52.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mme Elsa Schiaparelli, 1969

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The palm trees are based on those embroidered on the Emperor Napoleon's coronation costume of 1804. Marlene Dietrich purchased the same model.

Additional information:
  • PublicationShocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli

    This black wool jacket is embroidered with gold-sequin palm trees and was worn over a short black crêpe dress and accessorized with a glycerined ostrich feather cone hat—the perfect ensemble for an evening of dinner and the cinema or cocktails and cabaret. Schiaparelli wore the same model to the premiere of the play Fric- Frac starring the actress Arletty, who was also a client. The palm trees, a nod to Napoleon’s native Corsica, were based on those embroidered on the white satin tunic of the emperor’s coronation costume, designed by the painter Isabey and portrayed in Robert Lefèvre’s painting Napoleon in His Imperial Costume for the Coronation of 1804 (1806), now in the Musée National de la Legion d’Honneur, Paris. Dietrich purchased other accessories with a Napoleonic theme on her shopping trip, including a bag from Madame Azka and Napoleonic hats from Madame Agnès. Her choices were possibly sentimental, referencing her first film, Little Napoleon (1922). Among the other models Dietrich purchased from Schiaparelli’s winter collection were a simple black velvet evening dress with a red Tunisian belt, a plain white silk jersey evening dress that set off her emeralds, and a tailored wool coat with black fox-fur collar and “busby,” or guard’s hat, inspired by the coronation of Edward VIII, who later abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson. Dilys E. Blum, from Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli (2003), p. 162.