Woman's Cocktail Dress

Designed by Emilio Schuberth, Italian, 1904 - 1972

Made in Italy, Europe

c. 1961

Silk faille with self trim, glass bugle beads, and cellulose acetate velvet ribbon

Center Back Length: 31 1/2 inches (80 cm) Waist: 22 inches (55.9 cm) Circumference (Skirt hem): 6 feet 11 1/2 inches (212.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Jack M. Friedland, 1972

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    The international debut of Italian high fashion in Florence in 1951 unveiled an original modern style inspired by traditional Italian culture, especially that of the Renaissance, yet perfectly suited to the contemporary, postwar desire for uncomplicated, wearable clothing. Renowned for its casual knit sportswear, Italian fashion in the 1950s and 1960s also included formal gowns created with exquisite craftsmanship, such as those by Roman designer Emilio Schuberth. This cocktail dress, in a fashionable shade of yellow, seems to be simply cut but in fact is carefully shaped by darts, nylon lining, and a crinoline. The front is decorated with self-fabric flowers surmounting leaves of white and gold beads, some forming three-dimensional Vs to give an illusion of shading. A favorite of Italian film stars such as Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren, Schuberth's feminine creations also appealed to Americans who appreciated his philosophy of design--"All I do is to cover the most beautiful invention that God has placed on this earth: the body of woman." H. Kristina Haugland, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 101.