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Woman's Dinner Dress
Woman's Dinner Dress, February 1937
Designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, French (born Italy)
Printed silk organza, synthetic horsehair
Center Front Length: 52 inches (132.1 cm) Waist: 22 inches (55.9 cm)
Gift of Mme Elsa Schiaparelli, 1969
1969-232-52
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About This Dress

The oversized lobster on this dress is strangely out of place on such a romantic and feminine gown, but the odd juxtaposition between evening gown and sea creature was certainly not an accident. Many of Schiaparelli's designs were both shocking and humorous.

The lobster motif was a result of a collaboration with Salvador Dalí, who had been employing lobsters in his artwork for years, as in his famous Lobster Telephone from 1936. In spring 1937, Schiaparelli asked Dalí to design a lobster as a decoration for a white organdy evening gown. The dress was made famous when it appeared in Vogue magazine, modeled by Wallis Simpson. As an American divorcee, Simpson gained notoriety when the Duke of Windsor chose to marry her rather than become King of England.

 

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