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Woman's Evening Dress

Designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, French (born Italy), 1890 - 1973

Made in Paris, France, Europe

Summer 1937

Printed silk organza

Center Back Length: 38 1/2 inches (97.8 cm) Center Front Length: 42 inches (106.7 cm) Waist 22 1/2 inches (57.2 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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When Schiaparelli introduced the shorter, waltz-length dress in the summer of 1937, it was the sensation of the season.

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

    For summer 1937, multicolored butterflies fluttered over pale pink organza in Schiaparelli’s latest evening silhouette in the new shorter length—ten inches from the floor. The waltz-length dress was worn with starched petticoats and the designer’s own version of the ballet slipper, high-heeled Perugia ankle-high shoes with a lattice of straps in pastel kid. The new dress length was the sensation of the season, and the fashionable silhouette was ordered and reordered by dozens of America’s smartest shops from coast to coast. Man Ray’s three-color carbon transfer print of brilliantly hued butterflies, made sometime between 1930 and 1935, may have provided the inspiration for the fabric Schiaparelli used for her waltz-length evening dress for summer 1937. The Man Ray photograph is colored in the same hues as Schiaparelli’s textile design. Dilys E. Blum, from Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli (2003), p. 155.