Woman's Evening Coat

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

Geography:
Made in Paris, France, Europe

Date:
Winter 1935-1936

Medium:
Wool twill, gilded metal buttons

Dimensions:
Center Front Length: 55 1/2 inches (141 cm) Center Back Length: 60 1/2 inches (153.7 cm)

Copyright:

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1969-232-4

Credit Line:
Gift of Mme Elsa Schiaparelli, 1969

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Label:
Adept at defying conventions, Elsa Schiaparelli created this feminine evening coat by drawing inspiration from an unexpected source: a man’s military uniform coat. The impeccably tailored, floor-length coat uses thick wool twill similar to the cloth used for British Horse Guards’ uniforms. The designer, known for her eccentric wit and whimsy, offsets the severity of the regimentally correct silhouette with gold buttons shaped like snails, an example of her distinctive, specially made closures.

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

    Wool evening coats and capes, particularly in bright reds, were featured by all the leading couturiers during August 1935, breaking with the tradition of employing wool for morning, silk for afternoon, and brocade or velvet for evening. The hit of the season, in keeping with the military theme of the collections, was Schiaparelli’s impeccably tailored floor-length coat made up in Ducharne’s vivid rouge gaulois, a thick wool twill similar to the cloth used for British Horse Guards’ uniforms. The gold snail-shaped buttons give the regimentally correct silhouette a touch of whimsy. Dilys E. Blum, from Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli (2003), p. 103-104.