Dress, 1955 Medium: cotton Technique: printed by engraved roller on plain weave. Gift of Elena Phipps in honor of Helene Phipps. 2013-5-1.
What is this?
Shirtwaist dress with long sleeves and a full skirt, made from off-white printed cotton fabric with black graphic images of clowns and acrobats, with the text "J'ai seul la clef a cette parade sauvage." With patches of turquoise blue and yellow-green.
Why is this in our collection?
This shirtwaist day dress was designed by celebrated fashion designer Claire McCardell, who is noted for her important contribution to “The American Look” of casual and active sportswear for women. It was made from a printed cotton fabric, Parade Sauvage, designed by Fernand Léger, one of the most prominent, prolific, and influential modern artists of the early twentieth century. In the post-World War II period, advocates for the American textile industry actively promoted ways for manufacturers to improve the design quality of their products. One outspoken champion, the magazine American Fabrics, encouraged manufacturers to find design inspiration in the collections of fine art to be found in museums.... more