Woman's dress in two parts (dress and sash)

American
1977


Dimensions

Dress: Center back: 157.5 cm (62 in.) Sash: Center back: 309.9 cm (122 in.)

Accession Number

2007.283.1-2

Medium or Technique

Silk knit (jersey)

Not On View

Collections

Americas, Contemporary Art, Textiles and Fashion Arts

Classifications

Costumes

Deep purple long-sleeve ankle-length dress with an asymmetrical neckline, a slit going up the front of the skirt, and elastic at the waistband. Labeled: “Halston/ Made in USA.” Matching sash.


Before becoming one of American’s first true fashion celebrities, with a face and name as famous as his designs, Roy Halston Frowick Jr. was a milliner for firms like Lily Dache and Bergdorf Goodman. He designed Jacqueline Kennedy’s inaugural pillbox hat, causing an almost instant sensation and gaining a small taste of the fame that would accompany his most famous venture, his ready-to-wear design business. Chanel had introduced jersey to haute couture in the 1920s, but it was Halston who capitalized on the textile’s versatility and accessibility, bringing it to the masses and making it an iconic part of the second half of the 20th century. Halston draped, wrapped, and tyed his jerseys around some of the most famous women of the 1970s (Liza Minelli, Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Grace Kelly among them). This dress, created from deep purple silk jersey, is a signature piece from the mid-1970s, and embodies many signature elements such as the sash tied at the waist and the columnar silhouette. A master at cutting and pattern making, Halston employed an asymmetrical neckline to frame the face and give interest to an otherwise (deceptively) simple gown.

Provenance

Purchased privately in Los Angeles, CA in 2005 by Decades, Inc.; Purchased by MFA March 21, 2007

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by the Fashion Council, Museum of Fine Arts Boston