Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gilbert Adrian and the Tigeress.

With a silhouette that recalls the 18th Century (Adrian had done the costumes for Marie Antoinette, starring Norma Shearer, in 1938), I love that this rather modest gown gets a huge shot of sex appeal from the print alone. 

I can not think of any other phrase to use on this ensemble except 'hot damn'.  This Tiger print gown and bolero was designed by Hollywood Costume Designer Gilbert Adrian in 1949 and is made of silk shot through with metallic threads.  It was a gift of Janet Gaynor (Adrian's wife) to the MET in 1963.  

As you know, I have a soft spot for animal prints and the people bold enough to wear them, and I can not help but fantasize about the brazen post war sex bomb that wore this number out on the town.  Perhaps she wore it to the Mocambo in Hollywood, with lavish interiors by Tony Duquette, or dancing at the Coconut Grove with it's exotic Orientalist flair.  Either way, this movie star confection would have had tongues wagging in all directions and leaving them wanting more.

- Ian  

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