Four handmade, cast metal acrobat buttons leap from this bright pink fitted jacket by Schiaparelli. The heavy buttons are attached to the cloth with industrial slide hooks behind providing the actual fastenings. Such novel buttons and fastenings were a trademark of Schiaparelli's work. The circus theme of the garment is further emphasised by the woven silk twill fabric, with its repeating design of rearing horses in two shades of blue, with metallic thread manes, saddles and feathered headdresses.

The jacket was worn with a dark purple crêpe evening dress with a draped culotte hem, which can be worn either as a normal skirt with both feet through one opening, or with one foot through either opening.

The ensemble was part of Schiaparelli's Circus collection of 1938. When she presented the collection, it was described as the most riotous and swaggering fashion show that Paris had ever seen. The clothes featured many novelty effects and motifs, including prancing horses, performing elephants, spotlit acrobats, tents and clowns.


  • Title: The Circus Collection
  • Creator: Elsa Schiaparelli
  • Fashion House: Elsa Schiaparelli
  • Date Created: 1938-02-01/1938-02-28
  • Location Created: Paris
  • Provenance: Given by Miss Ruth Ford
  • Medium: Silk twill, fastened with cast metal buttons

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