I adore slow, long-term projects- especially those which involve my husband in some way. For example, we learned to hand-dye and use traditional wax-resist batik techniques to make some of the fabrics I later turned into a Drunkard’s Path quilt. The project took two years to complete. Some couples go to the movies. That summer, we played with dye, salt and wax in the backyard. It was wonderful.
In 1937, Italian designer Elsa Sciaparelli and surrealist painter Salvador Dali created this gown. At the time, Dali was more or less obsessed with lobsters, which he saw as a symbol of sexuality. I’m not entirely sure why, which is partly why I’m intrigued by this dress. I like to think about those two great artistic minds of 1930’s Europe working on this delightful visual joke. We see the punchline, but how did the joke begin?
From Esoteric Curiosa, a very interesting article
Perhaps I like it purely to be contrary. That sounds like me. I enjoy inappropriate combinations- a simple sheer white silk organza gown crafted by none other than Schiaparelli, with a brilliant red lobster scrawled suggestively down the front. The contrarian in me is further pleased that none other than Wallis Simpson herself wore this dress for a magazine spread to boost her public relations.
The Ready-To-Wear version of the Lobster Dress, from Shelf Appeal
This dress draws me, over and over again I ponder its punchline and wonder where this joke began. When my husband asked me what I want for Christmas this year, I was prepared. “I’d like 4 metres of silk organza painted with a lobster. That’s all.” He knows of my fixation, so the request wasn’t quite unexpected.
I don’t expect the dress to be finished for some time but I want to share the progress because it delights me, very deeply. I also don’t expect my finished Lobster Dress to look much like Schiaparelli’s. I’m stealing her punchline but making up my own joke. So to speak.
Tomorrow: “Other” lobster dresses. Oh yes.
Also– I apologize for flooding Reader and whatever else with old posts this morning. It happens every time I try to update links, I think at this point I’ll just leave everything as-is. Sorry!