1920s Orphist Ensemble
1920s Orphist Ensemble
This is one of the most interesting and special pieces I have ever come across! Authentic 1920s two piece outfit worthy of a museum. This set is a perfect example of the bold hyper-creative theatrical costumes seen in ballets and theaters of the 1910s - 1930s such as Diaghilev's famous Ballets Russes -- costumes often designed by famed modern artists (including Matisse, Miro, Dali, Picasso, and many more).
This set features a wonderful, bold, graphic Orphist print, very possibly designed by Sonia Delaunay herself as the style is quite typical of her work and the red/lime green/black color palette was one she favored. Photo of her and examples of her work in 7th image.
Fashioned in a medium weight durable silk satin and fully lined in cotton muslin. The blouse is structured and fitted, with red satin high neck and shoulder inserts. Black satin trim creates curving geometry , with pointed sections below the shoulders. Long sleeves. Extended tail back. Hook and eye closures down the back.
Pants are straight cut and wide leg, with adjustable drawstring waist.
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Waist: 20" at side
-Adjustable drawstring waist
Condition: Incredible condition for age -- this set is shockingly well preserved and extremely wearable and strong. Simply amazing. The entire costume is lined in sturdy cotton muslin, which has helped to preserve it. The red satin shoulder inserts were done in a lighter weight silk and they show quite a bit of shattering and wear. The satin collar appears to have been replaced at some point - the original was likely suffering similar damage. I have not attempted to replace or alter the shoulder inserts at all - I consider this a piece of history and as such take a conservator's approach to its preservation. And due to the strong durable cotton lining, the piece is still fully wearable shoulders and all. That said, one could very easily add matching red satin underneath the shattered section to make them less noticeable (the beige muslin original lining is a stark contrast as is), or one could replace the red satin entirely. Other than this, the set just shows normal wear consistent with age and use - some minor dulling/yellowing to colors (on blouse in particular), some extremely minor soiling in spots- certainly nothing striking or very noticeable, some pulled threads here and there. I am shocked by how strong and wearable the set is. A true piece of history, worthy of any museum or personal collection.