Among the most popular types of evening wear during the 1920s were loose, sleek, chemise-style dance dresses with sleeveless armholes and wide-cut necklines, which could be pulled directly over the head.
Profuse embellishment, often consisting of glass and metal components that would capture and refract light when in motion, counterbalances the minimalism of form. This 1920s Evening Dress by an unknown, possibly French or American designer, is made from a yellow cotton plain weave embroidered with gold metal paillettes, gold glass bugle beads, clear glass beads and seed beads, and clear glass crystals. These extravagant fashions were devised to glimmer within modern environments newly illuminated by electricity. They also mirror artistic tendencies at the time, such as the Art Deco attributes of geometric lines and shapes, contrasting metallic tones, and an overall streamlined modernity in form.
Photographed as part of the Exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, which closed in early 2020, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.