Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ben Zuckerman Dress

Accession Number: CR.462.68.17a

Label 1: ben zuckerman, New York

Label 2: I. MAGNIN & co.

Label 3: Black & White, printed silk twill c.1965, Deaccession 8-18-81

This plus-sized, sleeveless dress is made of patterned silk in tones of black, grey, and cream. It is lined with black silk. The bust of the dress is tailored with four darts. The top portion of the dress tapers at the waist, which is formed by a thin strip of fabric. From there, the three fabric panels of the skirt portion of the dress flare out slightly, with several small pleats in the front and two tucks in the back. Hidden in the seams on either side of the front panel are two pockets. A zipper extends more than halfway down the center back of the dress.

During deconstruction the lining and zipper were removed. All seams were removed. Upon examination, it was evident that the dress had been altered. The strip of fabric at the waist had been added to expand the waist slightly; along the back seam of the skirt portion, the dress has been taken in several inches.

2” strips of patterned fabric were cut and sewn together to make a strip 102” long. An identical strip was formed using the black lining fabric. Both strips were sewn to each other to form a tube and the edges were top-stitched to create a flattened strap. Several 3 1/2” wide strips of patterned fabric were cut and sewn together to make a strip 133” long. Onto the right half of this wider strip, the smaller strap, patterned side up, was sewn into a series of fifty loops, each sized to fit a 12-gauge shotgun shell. The wide strip was then folded in half, sewn into a tube and the sides topstitched. One end of the strap was fitted inside the other to form a right angle and sewn into place to finish the bandoleer.

The accession number was embroidered to a strip of black lining fabric and appliqu├ęd to the right angled portion of the bandoleer.

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