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1940s Gilbert Adrian Black Tiered Ruffle Cape


Extremely rare Gilbert Adrian work of art!!! So few of this legendary designers works remain and of those that do, few are as flawless in their current state as this piece of wearable wonder. Made of a beautiful black wool and professionally stored for years. One size fits most. This piece will only become more valuable over time. Adrian was born Adrian Adolph Greenberg, into a Connecticut family of Russian, Bohemian, and German Jewish descent. Adrian, also known as Gilbert Adrian (a more marketable combination of his father’s first name and his own), studied at the New York School for Fine and Applied Arts, now known as Parsons School of Design, before transferring to the school’s satellite campus in Paris in 1922. While studying in Paris, Adrian discovered his passion for costume design after he was hired by the great songwriter Irving Berlin, to design costumes for Berlin's “The Music Box Revue.” In 1926 Adrian signed a contract with Cecil B. DeMille, and in 1928, when DeMille moved to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Adrian went with him. During his time at MGM, Adrian designed costumes for over 250 films, including the infamous ruby slippers, from “The Wizard of Oz,” handling period costumes and contemporary wardrobes. Adrian’s contemporary designs were elegant and sought after, and although not perfectly historically accurate, his period costumes, with their exaggerated features and dramatic aura, served to emphasize the narratives Adrian was working with. His film designs were so popular that many of them were adapted for retail in New York, and his costume sketches were often published in Vogue. Adrian left MGM in 1942 to open his own boutique in Beverly Hills, later opening one in New York. Adrian’s distinct straight-shouldered, slim-jacket, pencil skirt look set the everyday dress tone of the 1940s, and his voluminous, beaded evening gowns dominated the luxury design landscape. Adrian’s pieces, with their distinctive bold silhouettes, contrasting colors, flora and fauna motifs, and exquisite beading and embellishments, drip with luxury, and are as timeless as they are glamorous. *All Mrs. Couture garments have been professionally cleaned and thoroughly checked before shipping, so that they are ready to wear upon arrival.


  • Material notes





  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Shoulder to Hem
    41.25 in. (104.78 cm)
  • Seller location
    Houston, TX
  • Reference number

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