Fashion Drawing: Two-Piece, Floor-Length Dress
At twenty, Ray wrote to her mother declaring that she wanted to earn a living in “commercial art, either advertising or costume design.” Six years later, she wrote again saying that her friend Eleanor McClatchy “told me that ‘Fran’ (Francis Hayes) was to give a concert in February and wanted a costume, so I drew up several designs and sent them to Eleanor—who seemed to like them very much.”
The drawing is signed “Ray Kaiser” in lower right corner.
- Medium:Ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper
- Credit Line:Image courtesy of Eames Office
Here the slender figure wears a floor-length gown with an overall pattern of light and dark irregular green shapes, each with a tiny pink accent. At the upper left is a pencil sketch of the back view of the dress; in the lower right corner, a notation in Ray’s distinctive handwriting: “printed chiffon top” and “taffeta skirt”. Mixing fabrics like this—one semi-sheer (chiffon) and the other a little heavier, shiny, and opaque (taffeta)—would give this dress, if actually made, an interesting contrast of textures and varied light reflection (chiffon absorbing light, and taffeta reflecting it).
— Dale Carolyn Gluckman