In 1938, Dali offered Elsa a drawing representing a female skeleton, accompanied by a note: “Dear Elsa, I like this idea of 'bones on the outside' enormously (…)”. The inspiration doubtless came from a circus act entitled “the skeleton man”.
This evening dress was presented in the 1938 Le Cirque (Circus) collection. It stood out from the other joyful and whimsical styles of the collection with its dark and almost proto-Gothic quality.
The trompe-l'oeil effect of three-dimensional bones was created by padded ridges on the rayon crepe.
© Salvador Dalí, Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dalí / Adagp, Paris 2016