Dress by Halston of brown Ultrasuede

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Yesterday’s News - (Harriet Winter) - Two-piece dress - Multicolor printed rayon, orange rayon - 1970-71, USA - Gift of Harriet Winter, 94.27.146

Nostalgic fashions of the early 1970s were a reaction against the "futuristic" looks of the previous decade. In this dress, authentic 1920s fabric was used to give a new garment a retro feel, thus combining two prevailing trends—the wearing of vintage clothing and contemporary reinterpretations of past styles.

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Halston - Dress - Brown Ultrasuede® - 1973, USA - Gift of Rosalind Gersten Jacobs, 87.146.16

In 1971, Halston became the first designer to create clothes from faux suede successfully. A year later, he was using Ultrasuede® for 80 percent of his ready-to-wear pieces. Ultrasuede® is made of polyester and is not biodegradable. But it is versatile, durable, machine-washable, and remains popular for a variety of products.

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Larsen Design Studio - (Tony Ballatore) - Tapestry - Furnishing fabric - Screen-printed mohair, cotton and rayon - Circa 1969, USA - Gift of Jack Lenor Larsen, 94.85.25

Larsen’s studio is known for producing finely-crafted textiles that incorporate both natural and synthetic materials. Larsen’s processes are also famously labor-intensive—17 screens were required to print this motif. Its earth-tone colors and bird imagery are characteristic of designs from the late 1960s and early 1970s, when environmental awareness was on the rise.