Collection Online
Medium
silk, resin and enamel on metal buckle
Measurements
(a) 149.0 cm (centre back) 40.0 cm (waist, flat) (dress) (b) 4.0 × 71.0 cm (belt)
Place/s of Execution
(England)
Accession Number
D258.a-b-1974
Department
International Fashion and Textiles
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
The Schofield Collection. Purchased with the assistance of a special grant from the Government of Victoria, 1974
Gallery location
Not on display
About

The Motion Picture Code of 1930, commonly known as the Hays Code, forbade undue exposure of flesh in an effort to shape society’s moral standards. This may be one of the reasons that the deep V-front and back necklines of the 1920s became used exclusively as a back detail on dresses in the 1930s. Steichen’s photographs often highlight the sensuality of women’s backs and the back details of their dresses. Actress Constance Bennett, 1932 shows a deep V framing the sitter’s back. 

—text from Edward Steichen & Art Deco Fashion (Jan 1970)