In 1931, Elsa Schiaparelli did her first collaboration with an artist for the creation of a garment. She entrusted the artist-decorator Jean Dunand with representing trompe-l'oeil pleats, simulating the folds of antique Greek costumes. These motifs, hand-painted in shades of grey on black, mimicked three-dimensional pleats on a flat fabric. Dunand's painting technique was based on diluted sepia and coloured lacquers applied by stencil.
Elsa Schiaparelli renewed here the principle of trompe-l'oeil, which she had been the first to use in fashion, in 1927. That year she invented her celebrated Haute Couture sweaters decorated with trompe-l'oeil motifs.
The photographer Man Ray took the portrait of Elsa Schiaparelli wearing the fruit of this artistic collaboration.