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Katherine Dunham

Striped Satin Dress from Broadway Musical, Cabin in the Sky

Dance Ensemble from Acaraje, Pink Cotton Performance Dress, Shawl, and Turban

The dress is a voluminous and multilayered costume designed by John Pratt, Katherine Dunham’s husband. John Pratt designed Dunham’s costumes and street clothes. During their Paris tour, it is said that his costume designs even inspired French fashions (Aschenbrenner). According to Zita Allen, “Dunham charmed and dazzled audiences with brilliantly staged, exquisitely costumed, energetic productions based largely on ethnographic material gathered on field trips to Jamaica, Trinidad, and Martinique. Picture a pretty woman
with sparkling eyes and skin the color of café au lait gliding across the stage in a sea of ruffles disguised
as a John Pratt costume.”


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