The idea of the house dress is closely related to the concept of housework and domesticity. At the same time, it is distinguished by not being a uniform, thanks in particular to the decorations of the fabric. Starting in the late 1940s, a whole series of movies contributed to its image through a gallery of remarkable female characters, the latest of which is Pedro Almodovar's film Volver, with a female lead who is equipped with a wardrobe full of beautifully ornamented house dresses. After taking into account its distinctive and expressive features, author Elda Danese traces the circumstances that led to the success and the worldwide use of the house dress over a period spanning from the 1920s to the present.
Elda Danese teaches at the graduate course in fashion design at the IUAV University in Venice. She is interested in contemporary visual cultures, in fashion and fabric production. Danese cooperated with the "Centre for the study on fabric and custom" of Venetian Municipal Museums and published essays on contemporary textile and fashion.