In A Vintage Piano Shawl Duster In Meet The Fockers

Barbra Streisand wore this unique vintage piano shawl duster while portraying Rozalin Focker in Meet The Fockers (2004). This was the first time in twenty-four years that Barbra acted in a film she did not direct or produce. She was however, very involved with selecting her own costumes under the guidance of costume designer Carol Ramsey. Though Meet The Fockers was not popular with film critics it was a commercial success, grossing $46 million on opening weekend in North America. 

This bohemian-chic piece appears starting at fifty-seven minutes into the film and is worn through the duration of several scenes. 

The flowing open front duster features ivory silk, printed with Chinese clouds and flora motifs in blue, red and pale rose with velvet flocking. It is cut in a kimono-like T-shape. Tiny beads and rhinestones embellish the motifs in various places adding shimmer to the design. The back of the duster features a large printed Buddha which has stunning blue seed bead detailing the throughout the hair and necklace.

Beautiful intricate hand-knotted Macramé fringe trims the piece starting from the neckline and continues around the hem and sleeves. 

The term piano shawl has evolved throughout the decades. Initially not meant to be worn as fashion, piano shawls were ornate elaborate pieces of fabric edged in fringe which were draped over pianos to protect the wood from damage.

In the Victorian era women began wearing lighter weight embroidered and fringed silk shawls which looked similar enough to these throws to adopt the same name. During the Orientalism craze in the 1910’s these shawls were heavily imported from China and featured beautiful Cantonese embroidery.

A Victorian era Piano shawl duster
A 1910’s piano shawl with Cantonese embroidery

The long fringe was an element of popular style that continued past the Victorian era and well into the 1920’s, becoming a signature look of the Jazz Age. 

A 1925 fringe dress

In the 60’s and 70’s fringe had a second life and the style was mass produced as dresses, skirts, shawls and jackets. It is a trend that continues to make a comeback every so often.

There is no information on how old the duster worn in the film is, but it for sure gives off both major 70’s and art deco vibes. This made for another perfect hippie look for Barbra as Roz Focker. This piece was sold recently to a private buyer by The Golden Closet.