In 1933, Harry Houghton of Lightening Fastener's Canadian division offered Elsa Schiaparelli $10,000 (about $175,000 in today's dollar) to use their zippers in her clothing. Schiaparelli decided to use the colorful plastic zippers as a design element in her clothing. She shocked buyers who arrived to view her Winter collection of 1935-36 by using the plastic zippers in unexpected places and in a very visible way. Zippers were found on pockets, necklines, sleeves and shoulder seams.
High Style exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. I took this photo of the back of the dress, which has a yellow plastic zipper all the way up the back. You can see here how chunky the zipper looks and the fact that the teeth are left exposed as a design element rather than as a practical way to close the garment.
A close-up of the chunky teeth in the zipper .
Dilys E. Blum: Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli (2003)
Jan Glier Reeder: High Style (2010)