Madame Grès, Multilayer Cocktail Dress, France, 1950s
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Lot 0065 Details
Madame Grès (1903-1993) – French fashion designer
Inside with label ‘GRÈS 1. RUE DE LA PAIX PARIS’
Cocktail dress with wide flared, multilayered skirt and top with attached shoulder wrap
Various yellow, orange and green tones
Back width: c. 46 cm, total length: c. 117 cm
Good condition, due to usage
Provenence: Private property Marguerite Wood-Wessely
The evening dress was tailored for the American opera singer Marguerite Wood-Wessely, who stayed as a painter in Paris in the late 1940s to 1960s.
The dress is in good, age-related condition and shows usage traces of wear. The back width measures c. 46 cm. The total length is c. 117 cm.
Madame Grès (1903-1993)
Madame Grès, with common name Germaine Èmilie Krebs, worked primarly as a sculptor. Because sculptor was no adequate job for women in the 1930s, she switched into the métier of fashion and tailored for renowned couture houses. Under the name of Alix Barton she opened her first boutique in 1934 and made a name of her designs in the French world of fashion. Later she had the breakthrough with her salon ‘Grès’ – an anagram of the name from her husband Serge Czerefkov. Inspired by the sculptural aesthetic of Roman robes Madame Grès can be seen with her designs as a pioneer of the today’s minimalism in fashion. Typical for her fluent dresses were the asymmetrical cuts and cut-outs: “I always wanted to be a sculptor”, she said once. “It doesn’t matter, if I work with fabric or with stones.” Prominent clients of her couture house were Jackie Onassis, Greta Garbo or Marlene Dietrich. Madame Grès was an apologist of the haute couture and changed unwillingly to prêt-à-porter. In 1959 she issued her first perfume ‘Cabochard’, other perfumes followed in the 1990s. (ala)
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