Madame Grès, Red & White Spotted Evening Dress, France,
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Lot 0067 Details
Madame Grès (1903-1993) – French fashion designer
Flamenco dress with double-layered, wide swinging overskirt and ruffled chest part
Silk chiffon in red with white spots
Back width: c. 43 cm, total length: c. 152 cm
Good condition, due to usage
Provenience: 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 940s to 1960s. This flamenco dress was part of the spring/summer collection 1955 and was published in the April issue of the French Vogue – presented by the mannequin Enid Boulting.
The dress is in good, age-related condition and shows traces of wear. Stains on the fabric can be found in places. The fabric of the right shoulder is torn on the back. The stitches along the overskirt and the petticoat as well as the zipper are partial unstitched. The label is missing. The back width measures c. 43 cm. The total length is c. 152 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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