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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Madame Grès
    couple married in 1937 and had one daughter Anne in 1939 Though they never divorced Czerefkow made his home in Tahiti while Madame Grès lived and worked in Paris throughout her lifetime As a child Madame Grès hoped to become a sculptor an ambition not supported by her parents Instead she trained as a dressmaker probably working as an in house milliner at the Parisian department store Au Bon Marché and later as a designer for the Premet couture house Her interest in sculpture is evident in her work with early designs featuring drapes twists and gathers that suggest the garments portrayed in classical statuary Madame Grès also drew inspiration from untailored garments like the sari and kimono Like Madeleine Vionnet Madame Grès preferred to create her designs by draping fabric on a small wooden mannequin An observer described her process as something of a battle between designer and medium When one works with a fabric and not a pencil there are no laws sometimes the fabric dominates her sometimes she dominates the fabric 1 This painstaking design process demonstrated Madame Grès commitment to the haute couture Though she dabbled in ready to wear producing several short lived lines she

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/madame-gr%C3%A8s/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Madame Olympe
    which frames the bodice and cuffs while echoing the gold brocade swags and floral sprays along the hem Though the visual qualities of the dress were enough to overwhelm the Museum staff we were also thrilled that the dress bears a label An inner label of silk petersham ribbon stamped with gold ink indicates that the dress was created by Madame Olympe of 154 Canal Street in New Orleans As the practice of associating a particular designer with a garment via a label was just beginning in 1866 we were VERY excited to have this additional information Using t he label as a starting point FIDM Museum curator Kevin Jones compiled existing research on Madame Olympe and conducted his own research into her life and times He learned that Olympe Boisse was a native of France who lived and worked in New Orleans becoming an importer of French millinery goods or a modiste Her career began in 1853 when she took over the business of A Mace who had been importing French millinery goods By 1858 Madame Olympe had expanded her business to include dresses lace and other necessary items for a lady of fashion According to a business directory

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/madame-olympe/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Madeleine Vionnet
    1914 After spending the war years in Italy Vionnet returned to Paris and re opened her couture house in 1918 Though Vionnet began her training in the late 19th century when artifice and decoration were the foundations of fashion she developed a startlingly modern deceptively simple approach to design Many of her garments were based on simple geometric forms square circle or rectangle The bias cut was integral to her work and largely eliminated the need for shaping darts Vionnet disliked corsets and designed her garments to be worn without this confining undergarment House models were encouraged to go without undergarments during fittings In honor of Vionnet s birthday we re reposting a late 1930s Madeleine Vionnet evening gown embellished with metallic embroidery We first posted this gown in October 2011 when the gown was on exhibit in the FABULOUS exhibition Evening gown Madeleine Vionnet c 1936 1938 Museum Purchase Funds provided by Mrs Tonian Hohberg 2008 5 50AB Continue reading Fashion Birthday Madeleine Vionnet Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments 1 TrackBack 0 October 26 2011 Madeleine Vionnet evening gown Evening gown Madeleine Vionnet c 1936 1938 Museum Purchase Funds provided by Mrs Tonian Hohberg 2008 5 50AB The

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/madeline-vionnet/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Mae West
    attribute was her figure Buxom rounded and held in place by rigid corsets West s silhouette provoked a degree of outrage while also serving as her best publicity Her hourglass shape was immortalized in 1937 when the couturier Elsa Schiaparelli used West s silhouette as the basis for her Shocking perfume bottle Hired to design costumes for West s 1937 film Every Day s a Holiday the Paris based couturier would not travel to Hollywood and West could not travel to Paris A solution was reached whereby a torso based on West s measurements was sent to Schiaparelli s Paris workshop The resulting perfume bottle serves as an iconic representation of both Mae West and Elsa Schiaparelli Shocking by Schiaparelli c 1937 Gift of Annette Green F2005 860 820A Continue reading Mae West objects on display Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments 4 TrackBack 0 August 14 2009 Mae West Mae West s 1893 1980 most famous attribute was her figure Buxom rounded and held in place by rigid corsets West s silhouette provoked a degree of outrage while also serving as her best publicity Her hourglass shape was immortalized in 1937 when the couturier Elsa Schiaparelli used West s

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/mae-west/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Mainbocher
    of apprenticeship and skill building with an established couturier were the more usual path to success Relative inexperience coupled with the start of what became a decade long depression might have discouraged a less confident and focused individual Despite these apparently unfavorable circumstances Mainbocher went on to have an extremely successful career based on his ability to dress women like ladies 1 At the start of World War II in 1940 Mainbocher closed his Paris salon and moved to New York Though he intended to stay only for the duration of the war he worked in New York until his retirement in 1971 In New York as in Paris Mainbocher s clientele always referred to as friends were drawn from the most elite echelons of society Gloria Vanderbilt Diana Vreeland C Z Guest and Babe Paley were among his New York clients Due to a policy of accepting new clients only through personal recommendation Mainbocher s salon was known as the most exclusive in New York City Further reinforcing the impression of exclusivity was the lack of advertising Rather than placing ads in fashion periodicals Mainbocher relied on word of mouth publicity Mainbocher s garments were created in the strict

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/mainbocher/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Marc Bohan
    and congratulated Chairs were toppled 1 Bohan s collection was inspired by the 1920s and featured short chiffon dresses with dropped waists and double breasted jackets with a straight line The enthusiastic reception to Bohan s collection signaled not only approval of his designs but also relief that the most influential house in the haute couture was making a comeback after the rocky years of Yves Saint Laurent s tenure Appointed head designer for Dior after the founding designer s death in 1957 the young and mercurial Saint Laurent s first collection for Dior was warmly received But Saint Laurent s 1960 Beatnik collection which featured leather skirts and black turtlenecks was too much for the women who patronized the haute couture In contrast Bohan was an experienced designer who had worked in the haute couture since 1945 His first position was at Robert Piguet though he soon moved to Molyneux later becoming head designer at Maison Patou Bohan assumed the mantle of Dior just as the world of the haute couture was beginning to change dramatically In retrospect the years 1947 1957 are generally considered the pinnacle of the haute couture With Christian Dior at the forefront haute couture designers were the arbiters of chic producing exquisite fashions for the elite These creations were then modified by manufacturers and or retailers to appeal to the eye and wallet of everywoman But in the 1960s this system went head over heels as young women began disregarding the dictates of the haute couture in favor of diverse styles developed by and for the younger generation This emerging youthquake would permanently alter the way that haute couture was produced and perceived Saint Laurent s Beatnik collection which was influenced by the style of Parisian bohemians and not the elite patrons of the haute couture actually predicted the emerging relationship between haute couture and street fashion S2001 27 1 London was a hotbed of street fashion with numerous small boutiques offering youthful styles at relatively inexpensive prices Young designers with little experience not the years of training required in the haute couture opened boutiques Mary Quant s Bazaar which featured her schoolgirlish minidresses was one of the first Aware that something was happening in London Marc Bohan travelled to the newly fashionable city in 1966 Though impressed with the energy of Swinging London Bohan wasn t persuaded by the style of its residents On returning to France Bohan made a remark that indicated his belief in the primacy of the haute couture A couturier s job is dressing a woman making her elegant Our client cannot wear youthquake fashions and look beautiful 2 Though Bohan was aware that his clients were not ready to adopt the styles emerging from the youthquake the peek a boo bodice of this white sheath dress suggests that youthquake fashions were influencing Bohan During the 1950s and early 60s haute couture evening gowns weren t very revealing Strapless gowns were popular and lowered necklines were not unusual but

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/marc-bohan/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Mariano Fortuny
    typical of those worn with the Delphos It also showcases another of Fortuny s talents textiles printed in patterns inspired by a variety of historic cultures Capes cloaks and jackets of Fortuny printed silk velvet were frequently worn over the solid color silk Delphos or used to create simple unfitted gowns Our Delphos is black but Fortuny also utilized other colors and shades Most often these are rich nearly luminous jewel tones Fortuny always dyed his own fabric often with the help of his wife Henriette Fortuny s Delphos was introduced about 1909 when the highly artificial S bend silhouette was dominant Fortuny s lightweight creations were meant to be worn without any corsetry and ideally with only the bare minimum of undergarments Because of this Fortuny s early experimentation in classically influenced dress were worn only by the most daring of women including dancers Isadora Duncan and Ruth St Denis actress Lillian Gish and the noted eccentric Marchesa Luisa Casati Gradually Fortuny s gowns were adopted as at home dress by some women In the fashion press they were often referred to as a teagown a style of at home dress popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries By the 1920s Fortuny s Delphos and its variations were becoming acceptable for wear outside the home 80 1925 059 4 Hem detail The aspect of Fortuny s work that receives the most attention is the narrow pleats that give the garments their textural character Silk which Fortuny used to create his pleated gowns is notoriously difficult to permanently pleat Using a secret process that he invented Fortuny was somehow able to achieve a nearly permanent pleat The panels of fabric were probably finger pleated when wet and then heat set The only evidence of the process is an image taken from a patent application for a machine used for some part of the process Scholars have suggested that the pleated widths of fabric were held in place by thread during the heat set process The panels each containing between 430 450 pleats were hand sewn after pleating Though Fortuny s pleating process created a very stable pleat customers were encouraged to maintain their pleated Fortuny garments by storing them inside small round hat boxes In the boxes the dresses were stored in a twisted coil which helped maintain the pleats If the pleats started to come undone due to water damage or extended sitting Fortuny would re pleat the gown for free at his Venice production facility Upon Fortuny s death in 1949 production of his distinct pleated garments ceased Women who wore Fortuny s creations were devoted customers Photographic evidence suggests that many women lovingly maintained their Fortuny garments for decades either as collectibles or garments still worn in regular rotation Even today women occasionally wear a Fortuny creation to a red carpet or gala event Have you spotted a Fortuny out and about lately Posted by FIDM Museum Permalink Comments 2 TrackBack 0 March 29 2012

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/mariano-fortuny/ (2016-02-12)
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  • FIDM Museum Blog: Marimekko
    as a textile design firm specializing in hand silk screened cotton fabric The patterns created by Marimekko designers were a departure from traditional Finnish floral patterns though the graphic modern Marimekko imagery was definitely inspired by aspects of Finnish heritage and landscape To promote their textile designs the founders of Marimekko created a collection of unrestrictive garments utilizing their textiles From the beginning Marimekko garments were loose and unstructured meant

    Original URL path: http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/marimekko/ (2016-02-12)
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