Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Beautiful Fall

Madame Grès

Madame Grès (French, 1903–1993). Dress, 1971. White hand-pleated silk jersey. Gift of Thomas L. Kempner, 2006 (2006.420.6).

Alix Grès was a designer of diverse tastes, but one whose work always reflected her fascination with the complexities of a garment’s cut and structure. She was most widely known for her finely pleated silk jersey dresses such as this particularly representative example. Grès began the draping of such gowns with a boned underbodice, very much like a supple corset. She manipulated and loosely tacked the tightly arranged pleats to this base by hand. Generally, the jersey was worked in parallel vertical panels running from the shoulders to the hem of the gown. In this design, the horizontal pleating at the bodice is composed of separate inserts, but the “braided” bands that extend to form shoulder straps are continuous with the skirt.

Comments (24)

  1. Amanda Lindemann Says:

    This dress is very aestheticly pleasing for me. The shape and form of this dress are beautiful. I like how it doesn’t exactly hug the body, it is loose near the body and is tight where it needs to be. The lines are very visual the pleated effect really makes the dress stand out. The color of this dress is wonderful, I feel if it were any different color the dress wouldn’t have th same appeal. The texture seems really nice as well. The silk jersey is a nice fabric that is flowy and comfortable.

  2. Claudia Says:

    This dress is by far my favorite. It is absolutly gorgeous and stunning.

  3. Monica Says:

    I do adore this dress :)

  4. Randi Says:

    this is beautiful
    its my prom dress

  5. Sara Newman Says:

    I love this!

  6. Robyn Says:

    It reminds me of a Grecian gown,very flowing,simple & elegant..

  7. Rebecca Says:

    This is just so pretty. One can tell Gres had excellent taste for fashion. I want to see more of his work and I want to take home some of his work and put the art into my walk-in closet. Dead center. He crafted this piece and made it simple and yet so sweet. I love this. When I look at the picture it’s as though as if I could reach out and touch the silk!
    I think this is a mix of Russian and Grecian. It looks like Audery Hepburn could of have worn on Sabrina and looks like Marliyn Manroe would have had each person in the room looking at her. This dress is love by all.

  8. Joe Says:

    I think the display was really good and interesting to look at. Reading about the different things was also fun. It is really fun and worth looking at.

  9. Laurie Aron Says:

    I’m fascinated that these articulate Grecian folds got their start on a boned underbodice–does that stay as part of the structure of the dress, or is it only a temporary prop? It’s hard to put together flowing goddess-like draperies with a corset, although I’m sure there’s mythological precedent.

  10. teresa Says:

    i really love the grecian inspired feel of this dress. very classy and goddess-like

  11. hannah Says:

    i think that the dress ais very fashionable like the ones in old fashion movies.

  12. julia Says:

    This dress is so pretty. I wish that everyone could dress like that everyday. Sometimes i wish that i could go back in time to wear this.

  13. Marilyn M Says:

    I think the entire exhibit is fascinating, but especially the elaborate dresses from the time of Marie Antoinnette. They were obviously excessively expensive. The cost of one of them was probably enough to fund the Revolution!

  14. getitgurr Says:

    ohemgeez i totez luv diz. it was thuper ky00t. Yo Julia ur mah gur now cuz u no how i feel babiiboo.

    id wear diz wit ky00t bag and glued heerrr/

    lotz of luv. <333

  15. Pia Says:

    this dress okay i didn’t think it was my favorite

  16. chris Says:

    Tout le charme et savoir faire Francais reuni dans cette robe si pure et elegante.

  17. Lena Says:

    This dress is reminiscent of Venus, the goddess of beauty and translates wonderfully into the modern fashion world

  18. Carmella Says:

    I hate to see this exhibition come to an end. It was directly downstairs from the Ancient Egyptian galleries and if you look at Egyptian dress and style, you can see its influence reaching through 3000 years to a dress like this. I thought there were many outfits that reflected Egyptian influence, including “Tucked in Red” and “Pretty in Pink” with all its draping. I liked the introduction to this exhibit — that fashion is an immediate expression of our zeitgeist (good vocab word — “spirit of the time”) and is completely integrated with our lives. It speaks of dreams, desires, memories and experiences. I wonder what ancient Egyptian fashion says for the ancient Egyptians sleeping in the galleries upstairs? They were an incredibly stylish people. What were their dreams?

  19. Janine Says:


  20. Janine Says:

    I think this dress is very elegant. The flairs really make it stand out then all the other dresses. If I could choose a prom dress mine would be this elegant one.

  21. Jay Says:

    This is what I call elegant!! :)

  22. Laura Says:

    gorgeous…great way to start in exhibit…reminds me of that pleating/draping guy on project runway;)…but way better!

  23. Clere Chaos ;D Says:

    totally rad,fer sure

  24. Lauren Says:

    Winged Victory

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