Sunday, June 29, 2008

RARE Excitement

It is the fantasy of many a collector of vintage haute couture to find a dress by Madame Gres not to mention, dresses! But our never ending search to bring exciting and unique pieces of wearable and collectible vintage to our RARE vintage blog readers and clients is our mission and our pleasure. The Wall Street Journal recently devoted a page to the discovery of these dresses.

For many designers the grueling amount of creativity needed to sustain collection after collection and to continue to grow and remain relevant eventually exhausts their resources. Madame Gres is one of the few designers to have had a long and remarkable career. Alix Barton opened her first couture house in 1934 and after a falling out with her associates, opened a new salon calling it Gres in 1942. She showed her last collection in 1988. Even in the 1970s she worked with Guy Bourdin to produce provocative and revolutionary advertising campaigns and layouts in French Vogue.

All of these dresses are signature pieces of Madame Gres' work. The teal silk jersey is the classically inspired style most immediately associated with Gres. It is a fantastically beautiful gown and it is only when looked at more closely does the technical brilliance of its design become evident. The draped cowl neck is one piece of fabric that becomes the slashed open sleeve. It is this kind of technique that makes her work so unique and appealing to collectors. And it is incredible on the body!

In the 1960s and 1970s Madame Gres incorporated elements from saris, kimonos and caftans. Our two-piece rose silk ensemble's top has kimono sleeves.

The multi colored silk aqua dress is an amazing draped gown. Well known for sculpting with fabric, this dress shows her ability to sculpt in a soft languid fabric like chiffon. It is very couture hippie. It is also very refined and elegant but whimsical too in the large scale flower print. And on the body it is spectacular and special.

1970s rust colored two-piece silk evening ensemble with dramatic dolman sleeve top.

1970s draped acqua silk chiffon gown. The bubble shaped back gathers at the waist. Labeled Gres.

1970s teal silk jersey dress with draped cowl neck. Lined in teal organza.
Labeled Gres.

1970s two-piece rose silk evening ensemble with kimono sleeve detail. Labeled Gres.

1970s two-piece electric blue silk chiffon evening ensemble with fine dense pleating at the waist. Labeled Gres.

For more information about these items please email or call (212) 581 7273


  1. Just because its couture doesn't make it desireable, you want Gres
    from the early part of the 20th Century

  2. Hmmm. Well, Anonymous, you may only want Gres from the early part of the 20th century and that is very fine. That is the lovely thing about collecting vintage there are many different people for different periods, styles and designers. I will point out that there are pieces of Madame Gres from the 1970s in most of the major costume collections in the world.

  3. 1970s draped acqua silk chiffon gown. ..I need that.



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