Monday, March 24, 2014

Master of Couture: David Pedroza

I am thrilled and excited to announce my first contributing editor to the RARE vintage blog, David Pedroza, whose monthly column will be called Master of Couture.  David understands the inner mysteries of haute couture like no one else I have ever met and, not only, is he a devotée of haute couture and fashion history but he also creates beautiful, old school, French haute couture by his own self-trained petits mains.  

He is very opinionated as a Master should be and it is always an honor and an enlightenment to listen to him speak about the complex subtleties of vintage haute couture and that is how we came up with the idea of his writing a monthly column for RARE vintage.

Read on...

Forquet and his Gold Dress.

When Federico Forquet designed this graphic pattern, lamé gown, the whole concept of design relied on the beauty and integrity of the fabric.  Federico Forquet favored bold, geometric prints that had become popular in the 1960s, especially among Italian designers such as Emilio Pucci, Princess Irene Galitizine and Simonetta.

The blouson sheath silhouette is the perfect back drop to the beautiful, yarn-died, woven, graphic pattern of silk and metal lamé fabric, most likely woven in Como Italy.  Don't expect this quality of fabric to be hanging on the racks of Bergdorf Goodman.

Although simple in shape, the dress is meticulously constructed.  Mr. Forquet was one of the darlings of the Italian Alta Moda, or haute couture, during his brief career when he opened his own atelier in 1962 until 1971 when he closed his house to focus on interior and garden design.  Having been trained by Balenciaga, he applied the art of haute couture workmanship into every piece he made, no matter how simple.

The rich lamé fabric is backed, not lined, in silk organza, to be soft against the skin, while keeping the grain and structure on the outer shell.

The hallmarks of of haute couture finishing, such as, hand-over-cast edges, grosgrain waist stays, and hand stitched facings are all integrated in this seemingly simple dress.

The top of the dress is cut on the bias, which allows ease and softness without the aid of seams, ties at the lower back, making this dress effortless and easy to wear.  What I found most interesting was the hem, which has been stiffened with nylon crinoline, and partially lined in China silk, to keep its shape and fall away from the body ending in a slight train.

Any woman with means and the life style on the search for a hostess ensemble would flock to Forquet for simple day dresses, pajamas, coats and evening dresses that reflected a happy and vivacious lifestyle.  To this day, this dress has the same appeal it did nearly fifty years ago and would still be the most perfect hostess ensemble to entertain your guests at home.

David Pedroza
Master of Couture

1966 Federico Forquet Lamé Gown available for purchase at RARE vintage. or phone 212.581.7273

*I am always interested in purchasing any pieces by the great Italian couturier Federico Forquet for RARE vintage, please feel free to email or phone, if you have a piece you would like to part with.

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