"Madame Grès, couture at work" exhibition at the Musée Bourdelle, Paris

01 Madame Grès by Crespi. Femina, April 1949
Madame Grès by Crespi. Femina, April 1949

This was the first Paris retrospective dedicated to Madame Grès (1903-1993). A mistress of couture who was adored by her peers, Madame Grès repeated throughout her life,
"I wanted to be a sculptor. For me, working with fabric or stone is the same thing".

In the world of fashion, she was the pioneer of an intransigent minimalism. The sculpted dresses of Madame Grès have found a home at the Bourdelle Museum. The exhibition showcased 80 creations from the collections of the Galliera Museum, as well as loans from private collectors and contemporary designers.

Automne 1933.
Robe du soir fourreau. Jersey de viscose noir.

Printemps 1944
Robe d’intérieur. Jersey de soie (?) bordeaux, doublure en taffetas de fibres artificielles rouges.

Printemps-Été 1946
Robe de jour. Jersey de laine vert, doublure en mousseline de soie écrue.

Automne-Hiver 1952-1953
Robe du soir. Jerseys de viscose blanc et gris.

Vers 1965
Robe de cocktail. Jersey de viscose rose pâle, ceinture en cuir et deux queues-de-rat de la même couleur.

05 Alix. Modèle n°102, Hiver 1934.
Studio Dorvine, 1934
Alix. Modèle n°102, Hiver 1934.

Boris Lipnitzki (1887-1971), 1935
Alix. Modèle de la collection Automne 1935

Boris Lipnitzki (1887-1971), 1936
Madame Grès créant une robe du soir pour Macy’s, Paris.

Henry Clarke (1918-1996), 1954
Grès. Robe blanche en jersey de soie et faille.

The exhibition allowed visitors to discover her most beautiful creations: evening dresses – drapes which in 1976 earned her a Dé d’or (Golden Thimble). Created between the 30s and the 80s, always in jersey and often ivory or pearl grey, these sculptural dresses have radiantly withstood the test of time. They were photographed by Richard Avedon and Guy Bourdin and widely featured in women’s magazines. Her dresses and coats remain an inspiration for couturiers and designers today.

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