Historically important Grecian goddess gown by the legendary Madame Gres. This lavish yet austere, floor length, one shoulder gown features countless hand-stitched chiffon pleats from the shoulder to the bottom of the dress, echoing classical antiquity. The dress is accented by a dramatic red pleated drape emerging from between the bodice's black pleats and cascading down the front of the dress, towards the floor. The dress includes a 22 inch long red belt. The famous Gres label, as well as two stitched-in Stars of David can be found on the waist of the dress' lining.
Born in Paris, around the turn of the 20th century, Madame Gres (nee Germaine Emilie Krebs, AKA Alix Barton, Alix) pursued sculpture before turning her interests towards fashion. Gres was initially a hat maker, but her eye for design soon propelled her into haute couture dressmaking. By the 1930s, Gres had made a name for herself and counted a number of famous women in her client list, including: Wallis Simpson - the Duchess of Windsor, Princess Matilda of Greece, Paloma Picasso, Grace Kelly, Marella Agnelli, Marie-Helene de Rothschild, Edith Piaf, Jacqueline Kennedy, Dolores del Rio, Barbra Streisand, Marlene Dietrich, and Greta Garbo.
During the German occupation of France in World War II, Madame Gres was ordered to design stark, utilitarian clothing, but defied the occupation government and continued to design sumptuous dresses in the red, white and blue of the French tricolor flag. Bewilderingly, despite being Jewish, German officers were said to have asked Gres to design dresses for their wives. Gres bravely refused. Both her refusal to design for the wives of occupying officers, and her refusal to design drab garments, played a part in the forced closing of her design house; her plenteous use of fabric during wartime was the excuse given. Found in this dress, Gres sew in a Star of David on either side of the gown, perhaps as a resistance statement during the war. Much research has been undertaken on this gown to determine its original owner to find out if perhaps this had been made for an allied or axis sympathetic individual. To date, we have been unable to determine the original client for which this gown was made.
After the war Gres began to design her famous Grecian goddess gowns. Although her earlier work reflected the sculptural, grecian motifs that she exhibited in her later work, she truly came into her own by designing the Grecian goddess gowns. Like her earlier work, the Grecian goddess gowns championed simplicity and the liberty of movement, and were designed with the wearer in mind: the body was to shape and mold the dress, not the other way around.
Although her career stretched across several decades, Gres designs still remain timeless and unparalleled.
*All MRS Couture garments and accessories have been professionally cleaned and thoroughly checked before shipping. They are ready to wear upon arrival.
AHHHH! Donald Brooks does it again with this little black dress with a whole lot of character!
The dress is knee length, with long sleeves, and a plunging bowl neckline. The dress has an empire - like waist with stitching cutting across the bust for added structure. The back of the dress features a playful sweater - like closure with five large buttons. The neckline is adorned by an amazing chain of oversized rhinestones, giving it the appearance of a riviera necklace. The rhinestone chain is heavy, and shimmers brilliantly!
Donald Brooks had an extensive career in commercial fashion and costume design, his commercial work was dramatic and sensational, taking cues from his costume designs. He first worked for Townley Frocks in 1959, replacing the late, great Claire McCardell, before opening his own company in 1964. He later created a boutique line in 1971, and then closed his business entirely in 1973. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Brooks designed under different manufacturing firms, in 1986 he created an evening wear line, and in 1990 he became a consultant at Ann Taylor.
Brooks also designed for stage and screen, and received Oscar nominations for best costume design in “The Cardinal” (1963), “Star!” (1968), and “Darling Lili” (1970).
36 in. (91.44 cm)
32 in. (81.28 cm)
36 in. (91.44 cm)
38 in. (96.52 cm)
Elegant knee length cocktail dress by Cristobal Balenciaga. This strapless black dress features a black body - skimming slip dress visible under the dress' top layer of lace. The layer of Important Riechers Marescot lace fits loosely on the body, and has an A - line silhouette with a skirt that widens towards the hem. The French couture lace is stunning, with a floral vine design that flows throughout the dress. The hem features a gentle, subdued scallop that can also be seen ruffled at the bust. Typical of Balenciaga, the dress features a great attention to detail, down to the structured girdle and bust. A gorgeous dress for those with impeccable style.
35 in. (88.9 cm)
25 in. (63.5 cm)
35 in. (88.9 cm)