Rare 1940s Madame Gres Couture Floor Length Black Wool Cloak

Madame Gres


Madame Gres, was a genius and could could create gorgeous designs under even the most strict limitations. The gorgeous cloak is made of black wool, and features a rounded neckline as well as slits for arms. The wool is heavy, with strong, precise stitching. Designed by Madame Gres in the 1940s, this cloak reflects her talent for making art that thrives, despite the austerity measures enacted in France during and after WW2.

One Size

Born in Paris, around the turn of the 20th century, Madame Grès (nee Germaine Émilie Krebs, AKA Alix Barton, Alix) pursued sculpture before turning her interests towards fashion. Grès was initially a hat maker, but her eye for design soon propelled her into haute couture dressmaking. From the 1930s on, Grès 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 Río, Barbra Streisand, Marlene Dietrich, and Greta Garbo.

During the German occupation of France in World War II, Madame Grès 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 tricolour flag. Bewilderingly, despite being Jewish, German officers were said to have asked Grès to design dresses for their wives. Grès 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.

After the war Grès' 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, Grès designs still remain timeless and unparalleled.
Collections: Capes
  • Country of Origin
  • Condition
  • Materials & Techniques
    Wool, Neckline, Arm Slits
  • Size
    Current U.S. Size
    One Size
    Total Length
    55 Inches
  • Size Chart

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