Friday, October 24, 2014


"In 1932, Madame Gres, who was then known as Alix, came to the attention of the fashionable world. She has never since lost that attention. Thirty-two years later, she continues at the top of French couture, a unique talent - her timeless, draped silk jersey dresses, prized possessions of their owners. One of the few true dressmakers left (charming witness of her profession, the worn little pincushion that swings from her waist as she works), she cuts material directly without pattern or drawing, using in one dress from twenty to seventy yards of fabric. Paradoxically, Madame Gres is a woman famed, but little known. Shy, tiny, with the elegant bones of a mandarin, she is both a designer and a sculptor. Her hands hold a length of cloth or sculptor's tools with the same touch that '"knows,"' that feels, without grasping, the essence of what is held. Everything about her speaks an awareness of what lies beneath, the irreducible, the bones of life, excess and detail pared away - her Paris apartment, strong-to-stark, filled but not cluttered with marvelous antique Chinese rugs and Gothic statuary; her taste for the muted blessings of gray and beige, and, of course, her designs, miracles of draping that could have graced a Venus in ancient Greece. Her own manner of dressing is always simple - a sweater and skirt for work, a gray squirrel pullover for a city stroll; for evening, the perfection of a white silk velvet tunic dress swathed in a toss of white fox and, night or day, the tight-drawn turban. The gift so apparent in all she designs is and only could be the result of a disciplined, unsparing effort toward perfection which she, as nearly as it is possible, achieves."
Diane Arbus

Madame Gres wears her camel coloured coat with mandarin collar and an asymmetrical closing

madame gres:
a unique talent
Harper's Bazaar February 1964
Photography: Diane Arbus

...eyes on Arbus at devodotcom

devodotcom posts on Diane Arbus

8/23/14 The Magical Photography of Diane Arbus
12/29/13 Happy New Year From Our house To Your House!
4/29/13 The Magical Photography of Diane Arbus
4/12/13 Harper’s Bazaar Year 101
4/19/12 The Magical Photography of Diane Arbus
3/22/12 The Simplicity of Thought
3/21/12 Have A Great Day!
1/25/12 The Vertical Journey
12/31/11 Happy New Year
11/24/11 The Young Heiresses
8/14/11 Bill Blass Designs For Little Ones
7/12/11 The Full Circle:Prince Robert de Rohan Courtenay
5/17/11 As You Desire Me
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2/14/11 The Couple
1/30/11 She's As Mae West As Ever: Mae West
10/16/10 The Full Circle: William Mack
9/25/10 Mrs. T. Charlton Henry
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8/20/10 The Real Miss Cora Pratt
8/20/10 Miss Cora Pratt
7/29/10 The Full Circle: Jack Dracula
7/27/10 Thank Heaven For Little Girls
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5/24/10 Tokyo Rose

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