Madame Gres and blah-blah-blah

A few more of Gres gowns. I’m glad she’s now getting all the attention she deserves but at the same time I couldn’t help but think ‘where all of you have been before?’.  I mean as the saying goes the history is written by the victors and in fashion this means that the history of fashion is written by the most powerful and famous brands. Using their influence they could create whatever story they want. That’s why now we have such myths as the one about Coco Chanel ‘who invented the little black dress’.

Although today it seems that we know everything about fashion it’s mostly about the big names. There are tens of books about Dior or YSL and only 3 about Gres (at least as far as I know) and one of them is dedicated to the recent exhibition in Paris. Actually it’s quite logical that the fashion biggies support their status by publishing books and sponsoring museum exhibitions, not to mention all this usual pr routine with the campaigns, videos etc. However I feel that through this activity the brands not only try to keep their clientele in the loop and attract the new ones but they also try to exaggerate their roles in the history of fashion. Though all of it is understandable I still wish more people knew about the likes of Charles James, Mariano Fortuny, Boue sisters and other great talents that remain largely unknown because their Houses didn’t last until now becoming the world renowned megabrands.

Pictures scanned by me from the book ‘Madame Grès, la couture à l’oeuvre’.

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Past perfect

Few weeks ago I was at the viewing of Kerry Taylor auction for vintage and antique fashion. There was an amazing selection of clothes and accessories from various decades of fashion and even of 18th and 19th centuries. It was a lovely journey through the vintage Chanel, Paco Rabanne, Madame Gres, Galliano, McQueen, Comme des Garcons, Balmain etc. I could see and appreciate every tiny detail in these pieces, how immaculately they was made, how exquisitely decorated. However the ones I liked most of all were those slightly worn out bystanders of the long bygone eras with damaged beadwork, fragile laces, exposed stitching, like this old Lanvin dress. And of course there were quite nice Comme des Garcons and Issey Miyake pieces from late 80s and early 90s.

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