1940s Jacques Griffe Haute Couture Black SIlk Satin Dress
Jacques Griffe was considered to be one of the great French couturiers and was one of very few designers capable of the complete design process from sketching to draping, cutting, and sewing the garments. He trained early on with a local tailor, and later, in Paris with Madeleine Vionnet from 1936-39. Vionnet exposed him to unique ways of cutting, and how techniques in draping that enhanced the female body. It is interesting to note that while working under Vionnet he also learned her technique of draping and cutting the fabric using a small jointed mannequin and like Vionnet, he designed by draping fabric directly onto a mannequin for the rest of his career. She actually presented him with a wooden mannequin for this purpose when he launched his own fashion house in 1941 and a ready to wear line in 1947. He continued to design until 1968.
This is a gown that showcases some of his signature design elements. The strapless bodice was a favored silhouette and the rich silk satin used is of very high quality and gives the otherwise simple piece an extra layer of texture and richness. The silhouette is that of a sheath, with a defined waist. The skirt wraps around itself and curves gently upwards at the back where the ends overlap each other giving it a graceful feel. The bodice is fitted and the inner construction is boned and has small front padding so the wearer can forego undergarments there is she wished. An attached panel in the same fabric gracefully curves up and over one shoulder to fall in a trail of silk satin behind you. The inner construction is entirely done by hand and the workmanship refined. This is a beautiful, graceful and exemplary example of one of the great Couturiers of our time. Excellent condition
The dress is unlined through the skirt and lined in a fine black silk through the bodice. There is wire boning and padding inside the bodice interior. The dress is entirely made by hand as Haute Couture demands. The zipper has separated from the dress in some parts. Since this a rare and fine, early Haute Couture example I have decided to leave it entirely original. If the new owner wishes, I can have this done by my tailor prior to shipping, however, some collectors prefer no new stitches be added so I leave the choice to the buyer. The silk satin shows normal patina for its age. There are no significant pulls or scuffs.
Bust: to 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 12.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 20.5" flat across from side seam to side seam
Bodice: 10" from top of dress to waist
Skirt: 42.5" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: XS-SML
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.