Numbered Couture 1920s Jeanne Paquin
An incredible piece of history, this museum quality gown is an unbelievable find. Jeanne Paquin was French and one of the first great couturiers. She trained as a dressmaker under Rouff and opened her own salon in 1891. She was the first woman to do this making her quite remarkable for that fact alone! She was known for her pastel garnished evening gowns. She did a series of dresses suited for the tango - she apparently was fascinated by Spain and this may have been made for a spanish aristocrat of the day.
The gown is made from two pieces - the main dress is silk netting over a silk base. The bodice is a fine nude silk onto which an elaborate netted skirt is attached. The upper portion of the skirt is solidly beaded with tubular glass beads done in rows that fan out in ever widening panels. Each panel changes from that solid beading to a fan design on rhinestone ones. The underskirt is black silk. The top is a simple short tank that slips over the head. It is also silk netting completely covered in pearl colored glass beads sewn in rows.
The piece has a Paquin tag and a separate numbered ribbon along an inside seam (it's partially under the silk - I took out s stitch to photo it and then replaced it as was). I would class the condition as near mint for its age and fabrication. There are a few small areas where someone has tightened and reinforced the netting but most look to have be done long ago and was done expertly. Though it would be strong enough to wear with care and love, it really should be treated as a collectible piece and stored properly and handled appropriately. It is am amazing, irreplaceable and important piece of fashion history.
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