Rare 1970s Madame Gres Haute Couture Blue Print Silk Chiffon Blue Skirt w Ruffled Bottom
Madame Gres' work has had profound effects on Haute Couture and her influence still resonates to this day. Her attention to detail, master draping techniques and respect for the female form is unparalleled. She was known for designing and creating garments directly on her models and this became a signature of her work. She opened her first atelier, La Maison Alix in 1932. A partnership briefly changed the house's name to Alix Barton and then the label went to simply Alix. In 1942 she married, and the label made its last change to became Madame Gres, which was a partial anagram of Serge, her husband's first name. Her work spans over five full decades with the vast majority of it, with the exception of a short-lived RTW line begun in 1980, dedicated solely to creating Haute Couture. She is one of the greatest couturiers of our time and her pieces are very rare and hard to find. This skirt is exceptional.
This piece is unlabeled and comes to me directly from the family that the other recent Gres pieces have come from. Their family records indicate that this is also her work. Her son told me that 'Madame Grès would let her wear many dresses as she was size model and those she really liked she purchased afterwards.' This was one of those that she kept. Knowing when she had this relationship with Madame Gres dates this to sometime from about 1960 to the mid 60s.
The skirt is spectacular. It very light in weight. The top layer is made out of a printed silk chiffon that has a touch of transparency to it. This is layered over a beautiful silver coloured silk lining. This gives the print a beautiful depth. The abstract print is a deep blue that is softened by the transparency of the silk. The waist is banded and has loops for the original deep blue silk covered belt to slip through. I love the little flat bow at the front. It skims over the hips and then begins to flare out as it reaches the bottom. The entire lower skirt is finished with an elaborate ruffle. The ruffle is scooped higher at the front so when you walk you get a kick of silk around you. It curves down from there to the back where it is set longer for a slightly trailing effect behind you. The ruffle is made from five layers of the silk stacked on top of each other with the layers set at slightly different lengths to give it more volume. Incredibly, each layer of the ruffles is completely hand finished along their edges. The amount of hours to have done this many yards of silk like that is mind boggling. There is not a single zipper to be found on the skirt. It closes with hidden set hook & eye and snaps. It is entirely made by hand to Haute Couture standards. It is a remarkable and rare piece of fashion history. Excellent condition with a minor note below
Fully lined in silver silk and it closes at the side with a series of metal hook and eye. There is elastic around the inner waist held in place by individual cording. It is entirely made by hand to Haute Couture standards. Its original belt is included. The belt shows some stiffening of its backing and cracking but presents well from the front. There is the teeniest bit of stress to the fabric near the snaps. I see one spot on the back hem otherwise it looks like it's been worn very little if at all. Please see the final photo here.
Waist: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Inner hips: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: approx 36" to the end of the ruffles at the front hem and 56" to the back hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.
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