Madame Grès

2:39:00 PM

Does anyone know Madame Grès? She was also known as Alix Barton.

I was browsing the Costume Institute at the Met yesterday and found some of her works which I think is awesome! I admit I may not be one of those fashion experts people who know every designers and every tidbits that goin' on in the fashion world history so the name Madame Grès, although I'm sure I've heard it before, is not really familiar to my ear. So when I finally found her designs I'm quite upset with myself because I can't believe I just found her out! She has the most fabulous designs especially her dresses, I really love her style !

If you're like me and you didn't know about her until now, here's a little of her story:
She was born Germaine Emilie Krebs in 1903, later known as Alix Barton. At first she wanted to be a scupltress or a ballerina. She first started as a milliner, then in 1932 she opens "Alex Couture", her first fashion house followed by "Alix Barton" in 1934 where she designs under her own name "Alix". And then in 1942 she launched her design house under the name Grès in Paris.
The name Grès itself is the partial anagram of her husband's first name and alias. Her husband is Serge Czerekov, a Russian painter who signs his paintings with the name Grès.

Her royal clients included the Duchess of Talleyrand, the Countess Munose, Princess Matilda of Greece, Lady Deterling, Lady Mendl, the Duchess of Windsor and the Princesses of Bourbon-Parma as well as Jacqueline Kennedy, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and Vivien Leigh.
Her signature was cut-outs on gowns that made exposed skin part of the design, yet still had a classical, sophisticated feel. She was renowned for being the last of the haute couture houses to establish a ready-to-wear line, which she called a "prostitution".
Vogue's History of 20th Century Fashion edited in 1988 named her "the greatest living couturier". Many awards and titles were also attributed to this great fashion designer.

Other than her french "Haute-Couture" fashion house she also has an associated perfume house called "Parfums Grès" which still exists today unlike her fashion business which she sold in 1984. One of her legendary perfume is "Cabochard".

Here is several of her fabulous designs, ranging from Day Dress, Afternoon Dress, Evening Dress, Dinner Dress, etc..
Her designs were inspired mostly by the distant lands such as greek goddesses, chinese pagodas, japanese origamis to india's saris and iconic archangels.
If I were a socialitè back at her time I would love to be dressed by Madame Grès from morning til dawn, from Sunday to Saturday.

Madame Grès is officially one of my favorite designer now. It's just too bad she's now been forgotten while her designs were truly exquisite. Well, anyway here's my highlight of Madame Grès designs (My Favorites) :

Now what do you think of Madame Grès? Would you let yourself wear her designs? Do you think she's one of those designers whose ahead of her time? Or would you not agree with me? Let's share...


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6 thoughts & comments

  1. What a beautiful and fascinating post! Very interesting indeed. I love Madame Grès's designs, quite amazing! x

  2. Thanks shopaholic and noomie !
    Glad I found another fan of mdme Gres ^__^

  3. Madame Grès, la couture à l'oeuvre au musée Bourdelle
    Le musée Galliera inaugure sa programmation hors les murs au musée Bourdelle avec la 1e rétrospective parisienne jamais consacrée à Madame Grès (1903-1993). Maître de la couture vu par ses pairs comme le génie tutélaire de la profession, Madame Grès ne cessa de répéter tout au long de sa vie : « Je voulais être sculpteur. Pour moi, c’est la même chose de travailler le tissu ou la pierre ». Du 25 mars au 24 juillet 2011

    Come in Paris!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. @Aristea: Thank you! Although I had to translate your comment with google translator since I sadly can't speak french other than a few words :(

    For those of you who don't speak french like me, here's the translation of Aristea's comment above:

    Madame Gres, the sewing work at the Bourdelle Museum
    Galliera Museum inaugurates its programming off the walls at the Bourdelle Museum in Paris with the first retrospective ever devoted to Madame Gres (1903-1993). Master of couture as seen by their peers as the presiding genius of the profession, Madame Gres never ceased to repeat throughout his life: "I wanted to be a sculptor. For me, it's the same thing to work the fabric or stone. "From March 25 to July 24, 2011


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