Thursday, December 18, 2008

Grès Anatomy

In Madame Grès Sphinx of Fashion by Patricia Mears (Yale University Press) The magnetic Madame Alix Grès - known the world over for her draped Grecian gowns is finally given the recognition she deserves in this beautiful tome that explores the enigmatic designer's life, intricate designs & non-western aesthetic that won the fashion world over for nearly 5 decades. As if she was a mythical
God(dess) Grès (working earlier as Alix) created dresses in shafts of fabric that transformed the body to epic proportions! Seaming together fabric vertically so as to be continuous from hem to neckline, Grès pleated and tucked the materials into a shaping suitable for the perfect silhouette: like Zeus she created tour-de-force pieces. Grès was a savant when it came to shape & form which showed in her pieces of increasingly complex drapery and pleating .
In her neoclassicism, Grès conformed to the antique notion of uninterrupted lengths of cloth, stitched but not cut into shape. From her earliest work to her later years, Grès introduced windows onto the body with the bias and pleating that has redone by nearly every designer!
Everything is on display in this magnum opus tome from her body-skimming designs of the 1930s , the technical virtuosity incorporated in her legendary draping ,her genius ability to reinvent herself and her designs through incorporating different cultures making her a force to be reckon with! This tome is a MUST for fashion lovers!

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