Madame Grès (Alix Barton) (French, Paris 1903–1993 Var region)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Douglas Auchincloss, 1985
Not on view
Madame Alix Grès' career spanned five decades and throughout she excelled in the ability to manipulate fabric and use its innate characteristics to enhance her designs. She introduced her classically inspired evening gowns in the 1930s, using drapable silk jersey to create the body-skimming form. She would return to that form again and again, constantly reviving and renewing its shape. Here the soft gathers of the 1930s have evolved into tight, disciplined pleats in the 1960s. Gres lets the razor-thin pleats of the bodice flow into a beautiful arrangement of scallops along the neckline, giving the piece a timeless, sculptural appearance.