Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Evening dress

Designer:
Attributed to Madame Grès (Alix Barton) (French, Paris 1903–1993 Var region)
Date:
ca. 1938
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Anthony Wilson, 1963
Accession Number:
2009.300.1305
Not on view
Madame Alix Gres' career spanned nearly five decades and throughout them all she excelled in her ability to manipulate fabric and use its innate characteristics to enhance her designs. Silk jersey, the fabric of choice for her classically inspired, form-fitting gowns, allowed her to experiment with draping and gathering. The ingenious construction of this bodice shows Grès' early interest in creative pleating. The front of the gown is reminiscent of a chiton, which was worn gathered and pinned at the shoulders and girdled at the waist. Here, however, the gathers are pleats that extend over the shoulders and frame a large cutout in the back. As an early example of her work, it emphasizes two design characteristics Gres would return to again and again: sculptural pleating and cut-out forms.
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