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. William Randolph Hearst, Jr., 1988
Not on view
Madame Alix Grès' career spanned five decades and throughout them all she excelled in her ability to manipulate fabric and use its innate characteristics to enhance her designs. She executed flowing body-skimming forms inspired by ancient Greek dress; minimalist, sculptural forms and voluminous, dramatic shapes. Grès combines all of these features in a variation on her 1974 taffeta evening dress (2009.300.35a, b). Starting with a single-shoulder, columnar sheath in silk taffeta, Grès adds an enormous balloon sleeve with tight gathers at the wrist and an attached himaton-like wrap with her trademark asymmetrical hem. The combination of volume, drama, sculpture and classicism create a striking silhouette that encapsulates Grès' design sensibilities into the 1980s.