Madame Grès (Alix Barton) (French, Paris 1903–1993 Var region)
Gift of Mrs. Murray Graham, 1961
Not on view
Panels of taffeta function for Grès as gray, black, and white elements did for Whistler in his painted symphonies and arrangements. An elegant dress with crisscrossing panels of gray taffeta slightly varied in tint betrays its construction as the matrix of its apparent surfaces: the gray panels are continuous pieces that loop under to create a ballooning skirt in the manner of a helical harem skirt. Characteristically, Grès violates the side seam at the waist, where arcs cut into the waistline, visually diminishing it but also giving a sense-like that of Vionnet-of the body's three-dimensionality.