Evening dress

Designer Madame Grès (Germaine Émilie Krebs) French

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. Here, Grès has moved away from the soft pleats and drapery of her classically-inspired, silk jersey evening gowns and toward hard, crisp taffeta that rustles with every move. The body seems almost incidental when pitted against the stiff features of the two-piece gown. The unbroken sheen of the fabric points up the column-like appearance of the skirt. The crispness and volume of the bodice, with its billowing asymmetric gathers converging to a single point at the wrist offer no clue to the contours of the wearer. The skirt's deep side slit is the only tantalizing clue to the body underneath it all.

Evening dress, Madame Grès (Germaine Émilie Krebs) (French, Paris 1903–1993 Var region), silk, French

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