Madame Grès (Alix Barton) (French, Paris 1903–1993 Var region)
Gift of Thomas L. Kempner, 2006
Not on view
Alix Grès was a designer of diverse tastes, but one whose work always reflected her fascination with the complexities of a garment's cut and structure. She was most widely known for her finely pleated silk jersey dresses such as this particularly representative example. Grès began the draping of such gowns with a boned underbodice, very much like a supple corset. She manipulated and loosely tacked the tightly arranged pleats to this base by hand. Generally, the jersey was worked in parallel vertical panels running from the shoulders to the hem of the gown. In this design, the horizontal pleating at the bodice is composed of separate inserts, but the "braided" bands that extend to form shoulder straps are continuous with the skirt.
Marking: [label] "GRES / PARIS"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Madame Grès," September 13, 1994–November 27, 1994.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nan Kempner: American Chic," December 12, 2006–March 4, 2007.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "blog.mode: addressing fashion," December 18, 2007–April 13, 2008.
de Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "Nan Kempner: American Chic," June 16, 2007–November 11, 2007.