The magic touch of Madame Grès

12 Dec

by Marjan Schrooten//

How about this for a pre-festive treat: ‘Madame Grès – Sulptural Fashion’ at the Antwerp Fashion Museum (MoMu); all you need is a ticket to Antwerp and another one for the exhibition (€8, that’s the price two freddo cappuccinos or a glass of bubbly) and whoops, there it is!
This inspiring exhibition shows the work of the Parisian couturière Madame Grès (1903–1993), who considered herself as much a sculptor as a fashion designer: ‘I would have like to have been a sculptor. Working with stone or fabrics is really rather the same for me.’ She was a real master-draper, draping her designs straight onto the model, without using the scissors or needle too much, which made her the pioneer of seamless clothing. None other than Madame Kelly, Piaff, Dietrich and Kennedy belonged to her privileged circle of clients. The soothing yet sleek interior design of the exhibition, the work of Belgian artist Renato Nicolodi, leaves room for the beautiful creations to breathe and stand out on their own, while discretely communicating with the more recent designs by Madame Grès-inspired fashion artists such as Alber Elbas (Lanvin) Yohji Yamamoto, Haider Ackermann and Jean Paul Gaultier. Silk jersey would have been nowhere without the magical touch of Madame Grès.

Main entrance MoMu Antwerp Nationalestraat

Main entrance MoMu Antwerp Nationalestraat

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Previous Exhibitions, little blury

Previous Exhibitions, little blury

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Lanvin (Alber Elbaz) evening dress in Jersey - Cruise Collection 2012

Lanvin (Alber Elbaz) evening dress in Jersey – Cruise Collection 2012

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Day Dresses - The Early Grès Years, 1942-1960

Day Dresses – The Early Grès Years, 1942-1960

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 Lanvin (Alber Elbaz); draped cocktail dress in crepe S/S 2001

Lanvin (Alber Elbaz); draped cocktail dress in crepe S/S 2001

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 AF Vandevorst

AF Vandevorst

Madame Grès

Madame Grès

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This dress is one of her last creations; given to Givenchy to thank him for his support - good example of her search for volume which is similar to the Japanese designers

This dress is one of her last creations; given to Givenchy to thank him for his support – good example of her search for volume which is similar to the Japanese designers

Red Dress: Dress for indoors in silk jersey; Spring 1944 - Example of a 'primitive' drape by Grès. The dress became so famous that Madame Grès recreated it in the 1970's in white, published in Vogue

Red Dress: Dress for indoors in silk jersey; Spring 1944 – Example of a ‘primitive’ drape by Grès. The dress became so famous that Madame Grès recreated it in the 1970’s in white, published in Vogue

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Day Dresses 1970 - unparalleled models in French couture

Day Dresses 1970 – unparalleled models in French couture

My two favourites - perfectly simple and discrete in its perfection

My two favourites – perfectly simple and discrete in its perfection

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Beach Wear 1970's

Beach Wear 1970’s

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The End.

The End.

CREDITS: Text: Marjan// Photography: Marjan//Antwerp Fashion Museum (MoMu)

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