Unbelievably, there’s never been a retrospective of Madame Grès in Paris—until now. A lifetime of the visionary couturière’s work can be seen in an inspirational exhibition organized by the Musée Galliera, but held in the Musée Bourdelle. Madame Grès, born Germaine Émilie Krebs, always wished to be a sculptress, so curator Olivier Saillard’s concept was to take fashion out of fashion museums and exhibit the sculptural dresses among the actual sculptures of the Musée Bourdelle, thus allowing the gowns reminiscent of greek goddesses to breathe amid the classical statuary.
On view are 80 pieces starting from 1934, the couturière’s Alix period, until her very last obi-style dress, commissioned by Hubert de Givenchy in 1989. About 100 sketches and 50 original images from such illustrious photographers as Richard Avedon and Guy Bourdin make up the supporting material.
Mainly famous for her use of jersey and draping, Madame Grès symbolized the very essence of couture and the rigor of corset-free minimalism. Her work defines purity and simplicity, masking the extreme complexity of her skills. One of the most extraordinary talents in the history of fashion, she was a genius whose art still inspires contemporary design.
Madame Grès, la Couture à l’Oeuvre
March 25 – July 24, 2011
16 rue Antoine Bourdelle