|Grecian” evening gown, blue silk jersey, c. 1937|
Madame Alix Gres, (1903-1993) was born Germaine Emilie Krebs in Paris. She began as a sculptor, and then designed fabric, before turning her hand to fashion design. Her training as a sculptor influenced her clothing designs - using mainly silk jersey she draped and pleated directly on the model or client in the classical Greek style, with few visible seams.
|Madame Gres draping, c. 1930s|
|Evening dress||spring/summer 1938|
In the late 1930s, she married Serge Czerefkov, sold the rights to the name Alix and adopted Gres from her husband’s first name, spelled backwards. She opened her new house, Grès, in 1942, and her designs became even more Grecian in appearance. The dresses took hundred's of hours to make, in one or two pieces of fabric and each pleat was done by hand, molding to the wearer.
Her designs were expensive due to the hours each took, but she despised mass production and thought of herself as a true artist. Her career spanned five decades, and in the 1950s, she began “tailoring” women’s suits, but still continued with her famous draping in her dresses.
|A Gres suit, 1950-51|
You can see more of her designs here.