Lacy Susan

No, not the edible Lacey Susan, a buttery, sugary cookie. And most definitely NOT that spinning thing in the middle of the dining table called a Lazy Susan. (Don’t laugh, KB or EAS!) 

My fondness for lace has only been evident in the past decade or so. I hated to wear lace as a kid because it was always itchy, and as a young woman, I thought it was too prissy and frilly for me. 

Fast forward a few decades, and I have started to appreciate pretty lace and actually wear it on occasion. (But not that scratchy stuff from the 1970s!)

One of my first lace purchases was this beautiful 1920s lettuce green velvet shawl with beige lace trim. The lace is soft and lightweight, and it’s fun to wear. I’m pretty sure it’s machine made.



I wear a lot of black so of course I have been looking at numerous black lace dresses and shawls. This floral design on a 1930s dress really appeals to me. To my very untrained eye, it looks handmade but it could be high end machine-made lace. (Crafty friends, what do you think?) It seems too fragile to actually wear; there are some tears in the lace.

I also photographed this lace, which was on a different late 1920s/early 1930s dress. I like the texture, and it feels sturdier than the example above. The dress is a bias cut long sleeveless dress that’d be nice for summer.

This is a vintage bed jacket with lace trim and embroidery on peach colored silk.

This beige lace looks great with a bedjacket I bought at a really cool thrift store in Paris.

I wish I’d paid a little more attention to my grandmother’s crochet lessons years ago. The trim and butterfly on the chemise below are so pretty. I’ve seen it called filet lace or filet embroidery.

I don’t usually think of Coco Chanel and “lace” together but the photograph below illustrates her use of lace in evening wear. Beautiful!



Paris Haute Couture Exhibit

Haute

One of the highlights of my trip to Paris was a visit to the Paris Haute Couture exhibit curated by the Galliera, Musee de la Mode de Ville de Paris. The museum building is undergoing renovation so it has been presenting exhibits in various spots in Paris. I happened to be in Paris for the exhibit at the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall.)

Swarovski has provided support for the exhibit; many of the gowns are embellished with Swarovski beads. According to the Swarovski Facebook page, in 1895, Daniel Swarovski invented a revolutionary technique for cutting and polishing crystal, and in 1900 began collaborating with haute couture designers. Designers who made use of Swarovski crystals include Worth, Lanvin, Chanel and Schiaparelli. In the 1950s, Jacques Fath and Cristóbal Balenciaga were extravagant in their use of crystal in their collections.

©Marc Verhille / Mairie de Paris

©Marc Verhille / Mairie de Paris


Many of the dresses were enclosed in glass cases because of their fragility and because they’re valuable. They were organized chronologically, which illustrated the changes of style over time. No photography was allowed so I’ve used photographs from the Mayor of Paris, Swarovski, and the Museum.

Beer, silk evening dress, circa 1912. Collection Musée Galliera ©Galliera

This cream silk gown is embellished with lace, pearl paillettes, and crystal beads. 

CHANEL 1923

Chanel silk evening dress, 1923 © Collection Musée Galliera

I was surprised at how different this looks than what I expected a Chanel gown to look like. The colors are beautiful and it shimmers so beautifully.

Patou nuit de chine

Jean Patou, robe du soir, 1925. Collection Musée Galliera

The details on this Jean Patou evening dress are stunning. I envision a flapper dancing the night away at a lavish party, drinking lots of champage.

Worth tea gown

Worth, tea gown, circa 1895. Collection Musée Galliera

It was interesting to see how heavy this material looked compared to the gowns in the 1920s and 1930s. And who would get this dressed up for tea?

© musée Galliera, Ville de Paris, droits réservés, 2013

Jérôme, robe du soir, vers 1925. (détail) © musée Galliera, Ville de Paris, droits réservés, 2013

This 1925 dress by Jérôme is embellished with colored crystal beads, silver threads, faux pearl beads, and bright blue feathers. This was one of my favorites.

JEROME_1925_details(3)

Jérôme, robe du soir, vers 1925. (détail) Collection Musée Galliera

Additional Resources

Mayor of Paris Google+ page with additional photographs.

Judy Fayard’s WSJ article about the exhibit

Joyeux anniversaire, Monsieur Poiret!

Paul Poiret, 1927. © Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet. Paris en Images.

Paul Poiret, 1927. © Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet. Paris en Images.

Not Poirot, Poiret, the Parisian couturier born on May 20, 1879. I wrote about him in an earlier post but kept discovering more images. (Librarians can never stop searching; it’s a madness.) I think it’s interesting to see how his designs changed over time. The peach dress from the 1930s has so little adornment compared to his richly decorated gowns from earlier in the 20th century but it’s one of my favorites. I think the decorated headpiece is wonderful, too.

red gown

Theatrical costume. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Date 1900 – 1944.

Evening Cap

Evening cap. Circa 1910. Embroidered with colourful straps of pongee, gold and silver brocade, pleated ivory tulle. Purchased by the municipality of Paris. The Musée Galliera – the Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris.

Poiret dress Kremlin

Poiret dress, Saint-Petersburg, 1910s. Chiffon of white and blue colours, white crepe-de-chine, fleecy fur trimming of black colour, silver lace, metal thread, gilding, metal, glass beads, bugle beads, strasses, embroidery. Received in 1941 from the State Museum of Ethnography; till 1917 has been preserved in the Novo-Mikhailovsky palace in Saint Petersburg. The State Hermitage Museum, Saint-Petersburg.

Poiret trousers 1927

Evening dress trousers, 1926. © Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet. Paris en Images.

Evening dress, circa 1930. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Anthony Wilson, 1963

Evening dress, circa 1930. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Anthony Wilson, 1963

Poiret VA

Mantuea, circa 1913. Woollen cloth, chiffon. The Victoria and Albert Museum of London.

Poiret dress, 1931. © Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet. Paris en Images.

Poiret dress, 1931. © Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet. Paris en Images.

Textile, ca. 1923. Manufacturer La Maison Martine. Printed linen. Purchase, Edward C. Moore, Jr. Gift, 1923

Textile, ca. 1923. Manufacturer La Maison Martine. Printed linen.
Purchase, Edward C. Moore, Jr. Gift, 1923

Monsieur Hercule Poirot will have his turn, too.

Callot Soeurs

I love to read for many reasons, but one reason is that a book often piques my curiosity about new places, new people, and new things. I can thank Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible and my friend Catherine for my interest in the Callot sisters, four dressmakers who opened a couture house in 1895 that became well known for its beautiful fabric, designs, and embroidery.

The Soeurs Callot (Regina, Marie, Marthe and Joséphine) designed lingerie, evening gowns and day dresses made with antique fabric, beautiful silks, and lace. They were one of the first designers to use gold and silver lame.  (Victoriana Magazine)

Their designs over the years varied widely – I love the silk pajamas and the bejeweled dress below. What are the odds of my finding a Callot Soeurs treasure at a Parisian flea market? Hmmm…

Dress, c. 1926. Gift of Mrs. Anton Hulman, Jr. Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Dress, c. 1926. Gift of Mrs. Anton Hulman, Jr. Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Pleated silk chiffon, lace worked in gold thread, satin, ribbon. 1922 (made). Given by the Ranee of Pudukota. Victoria and Albert Museum.

Pleated silk chiffon, lace worked in gold thread, satin, ribbon. 1922 (made). Given by the Ranee of Pudukota. Victoria and Albert Museum.

Robe-tailleur, Callot Sœurs, Paris, 1910-1912 Taffetas jaspé, tulle mécanique, frange de passementerie, mousseline  Coll. UFAC, don Lindon, 1951. From Les Arts Decoratifs.

Robe-tailleur, Callot Sœurs, Paris, 1910-1912
Taffetas jaspé, tulle mécanique, frange de passementerie, mousseline
Coll. UFAC, don Lindon, 1951. From Les Arts Decoratifs.

Evening dress, 1913. Purchase, Irene Lewisohn Bequest, 1951. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Evening dress, 1913. Purchase, Irene Lewisohn Bequest, 1951. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Pajamas, 1926-1927. Gift of Miss Isabel Shults, 1944. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Pajamas, 1926-1927. Gift of Miss Isabel Shults, 1944. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 Setting up the pattern for lace yokes. Paris. Callot Soeurs fashion design house. 1931. Photograph by Francois Kollar (1904-1979). Paris, Bibliothèque Forney. Paris En Images.

Setting up the pattern for lace yokes. Paris. Callot Soeurs fashion design house. 1931. Photograph by Francois Kollar (1904-1979). Paris, Bibliothèque Forney. Paris En Images.

Presentation of models. Paris. Callot Soeurs fashion design house. 1931. Photograph by Francois Kollar (1904-1979). Paris, Bibliothèque Forney. Paris En Images.

Presentation of models. Paris. Callot Soeurs fashion design house. 1931. Photograph by Francois Kollar (1904-1979). Paris, Bibliothèque Forney. Paris En Images.

Fitting. Paris, Callot Soe?urs fashion design house, 1931. Photograph by François Kollar (1904-1979). Paris, Bibliothèque Forney. Paris En Images.

Fitting. Paris, Callot Soeurs fashion design house, 1931. Photograph by François Kollar (1904-1979). Paris, Bibliothèque Forney. Paris En Images.

New York Public Library’s Digital Image Collection

Aside

Libraries are amazing resources – free books, free magazines, free databases, and sometimes, free images. Of course they’re not really free – tax dollars and other monies are used to purchase materials, but the end result is a wonderful world of materials one can access for free. Today’s post highlights the wonderful Digital Collection from the New York Public Library. I choose images from the 1900-1925 time frame, and chose a few that I liked. My favorite is the photograph of Lucille Lortel. What are your favorite image collections? Favorite library?

Image

Le messager. [The messenger.] By Édouard Halouze, 1925. Image courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery.

Jewelry, Paris, France. René Beauclair. ca. 1901. Image courtesy NYPL Digital Image Collection.

Jewelry, Paris, France. René Beauclair. ca. 1901. Image courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery.

Color study, Georges de Feure,, 1901.

Color study, Georges de Feure, 1901. Image courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery.

Robe d'après-midi, de Doeuillet. L.E.(unknown) , 1921. Image courtesy NYPL Digital Image Collection.

Robe d’après-midi, de Doeuillet. L.E.(unknown) , 1921. Image courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery.

Portrait of Lucille Lortel , ca. 1920's, by Achille Volpe. Image courtesy NYPL Digital Image Collection.

Portrait of Lucille Lortel , ca. 1920’s, by Achille Volpe. Image courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery.

Paul Poiret

Paul Poiret (1879 – 1944) was a French designer famous for freeing women from corsets, creating the first designer perfume, and using draping, rather than tailoring, in his designs. He worked in the early part of the 20th century, including stints at the House of Worth and Jacques Doucet. For an extensive article about Monsieur Poiret, see the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Timeline entry on him.

The black and white photographs below are from Paris En Images, and the last photo is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Paul Poiret's shop, dressmaker and French decorator. Paris, by 1925. © Roger-Viollet. Paris En Images.

Paul Poiret’s shop, 1925. © Roger-Viollet. Paris En Images.

Paul Poiret, Paris, October 1925. © Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet. Paris En Images.

Paul Poiret, Paris, October 1925. © Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet. Paris En Images.

Paul Poiret's coat-kimono. Paris, 1922. © Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet. Paris En Images.

Poiret’s coat-kimono. Paris, 1922. © Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet. Paris En Images.

Poiret dress, 1925. © Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet. Paris En Images.

Poiret dress, 1925. © Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet. Paris En Images.

Perfume bottle "Rosine" by Paul Poiret. Paris, about 1925. © Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet. Paris En Images.

Perfume bottle “Rosine” by Paul Poiret. Paris, about 1925.
© Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet. Paris En Images.

Coat, 1911. Paul Poiret. Textile design by Raoul Dufy (French, 1877–1953). Ivory and navy block printed velvet with brown fur trim and gold metallic mesh-covered silk closures.  Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2005.

Coat, 1911. Paul Poiret. Textile design by Raoul Dufy (French, 1877–1953). Ivory and navy block printed velvet with brown fur trim and gold metallic mesh-covered silk closures. Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2005.