Haute Historian. Fit To Be Draped

January 29, 2009 • Fashion


Bonnie J Brown

The white, one shoulder, Jason Wu dress Michelle Obama wore on inauguration night is
still on the lips of many stylephiles even a week after the event took
place. Some love it, others hate it, but I can honestly say that I’m
rather indifferent to it. While it looks like Jason Wu
had every intention of creating a dress that hugs the female form and
drapes in all the right places, he ended up instead with a dress that
is just hanging there; and if you’re creating a one shoulder dress it should do anything but just hang.

The obvious origin of the one shoulder dress comes from the toga and
many a Greek and Roman goddess are seen swathed in sheets of gauzy
materials; the female form is celebrated in drapes and layers and it
looks all completely effortless. But, as any designer is sure to tell
you, draping is an art and it can be quite difficult to make a flowing, draped dress look effortless and still phenomenal. Just look at all the work Rami, a la Project Runway – Season 4, put into his designs. And while his talents were great, they do not compare to the beautiful dresses created by Madame Gres.

Madame Gres, born Germaine Emilie Krebs and also known as Alix Barton, dressed many fashionable women during her career, including Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and even Jacqueline Kennedy,
to name a few. She is known for being the last haute couture house to
create a ready-to-wear line, but she is remembered for creating
beautifully draping dresses.

Read more "Fit to Be Draped" here.

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