1930s ALIX Madame Gres Dress & Shawl Ensembe
What a thrill it is to have yet another early Madame Gres piece on Swankvintage! I am honored to have had my hands on some very fine couture in my years, but this divine creation just humbles me whenever I gaze at it. Its an early piece by Gres, when she was designing under the name ALIX, dating to the end of the 1930s. It is a 2 piece dress, with a long, narrow, frilled scarf that I am pretty sure was designed to be worn across the front of the neck and down the back as I have shown it. The way it falls when worn like this creates the look of cut sleeves. The dress, like the scarf is made of silk chiffon, also trimmed in the pleated chiffon. The pleating is very fine, ethereal, nearly magical. The cut was quite risque for the late 1930s with that daring low back and nearly bare shoulders. I love how when the scarf is worn as shown, the back remains completely open still. To add to the sex factor, a series of silk covered buttons travel down the backside in the style of a bridal gown, but much lower, and much naughtier. The slip is made of a silky, slinky fabric that appears to be nylon. Today we would expect silk, but in the late 30s nylon was considered to be a luxury fabric, having just been invented and was widely know as "the miracle fiber". The slip was beautifully designed with perfect seams and darts, and the very interesting application of hooks and eyes along an opening in the front, corset style.