March 12, 2015
"ROBES ET FEMMES", Enrico Sacchetti
Paris, 1913: year of shocking Modernism (Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Cubism, Proust…), and pre-Great-War party mood, shadowed only in retrospect. And in fashion: These avant garde robes signal freedom not attained by actual French femmes, who won’t be able to vote for 31 more years, but at least they can move, with loosened corsets, only slightly hobbled ankles (so worth it for that tapered silhouette), and—for rich ladies en vacances in Deauville—the revolutionary sportswear of a young milliner called Gabrielle Chanel. So much is heavenly about these watercolors: The Coco lookalike staring down the fur-laden socialite; the Edwardian Cruella de Vil; the aggressive feather; the zaftig and the skinny equally à la mode. Let's revive the hugely gathered ankle hugging maxi with cinched waist jacket? Probably not.