Leon Bakst was a Russian-born theater designer who had a strong interest in ancient Greece. He designed costumes for Ballet Russes productions such as Helene de Sparte, 1912. He designed dramatic, colorful stage costumes; these colors were transferred in to the fashions that emanated from the couture houses. Bakst also designed gowns for couturiers Paquin and Doucet, often utilizing Grecian influences. Many of his couture designs were direct copies of his stage designs. During the years 1912-1914, fashion periodicals contained many examples of garments with Grecian influences. Bakst did not design for the Ballet Russes between 1914 and 1918, and therefore, his fashion influence declined.
Madame Gres- Gres' had early training as a sculptor which is obvious in her use of classical "Grecian" draping in her garments. When they first appeared in 1934, her sculptural dresses were described as Gothic statuary. She would drape the garment directly on a live model, directing the fabric folds with her hands. The unpressed pleats were then stitched in place (Milbank, 1985). See one of Madame Gres' designs Read about an exhibition of her work held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Adrian Adrian designed costumes for MGM from 1925-1939 and also had a couture and high-end ready-to-wear business from 1941-1948. His "look" is defined by wide padded shoulders tapering to a small waist, his silhouette was sleek and modern for the time; he was a master of intricate cut. The University of Delaware Historic Costume Collectin contains several of Adrian's designs. See one of Adrian's designs.
Mary McFadden - a contemporary American designer who is known for using "Fortunyesque" pleated fabrics (which she refers to as marii) in her designs. The pleated structure of the manufactured fiber fabric she uses in her evening dresses lends itself to tubular silhouettes. The themes of her collections are usually based on a specific historical period or on some cultural phenomenon (Milbank, 1985).
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Copyright Belinda T. Orzada, University of Delaware, 1998. All rights reserved.