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Madame Grès: Sculptural Fashion

MoMu presents "Madame Grès: Sculptural Fashion", an overview of the work of the Parisian couturier, Madame Grès (1903–1993).

  • Location

    MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp

Description of the exhibition

Madame Grès felt herself as much a sculptor as a fashion designer: ‘I wanted to become a sculptor. For me, working with stone or fabrics is the same thing.’ She draped or pleated the fabric directly onto the model, without artificial devices and mostly without usin scissors and needles. She came to be known as the pioneer of seamless garments. Her work went through a range of stylistic periods, from Hellenistic, draped evening dresses to modern, minimalist daytime garments and stylish beachwear, always in her own specific style: sober, sculptural and utterly feminine.

Her customers were the celebrities of their time, including Edith Piaf, Marlène Dietrich, Jackie Kennedy and Grace Kelly. Madame Grès worked with the greatest photographers, like Guy Bourdin and Cecil Beaton. Their original photographs are also included in the exhibition, alongside original drawings by Madame Grès. She was a person admired by her contemporaries and also a model for successive generations.

Her mark on contemporary fashion canno be overestimated: great designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Yohji Yamamoto and Haider Ackermann consider her work as an inspiration for their own. Countless collections have been created in homage to her, some silhouettes of which are included in the exhibition. The timelessness of her creations is brought home in this encounter of her work with the work of contemporary designers. 

Conceptually, the design of the exhibition at the Fashion Museum is consistent with the sculptural fashion of Madame Grès. The Belgian artist Renato Nicolodi has designed new elements and installations for the exhibition spaces.

Exhibition under the lead of
Curator: Karen Van Godtsenhoven | Scenographers: Bob Verhelst & Renato Nicolodi