Madame Alix Grès' career spanned five decades and throughout them all she excelled in her ability to manipulate fabric and use its innate characteristics to enhance her designs. Known for her classically inspired, draped and pleated silk jersey evening gowns, which she first produced in the 1930s, Grès experimented with silk taffeta in the 1970s and 1980s. Taffeta, with its light weight and slight stiffness, allowed Grès to create the fine, angled cord quilting seen here in the fitted bodice, the tight pleating at the hip yoke and the airy, voluminous skirt. Cutouts and asymmetry, two hallmarks of Grès' design, are displayed in the strapless bodice with its angular upper quadrant detail, asymmetric fabric treatment and triangular void. Her interest in regional design is evident in the geometric quilting, where the concentric patterning has a distinctly non-Western feel.


  • Title: Evening dress
  • Creator: Madame Grès (Alix Barton)
  • Date Created: fall/winter 1979
  • Physical Dimensions: Length at CB: 58 in. (147.3 cm)
  • Type: Evening dress
  • External Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Collection Online
  • Medium: silk
  • Culture: French
  • Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, Jr., 1985
  • Creator Death Date: 1993
  • Creator Birth Date: 1903
  • Accession Number: 2009.300.3374

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