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, form-fitting silk jersey evening gowns, which she introduced in the 1930s, Grès also experimented with taffeta, using it to create smooth, shell-like surfaces as well as billowing, extravagant details. Here, the long narrow skirt presents an unbroken tube of fabric that extends up into an exaggerated blouson bodice. The bodice, draped and gathered at front, gives way to an enormous bubble of fabric in the back. Interpreted in taffeta, the bodice back resembles a pop art soft sculpture in the style of Claus Oldenburg (1929). It is a testament to Grès' skill that she is able to create both the clinging rose crepe evening gown with classical himaton wrap (2009.300.34) and this more audacious dress within consecutive seasons.


  • Title: Evening dress
  • Creator: Madame Grès (Alix Barton)
  • Date Created: spring/summer 1974
  • Physical Dimensions: Length at CB (a): 16 in. (40.6 cm) Length at CB (b): 44 in. (111.8 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., 1988
  • Creator Death Date: 1993
  • Creator Birth Date: 1903
  • Accession Number: 2009.300.1051a, b

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