|The Marvelous Garden at Maryhill. Photo by M. Wilds/denisebrain|
The designer of this delightful and somewhat surreal set was Jean-Denis Malclès. The current scene is the recreation by Anne Surger.
|The Garden as it appeared in 1945|
Malclès was a painter, stage designer, costumer and illustrator. He was a master of magical effects and he gave his all to Le Jardin Marveilleux.
|Jean-Denis Malclès. Photo by Béla Bernand|
You may notice that the images of the sets dating from 1945 include clothing different from that on display now. The clothing of 1945 was replaced for the exhibit’s tour in 1946 because the couturiers wanted the fashion to be the very latest of their styles.
In the current display you will see an evening dress by Mad Carpentier with a yellow silk chiffon bodice embroidered with blue beads, old rose lamé and mother-of-pearl sequins...tiny versions of the couturier’s usual embellishments. The skirt is lilac tulle over a pink underskirt.
|Dress by Carpentier. Photo by M. Wilds/denisebrain|
|Dress by Heim, evening coat by Bruyère|
|Wedding gown by Paquin, outfit by Balmain, Photo by M. Wilds/denisebrain|
Here is the ensemble as illustrated by René Gruau in 1946. The long cord holds the drape of the dress:
At the right of the Garden scene is a stunning gown of black silk with a green silk under skirt by Madame Grès. Exhibited alongside is another narrow silhouette. It was called “Caran d’Ache” by its creator, Jacques Fath. Designers were experimenting with both sheath silhouettes and the very full skirts which presaged the New Look of 1947.
|Dresses by Grès and Fath. Photo by M. Wilds/denisebrain|
I was amazed by the miniature scale of the jacquard used for a gown by Bruyère. If only we could see her feet, shod in matching fabric and bordeaux leather shoes! All the shoes you are able to see are miniature masterpieces.
|Dress by Bruyère. Photo by M. Wilds/denisebrain|
|Some of the tiny shoes on display. Photo by M. Wilds/denisebrain|