Margaine-Lacroix’s shocking dresses

Margaine-Lacroix and the dresses that shocked Paris – a talk by Susie Ralph

Susie Ralph
Susie Ralph

I introduced this talk at Chelsea Reference Library on Wednesday 17 July 2013 and I found it absolutely fascinating. But –  I was amazed at the dress on display, showing how Margaine-Lacroix’s clinging draped styles, would have been constructed – fabric would be draped, pinned and cut on the dressmaker’s mannequin.

A copy of one of Margaine-Lacroix’s clinging, draped styles.
A copy of one of Margaine-Lacroix’s clinging, draped styles.
The back of the same dress.
The back of the same dress.

There are two splendid printed silk panels showing enlarged pictures of the Sylphides design. I also learned the designs were patented; her corsets helped found the Gossard empire – Henry William Gossard bought the rights to manufacture her corsets in the United States.

Susie Ralph with one of the splendid printed silk panels showing an enlarged picture of the Sylphides design.
Susie Ralph with one of the splendid printed silk panels showing an enlarged picture of the Sylphides design.

There is far more information in Susie Ralph’s guest blog post, but if you want to look at the dress, the exhibition runs until Sunday 28 July at Chelsea Reference Library.

Debby Wale
Debby Wale

Debby Wale, Triborough Reference Librarian

Chelsea Library