Showing posts with label Pauline Trigère. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pauline Trigère. Show all posts

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Trigère’s Grace

 Via Vegas Laveau Vintage on Flickr
''Fashion is what people tell you to wear. Style is what comes from your own inner thing.''
  Thus spake Pauline Trigère (1908 - 2002), grande dame de la mode:

   Possessor of intrinsic fashion talent:

   And bouillabaisse connoisseur cum stove saleswoman:

(Of note for the the first video: Ms. Trigère was also known for having said, “When you’re feeling blue, wear red”)

   Of course, her meteoric rise from French birth to American success began with all the right ingredients: progeny of a tailor and a seamstress, a close escape from the Nazi regime (continued survival is the best sort of insurance for future success, I feel) thanks to her husband that she described with signature brevity (“Hitler — need I say more?”), leading to her New York incarnation as divorced single mother turned arbiter of feminine glamour. Also of note; she was, in 1961, first of the famous designers to utilise an African-American model to walk for her and also had a proclivity to take to the runway and discuss each of her designs as it was sent down. Rare is the catwalk that actually finds a micro-managing aesthete delivering real-time analyses. Perhaps such a technique could be employed to liven up Bloomberg

The preceding from Trigère's Autumn/Winter 1972 presentation, via WWD

Trigère's thrice deployed rhinestone bra, as first introduced in 1967

   Semi-regular readers may be aware that I've a fondness for the outspoken. And it's satiating to know that if there's one thing Pauline Trigère was not fond of, it was being reserved. Here are some highlights from the obituary:
On occasion a prima donna, a description she never challenged (she once told an assistant ''There is room for only one prima donna around here, and that's me''), she was often impatient. But her displays of temper were brief. She admitted that she was outspoken to a fault, but seemed to revel in that image. A woman meeting her at a social event once gushed, ''Oh, Miss Trigère, I have a dress of yours that I've worn for 25 years.'' The designer fixed her with an icy glance and said, ''Just what am I to do with that piece of information?''
Once, when she was approached by two retailers while dining in a restaurant after one of her shows, she asked them, ''Did you come to copy or to buy?''
   Of course, when one is an innovator (she lays claim to introducing the jumpsuit to the wardrobes of many a woman), I suppose that there is a degree of latitude with which to be offhand, forceful and yet measured with it. Take Trigère's personal mode. Its basal approach was rooted in professional, expensive-looking dresses and suits, whose severity or simplicity could be offset or upended by a forceful colour choice or a print shirt; habitually, she accessorised carefully and tastefully with jewellery, adding the intelligent touch of signature eyeframes. For the big finish, she utilised a factor that only a handful possess anyway: great poise

   I am no costume historian, but even I find much to appreciate about her work. Collectors from the four billion corners of the internet rhapsodise about her garments and the applications of her taste, and it must be said that the archive photography bears that out. Of particular interest is the lineage of tailoring that remained discernible in the pleats, drape and forms of her creations, bearing out her long-nurtured passion and her training:

   For all the success that Trigère's product enjoyed, I actually think it for the best if the house never revives. Some things need to be unearthed and admired for how intrinsically driven they were by a singular personality, particular one such as Pauline's, with her fondness for elegance, yoga and turtles - the sort of idiosyncrasies that make legends out of fashionable people. Besides, as one who got to do it her way for so long, I would hazard that where the clothes bearing her name are concerned, as it was in the beginning, it should always remain Pauline's path to tread