I met with my friend Matty today an Art Historian and she introduced me to the world of Theater de la Mode. It was introduced in post war Paris by the courtiers as a format to present their collections as fabric and clients were in limited supply.
The concept was introduced by Robert Ricci (son of Nina Ricci) who was head of Chambre Syndicale. Allowed courtiers to produce everything in minature 1:3 scale allowing them to send dolls dressed in their collections to faraway buyers.
The dolls were designed by Eliane Bonabel (an illustrator) and Joan Rebull (a sculptor). Amazingly 53 design houses participated including well established labels such as Schiaparelli, Hermes, Balenciaga, plus many more…
Each participating design house was asked to design five outfits and they applied impeccable detailing to each creation – lots of hand beading work and intricate finishing processes, paying full attention to lining and fastenings. All of the outfits were accessories with miniature shoes, hats, purses, gloves – representing the detail of a finished “real size” collection.
I ran a google search and came across the modern version of Theatre de la Mode an emerging label by Sara Flamm and Christopher Kelly. They present their wearable range of men’s and women’s wear on bespoke hand made mannequins. (I will post their video – following this posting)
I think this creative concept is fantastic and really exciting. The courtiers of Paris came together to ensure Haute Couture continued through desperate times. At present fashion is under interrogation due to global environmental and economical difficulties. By reflecting we can to take note, to become more innovative, resourceful and considerate to ensure beautiful fashion continues.