vendredi 30 janvier 2009

This evening cape is a magnificent statement in restrained luxury

Jacques Doucet Irish lace/silk brocade evening cape, c.1905

Jacques Doucet (grandson of Mme. Doucet) prided himself on being a gentleman as well as a couturier: a gentleman who produced luxurious but unostentatious creations in perfect taste. Clientele of the House of Doucet included the elite of American and European society, royalty like Emperor Napoleon III, and the Kings of Bavaria and the Netherlands.

Doucet also dressed famous Parisian actresses, like Réjane, celebrated for her performance as Madame Sans-Gêne (Napoleon’s laundress, who married one of his marshals). Réjane was a particular friend, who wore his clothes on and off the stage. When Jacques Doucet took over the family business at 21 Rue de la Paix, he raised the already successful couture establishment to new heights.

This evening cape is a magnificent statement in restrained luxury. The decoration is minimal, allowing full attention to the superb fabric. I love the lavender color! The floral pattern of the silk brocade is echoed in the stripes of handmade Irish crochet lace. The dramatic sweep of the skirt is balanced by a large cape-collar trimmed with feathers. The cape is totally lined with ivory satin. This is the sort of cape that Réjane might have worn to make a grand entrance!

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