1945 : France still continued its fight to the east that will be reborn was there.
And Paris, capital of taste and fashion put up this wonderful crazy project :
Nocturne de PATOU

Designed to revive the work of artists, designers, craftsmen, business success was immense! The Grand Gallery of the Pavilion de Marsan received March 27, 1945, and for about two months, 150 dolls models for an event will be remembered in spite of hardships, the rationing, and the terrible difficulties afflicting our country, especially the Parisians.

HEIM Jeunes Filles


These dolls models were immediately admired in many countries of Europe and the United States where they also slept until 1990 ; that year, thanks to the will of a pugnacious American Suzan Train and work seamless of a handful of contemporaries miraculously recovered and great names of our time, the Théâtre de la Mode regained its splendor and freshness during the inauguration of the new fashion museum installed in turn .... in the Pavilion de Marsan, a homecoming !

But back to the events of 1945 in every way exemplary. This prestige operation led by Christian Berard, its artistic director was the first great merit of stirring the  prodigy children of the two post-war periods.

Very big names in dance, art, literature, painting or drawing, sewing united to promote the event at the Zenith of the news of the day, "alliance which gave birth with grace and poetry to a symbol of hope and renewal "


Lucien LELONG  "Faïence"
The  Mutual French ( Entraide Française ) who came to  aid victims of war had the idea to ask the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Française chaired by Lucien Lelong implementation of a demonstration in favor of the poor. Robert Ricci and Paul Caldagues were responsible for the operation. The latter was apparently that he had the idea of "Doll Dress" by fashion houses. The creative artist Eliane Bonabel made sketches away voluntarily approach the toy model: the figurines wire took shape and size (70 cms), a refugee Catalan sculptor, Rebull, was responsible for designing heads in plaster to receive hairstyles and hats, his accomplishments, without makeup, are very fine sculptures
The idea of presentation in a small theater is Robert Ricci who entrusted the design, implementation and coordination of all the great Christian Berard. Various Artists built their individual settings in which designers were putting their dolls dressed. Each house, according to its importance began to produce 1 at 5 Costumes! !
Initially, the figurines should be only dressed with a hat.  But the various trades and crafts felt a rivalry comparable to that which inspired the creators in 1938 for the dolls France and Marianne.  

They lack nothing, therefore, everything is completed ... shoes, bags sometimes with assortment ! , furs, jewelry,  lingerie etc... every detail including the interior finishes also treated as if the garment had been to put  on inside out !
The result was magical, in the presence of “ Tout  Paris “, the museum opened March 27, 1945 ie before the end of the war! : Imagine "Le Pavillon de Marsan ", enormous room hung with red velvet with small theaters that were the only points of light, illuminated by the footlights ... but nothing more ..." The exhibition was so successful  that it was extended for several weeks and brought to the French Mutual  a staggering sum for the period of 1 million francs. It is true that more ... 100.000 visitors were welcomed there !

Faced with this enormous European success, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Française then decided to send a new version in the United States with the latest fashion of this year. For new model, new decorations. On 1st May 1946, fthe  inauguration in New York in a beautiful mansion received a triumphant and well deserved tribute. Then September 12 it was San Francisco. Other cities wanted to visit these dolls dummies but no sites being suitable home - mean by that being good enough for them - figures and scenery found themselves ... in the reserves department store " City of Paris ".
To my knowledge, the story does not say how, in 1952, 160 of them passed this little place at Maryhill Museum in Washington state ... they are now owned.. They gave us so much honor when  they left  it in 1990 to return to Paris, there to restore and sometimes dressed and where a beautiful tribute was paid to them during the inauguration of the Museum of Fashion.
We wonder at the magnitude of this event which presented in the context of the time may seem incongruous: the destitution of the French population, deprivation drastic, draconian quota in parallel, compared to a little pomp and light apparently frivolous surprise, it's true. But we must bear in mind that the Paris fashion provided a living for one million people who often drew their activity their entire income. It was calculated that before the war, the export of a great couturier dress enabled the purchase of 10 tons of coal, a liter of perfume 2 tons of oil, a bottle of champagne 3 pounds of copper. " It was also the possibility of immediate exchange of currency return for very few raw materials." While it seems clear that 160 dolls were the inauguration of March 27, 1945, the list in New York mentioned 228 numbers (+ 9 currently unlisted and not attributed. )

The great newspapers of the time remaining in which the entitled "The French Haute Couture" ( in its issue of July 7, 1945 ) spoke of this event largely national.
The  book of  Suzan Train entitled " Fashion Theater  " (1990,  Editions Du May ) includes the story of this which was unforgettable in this kind of war and then rebuilt in 1990 point  delight of
 our memory and our culture.

  R E T U R N

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 2010 May