madame marie gerber

Evening Dress
Callot Soeurs

Black and purple silk charmeuse pieced together, chinoiserie floral embroidery; ribbons from shoulder stitched at back waist; tassels at ends.

This dress was an interpretation of a Japanese kimono style by a Western designer. The influence of the Japanese kimono may be observed around the collar, the front neck opening in uchiawase style, and the straight-cut “kimono sleeves.” The round cut from front slit to train evokes the beauty of a trailing kimono. The design of the embroidery and the style of the back of the dress demonstrate a Chinese influence as well.

Image and text taken from the book:
Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century, Kyoto Costume Institute, pg 356


Evening Coat
Callot Soeurs

Textiles, motifs and designs of Callot garments draw on multi-cultural sources, always in a subtle and refined manner. In this example, the cut of the coat resembles that of a Japanese kimono while the embroidery forms fretwork and abstracted phoenix motifs seen in Chinese damasks.

Opera Coat
Callot Soeurs (attributed)

The modified T-shaped construction, side slits, heavy fringes and a contoured frontal closure extending passed the fall line of the fabric was inspired by ethnic costume. The lace technique and its surface pattern were of european origin. The lack of shoulder seams is an unusual element in this coat’s construction. That, along with the custom designed edges at the neckline, frontal aperture and hem and the skillful use of lace may indicate that the couture house responsible for this design was Callot Soeurs.


Evening Dress
Callot Soeurs

Many garments from Callot Soeurs in the Brooklyn Museum collection incorporate a signature element of the house, Asian-inspired textiles and trimmings sometimes in the form of lavish beadwork as in this example. In this gown from 1913, the decorative scheme is as deliberate as that of a scenic kimono, in which no part of the pattern repeats itself. Radiating bars resemble fans unfolding, while the different textures of textiles and beads are layered with all the care evident in a fine piece of lacquerware. Both the motifs and the color palette of black and ivory relate to prized Japanese fan boxes decorated with that traditional decorative technique.