Madame Grès was the chosen name of Germaine Émilie Krebs (1903-1993). She launched her design house under the name Grès in Paris in 1942. Some of her work is currently on exhibit at the Musée Bourdelle in Paris. As these gowns suggest, she was formally trained as a sculptor. Considering that many of these gowns were created more than a half century ago, it’s amazing how stunningly timeless her aesthetic is. Her work is indeed art.
Being forever dark-haired due to Hispanic genes, I am not necessarily one to have a perspective on being blonde. The sayings “blondes have more fun,” and “gentlemen prefer blondes” struck a chord of bitterness in me when I was young, because lest I wanted to dye these rather obnoxiously large eyebrows and dive into the orange-hued, hair destroying mess that comes of inexpertly playing with bleach, I would forever be second preference to those lucky light-haired girls.
Recently, however, more women have challenged their natural dark locks and jumped into the extreme world of platinum blonde. The dramatic look caused by the contrast between the dark brows and nearly white hair has a certain glamour that comes of embracing a look that is conspicuously unnatural. While Old Hollywood women such as Audrey Hepburn and Veronica Lake, who were famous for their natural beauty and style, are typically the standard for glamour, today’s society of convention-challenging fashion is changing the rules by making the unnaturally beautiful as stunning as the natural.
Is the devastation wreaked on one’s hair worth the glamour of bleached blonde locks? In the world of high fashion, evidently so, as certain models such as Ruby Jean Wilson and musician Sky Ferreira’s careers have exploded since taking the dive into the bleach. There are others who embraced the platinum trend long ago, such as Gwen Stefani and Agyness Deyn, proving their fashion-forwardness and ability to embrace the artificial with a certain savoir-faire.
While I don’t think it’s advisable for me to exacerbate my bosses’ disapproval of my tattoos and piercings by adding a blinding hair color into the mix, I envy those with the ability to do so. After all, it is only hair. And now, when we’re in our early twenties and discovering who we are and what we want out of life, is the time to challenge convention. I can’t imagine any worse feeling than looking back and wishing I had been more adventurous, upset that I had waited until I was too old to do the things I wanted. It was this idea that prompted me to chop my hair, go overboard on the piercings, and become addicted to tattoos, yet I don’t regret any of it. Piercings, tattoos, bleach blonde hair - all of it is unnatural, and yet when worn with the right amount of confidence and style, shows that there is something to be said for the power of unnatural beauty.
Weapons of choice: Watercolor, ink and wash painting
Noted: Hermès and Issey Miyake
The abstract nature of Morinerie’s illustrations does not diminish the technical rendering of the garments. Her designs have so much movement and flow. I use watercolors for my costume designs, as well. This inspires me to continue sketching and developing my aesthetic.