Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Le Masculin Féminin┃Dépèche Mode (1971)



The mini-skirted tailored suit on the right (below) is probably the earliest example of Thierry Mugler's work that I've ever seen, judging by the date, this would have been created during the period when he was freelancing for various ready-to-wear fashion houses throughout Europe, precisely two years before he designed his "Café de Paris" Collection―the first one to have been designed under his own name in 1973, and long before he became known for the sculptural, futuristic designs, which we now associate  with the peak of his career in the 1980s and 1990s.

It was also interesting to note that the printed blouse worn underneath the suit was designed by Gérard Silvi, who was part of his circle of friends, along with Claude Montana and Guy Paulin. I hadn't previously been aware of the fact that Gérard Silvi had also moved into fashion design, I only knew of him as a model/stylist. As you can see in the last image below, he had great personal style, this photograph of him by Chantal Wolf, was included in a feature on Dandyism for Plexus in 1967, and you can view the original article in one of my previous posts Les Assassins du Bodygraph - lancent le prêt - à - choquer from a number of years ago.  

From left to right: Double-breasted trouser suit, closed by 6 buttons, in black and grey striped flannel (Miss Diff). Saint-Clair blouse. Tilbury shoes. Felt Fedora from Madelios. Feremé frock coat, with 6 button closure, in finely striped black, grey and white cotton (Sim's Imper). Pink silk blouse from Saint-Clair. Stockings by Sisley. Danaud shoes. Softly curved semi-fitted suit with shoulder pads and very short pleated skirt in black crȇpe. (Thierry Mugler for Karim). Blouse in printed crȇpe by Gérard Silvi. Felt hat by Jean Charles Brosseau. Stockings by Exciting. Shoes France Favert.                                                        

  Designer Gérard Silvi - Photograph by Chantal Wolf (1967)


All images scanned by Sweet Jane from an original fashion feature in Dépèche Mode, May 1971. Photograph by Jean-Paul Merzagora. Models uncredited. Gérard Silvi photograph by Chantal Wolf, scanned from Plexus Issue No. 9, 1967. It's good to see the Masculin Féminin look resurfacing so strongly in 1971, five years after Yves Saint Laurent had debuted his somewhat controversial Le Smoking suit, and also to see the continued influence of the Bonnie and Clyde 1930s era Gangster style revival, which was triggered by the 1967 Arthur Penn directed movie of the same name. This is a recent review of ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ at 50: A Revolutionary Film That Now Looks Like the Last Work of Hollywood Classicism - by Owen Gleiberman for Variety (August 2017).

Some more examples inspired by Chicago's gangsters of the 1930s in these Hats by Edward Mann from his 1966 Collection. Twiggy modelling the Masculin Féminin Dandy Look for Vogue in 1967, and once again here for the Biggy Twiggy Super Poster 1967.  The ultimate poster girl of the look, Faye Dunaway, star of Bonnie and Clyde, and the inspiration behind a full-blast return to '30 styles in 1968! Discover more about the origins of the Frock Coat here. Thierry Mugler, a monster talent - an in-depth article on the elusive designer by Eric Dahan for Vanity Fair (2016). View a Thierry Mugler - Designer Profile by Jeanne Beker for Fashion Television. And finally, while putting this post together (not being a native French speaker) I found myself a little bit Lost in Translation once more.

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