Friday, September 19, 2008


An interesting note regarding the photos of the Paris original couture garments we've been looking at this week. On the Table of Contents page of the September 15, 1961 Vogue magazine is the following highlighted caveat:

"The Chambre Syndicale de la Couture has requested that all publications showing Paris models from this collection publish the following line, to apply to all models shown: "Copyrighted model - reproduction forbidden." Of course, this does not apply to shops and makers who have bought the original models."

In other words, if a store paid the price for a couture original, and the designer approved, the store could produce copies for the North American market. Very soon after this magazine was published, the couture houses would demand that their names not be used in association with the copied garments. The stores were allowed to hint at who the original designer was, but were not allowed to use the name. This is when Dior became known as Monsieur X, Jacques Fath became Monsieur Y, and Hubert de Givenchy became Monsieur Z.

Our final coat this week is by Pierre Cardin. Made of red chinchilla wool, it has a full skirt with an asymmetric waistline, huge buttons at the side, and an attached scarf that flows from the top of the button placket and is worn like a stole by wrapping over the opposite arm. This coat was imported and copied by Macy's.

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