Sophie Gimbel, Fashioning American Couture

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  • Topic: Neckline, Dress, Evening gown
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  • Published : March 4, 2013
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Sophie Gimbel, Fashioning American Couture
By Beth Dincuff Charleston
Aronson Gallery at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center Visit Tiffany Felix
LIM College
Fashion Fundamentals 105-01
Professor Hargroves

Sophie Gimbel, Fashioning American Couture

With interest piqued by the Sophie Gimbel windows at Saks, I stop by 66 Fifth Avenue Tuesday afternoon February 11th, 2013. The garments on display reflect the classic sophistication and timeless elegance of their creator. Though the gowns were crafted more than half a century ago, the spectrum of colors, styles and textures lend an element of grace and beauty that can apply to the red carpets of today.

Parsons The New School for Design, beginning Januray 22nd, was exhibiting the original design creations of Sophie Gimbel, champion of American Couture and Parsons benefactor, in the Aronson Gallery at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center until February 12, 2013. The exhibit curated by Beth Dincuff, a part-time assistant professor, in conjunction with Saks Fifth Avenue, displays and provides an insight into Gimbel’s original design creations. It encompassed a wide-range of American and European 20th century garments, featuring 17 original pieces from the Parsons Fashion Archive made by the Salon Modern artisans; pieces of which I will be presenting pictures subsequently in this essay. My favorite pieces being the cocktail dress with appliqued chinoiserie figures, the taffeta dress with under-structure of boning and tulle, the cocktail dress with streaming bows and pearlescent sequins, the evening dress with pin tucks set into “hand-span” waist, the “harlequinade” velvet/satin dress with net overlays and, the sequined evening sheath with confectionary tulle overskirt. Each piece is crafted with notable precision and high quality materials down to the last sequined detail.

Sophie Gimbel landed in New York City in 1926 and soon became the head custom designer at Saks Fifth Avenue and wife of its president,...
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