154 Summit Rd. Florham Park, NJ 07932 United States 973.966.9767
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$ 850

Bercail 1923

Origin France
Period 1920-1949
Materials Watercolor
W. 18.5 in; H. 22 in;
W. 46.99 cm; H. 55.88 cm;
Condition Excellent. Clean, crisp image. Beautiful original watercolor. Framed to museum specifications using archival matting, backing, and hinging. Silk matting with wooden frame. Glazed with ultra-violet filtering Plexiglas.
Creation Date 1923
Description House of Bernard Founded 1905. Paris, France. Watercolor over pencil. Some with gold or silver leaf highlights Coats, 1923. Evening dresses, 1926. French fashion has influenced men and women, kings and queen, rich and poor throughout time. Tumultuous as any history, the beginning of the 20th century saw yet another revolution in the style of dress. The most famous name in fashion design became Coco Chanel. Her creations inspired the world. While she had no equals, she had many rivals. One such competitor was the House of Bernard. The art of fashion design is first conceived by the imagination; only then can it be translated into fabrics. Along the way various sketches fly across the pages to "try on" various details, the flip of a hem, the trim on a sleeve. At last, when all is complete to the satisfaction of the designer whose name it will bear, it is committed to paper in exacting detail in color and proportion. Watercolor renderings from the House of Bernard are the completed illustrations representing the 1923 coat and 1926 evening dress collections. It was from these pages that women of fortune (or luck) would select the creations which would enhance the image they choose to express to the world. The fashions are drawn on watercolor paper in graphite, inked by hand and finally the paints are applied. There is a sketch, uncolored, of the back view of each outfit, en verso. Each outfit is painstakingly detailed with embroidery, beaded or fur trims. Accessories (hats, gloves, shoes, jewels) are chosen as compliments. And finally, it is the pose and countenance of the mannequin which expresses the whim of the designer and his inexhaustible imagination. Each illustration has been carefully removed from its catalogue by a conservator. The paper size is 9 1/14" x 12 3/8". The pages were bound in hard covers by way of tipping them in at their left margins; literally pasting them individually to a separate narrow page which was bound to the covers. This results in a glue mark on their left edge when removed from the binding. No chemical cleaning has been applied to remove the glue as the resulting effect would be to diminish the intensity of the paints. Each illustration is in superb original condition with full margins and bright original watercolors, some highlighted with gold leaf. A stunning collection of illustrations from the House of Bernard can be found at the Brooklyn Museum in their Libraries and Archives: Fashion and Costume Sketch Collection, 1912-1950. Bernard et Cie Founded in 1905 at 31 Avenue de l’Opera. From Dressmakers of France: the who, how, and why of the French couture, by Picken and Miller: “He was originally a tailor, so inevitably the tendency was toward the simple, tailored lines. The firm was established in 1905 by Bernard in partnership with M. Jourda and M. Hirsch. His work was favored by the Parisienne and after the end of Word War I he was “discovered” by the American buyers.” By 1914, M. Jourda is referred to as the head of the house. The NY Times first mentions the house in 1908 - 1909. Saks and Co. carried copies, as did Macy’s, who referred to the house as one of the “leading European houses“. From the Oct. 4,1914 NY Times: “…all the men who are in business were at the war. Poiret, the two younger Worth’s, Bechoff, Martial, Bulloz, the one time head of the House of Beer, Jouda, the head of Bernard”. Bonwit Teller carried models, with prices as high as $550. Oct 10, 1915 NY Times: “Bernard, who is always an American favorite, has a collection of more than 100 modes”. According to Fairchild’s, the house address was 33 Avenue de l’Opera in 1920. L’Officiel showed their models from 1921 - 1936. The House is listed at 33 Avenue de l’Opera until 1926, and at 35 Avenue de l’Opera in 1926 - 1927. Tres Parisien showed models in 1931 and 1933. There are no mentions after 1936. The heyday of the house would have been the Teens and 20s. Dressmakers of France. Mary Brooks Picken, Dora Loues Miller. Harper & Brothers. 1956.
Styles / Movements Modern, Other
Book References Dressmakers of France. Mary Brooks Picken, Dora Loues Miller. Harper & Brothers. 1956.
Dealer Reference Number 2015 10-07-15 / 09-18-20
Incollect Reference Number 399588
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