Thursday, January 31, 2013


 Sophie Gimbel: Fashioning American Couture, Exhibit at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons, the New School of Design

With interest piqued by the Sophie Gimbel windows at Saks, I stop by 66 Fifth Avenue Thursday afternoon. 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.

Painting of Sophie Gimbel and Brown One-Shoulder Velvet Evening Dress

A portrait of Sophie Gimbel, a brief biography and a simple brown one-shoulder dress open the exhibit. Brought to life by curator Beth Dincuff Charleston, the display celebrates the accomplishments of a lesser-known fashion icon whose impact yields the Saks we enjoy today. A well-edited 17 dresses complement the photos, accessories and other memorabelia. Further information on Gimbel and the pieces on display can be found on Parson's site here.   

L to R: Pale Pink Satin Dress 1952/ Black Matte Taffeta dress 1960/ No Description/ Black Dress 1951/ Ivory Satin Dress 1960

While these silhouettes aren't as much trendy and sexy as they are lasting, each is crafted with notable precision--down to the last sequined detail. If you look closely, you'll notice the high-quality materials used in production. The quotes around the room serve to complement the looks presented. There is still a subtle air of sensuality inherent in bare shoulders... 

Black Cocktail Dress with Net Overlay 1959 // Blue Tank Strap, Scoop Neck Evening Dress 1957-58

Black Sheath Evening Dress with Detachable Tulle Skirt 1958-59 // Ivory Brocaded Silk Day Suit 1948-1950

If you happen to be meandering around 13th St. and Fifth Ave., have a peek inside--it shouldn't take up more than a couple minutes. For everyone else, hope you've enjoyed the pictures!

L to R: Dress With Black Velvet Bodice 1963-64/ Pink Silk Crepe Dress 1963/ Black & White  Dress w/Matching Coat / Dark Blue Silk Satin Dinner Suit 1957-58/ Black Dress With Net Overlay 1959 / Time Magazine with Sophie Gimbel on the cover (bottom right)


  1. These are lovely! The black dress with the tulle skirt is spectacular.

    Thanks so much for sharing with us - wonderful to discover new (old) designers.


    1. Thank you! The black sequin dress with the tulle skirt is my favorite :)!


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