Monday, November 5, 2012


Outsized paisley print gown from the 1970s.

Society ladies of the 1960s through the 1990s always talked about how well made her clothes were, how the Trigère brand of glamour gave them a special confidence.  French-born, she was one of the first American designers to adopt pants, not because they were trendy but because women wanted to wear them and she could make women elegantly sexy in them.  A couple of years before her death in 2002, Pauline Trigère appeared on the F.I.T. (Fashion Institute of Technology) stage during one of those famous Monday seminars, showed her audience a large bolt of fabric, cut it in one swoop and then easily draped and pinned that fabric into a perfect garment on her fit model.  Those 15 minutes or so demonstrated an unforgettable blending of talent, taste and incredible craft.

Then there was a party for her jewelry where the designer pinned a turtle pin in the perfect position on the dress I was wearing.  I wore it until the day the dress needed cleaning and in taking-off her turtle, I knew that I could never, never get it in the perfect Trigère spot again.

We are showing a giant 1970s version of a Trigère evening paisley, probably outlined in beading.  Even though the print is outsized to our 2012 eyes, there was an elegance of cut and pattern placement that again is perfection. 

Like the motif itself, her memory has the power to lift our spirits; much needed in the wake of Sandy the storm. JP