'Esperanto' suit, Carven

  • Carven

  • Gift of the Théâtre Sarah-Bernhardt
  • Spring–Summer 1951
  • Wool alpaca by Buche, braided horsehair appliqués by Rébé
  • GAL1987.59.8
  • Palais Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

“Esperanto”, this suit composed of a skirt and a jacket, is labelled Carven. In white alpaca wool by Buche, the jacket is also covered in looping, criss-crossing black horsehair braid by Rébé. Despite its apparent simplicity of line, this is a highly structured garment intended to call attention to the upper body and waist by padding-out the basques of the jacket – a gambit straight from the iconic 'Bar' suit from the first Dior collection.
Born in 1909, Madame Carven was famous for her clothes for small women; here she shows herself responsive to the times and an active contributor to the aesthetic changes of the 1950s.