Jacques Fath, the French fashion designer

I love the fashion of the 50s and 60s (and still hate the fashions of the 70s and 80s), but I had never heard of Jacques Fath until I watched “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Midge wears one of his designs in a scene and Rose, her mother asks her if is is Dior. No, she replies, Jacques Fath.

Of course, I looked him up.


Jacques Fath (1912 – 1954) was a French fashion designer who was considered one of the three dominant influences on postwar haute couture, the others being Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain.

He was a self-taught designer, who learned his craft from studying museum exhibitions and books about fashion. He hired a number of young designers as assistants and apprentices, some of which later went on to form their own houses, including Hubert de Givenchy, Guy Laroche, and Valentino Garavani.

A popular and occasionally innovative designer known for dressing “the chic young Parisienne.” Fath utilized such materials as hemp sacking and sequins made of walnut and almond shells. His 1950 collection was called Lily, with skirts shaped to resemble flowers.

For eveningwear, he advocated velvet gowns. During World War II, Fath was known for “wide fluttering skirts” which, The New York Times explained, “he conceived for the benefit of women forced to ride bicycles during gasoline rationing.” His clients included Ava Gardner, Greta Garbo, and Rita Hayworth, who wore a Fath dress for her wedding to Prince Aly Khan.

Jacques Fath also dressed Eva Perón. In one of the few remaining paintings of the 1940s and 1950s not destroyed by the Revolución Libertadora in 1955 (three years after Evita’s death), when Perón was ousted from power, Evita is depicted beside General Perón wearing a white evening dress designed by Fath. This same dress is showcased beside the painting on a mannequin under a protected glass cover in the Museo del Bicentenario in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Fath appeared in Scandale au Champs-Elysées (1949, directed by Roger Blanc) and he designed costumes for several films.

There is a current website devoted to Fath:

All my facts come from my old friend, Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Fath

 

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