The ghost of Mme. Gres stirs again today at the Drouot-Richelieu auction house in Paris. The celebrated couturiere’s daughter, Anne Gres — who hid her mother’s death for 18 months — is putting the remnants of her mother’s personal effects on the block. Dresses, jewelry, sketches and letters are up for sale, as well as photographs by Cecil Beaton and Horst and a pair of 1936 Man Ray images of a model dressed in Gres. It is the vintage contents of Mme. Gres’s closet, though, that is bringing out Frederic Molenac, the current designer for the revived House of Gres, who will be shopping for the atelier’s archives.
In France, even the clergy fusses over clothing details. Jean-Charles de Castelbajac is in Paris to help out some 5,000 priests, 500 bishops and Pope John Paul II himself when His Holiness makes a trip to France in August. Cardinal Lustiger, Archbishop of Paris, lunched with the designer last December to ask him to create a collection of clerical weeds to celebrate the papal visit. The approved first sketches have de Castelbajac’s signature rainbow of bold stripes down the front of a cream-colored garment, accented by a cross in the middle.
The models who worked the Versus show in New York last weekend wanted to make it clear that they discovered the earspear — a two-piece earring of bone, horn, wood or bamboo. Hairdresser Chuck Amos brought a bagful of the tribal earrings, designed by his friend Lavalais, to the Versus show — intending to see whether anyone wanted to buy them. Kristen, Kate, Stella and Shalom snatched them up. When Versus stylist Joe McKenna saw the models wearing them around the dressing room — in the left ear only — he bought out Amos’s stock and sent it down the runway.