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Album of original concept sketches for women's couture.

Paris : 48 rue d'Orsel, c.1925 Stock Code: 137713
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Extensive archive of fashion sketches from les années folles.

A fascinating "catalogue" filled with skilfully executed sketches offering an unfiltered insight into the creative imagination of a Parisian fashion designer in the 1920s. The majority of the drawings are for dresses and coats exemplifying the narrow, garçonne silhouette of the period and working within an angular, geometric Deco vocabulary, some being almost architectural in their conception. The predominance of ankle-length garments perhaps suggests a date around the middle of decade.

Tissandié is inevitably an elusive figure. Located in rue d'Orsel, Montmartre in the heart of the Parisian textile district, his small workshop would have been one among numerous similar enterprises producing concept drawings, fabric designs, embroidery, passementerie, and trimmings of all kinds, developing symbiotically with the great houses in Paris, feeding off and feeding back in ideas. This collection shows him to have had an extremely inventive mind, restlessly working over variations of shape, fabric and detail. Lengthening a coat, tapering a dress, adjusting a hemline, widening a sleeve, adding fur or embroidered trim or feature buttons, elaborating or simplifying a suggested fabric. The effect is a mildly kaleidoscopic, but there is nothing random, elements are combined and recombined to a purpose, and the results always striking and appealing.

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Folio (397 x 292 mm). Contemporary black pebble-grained paper on cloth album, pale grey blue free endpapers.


224 original pen and ink sketches in black and sanguine - the garment in black, the visible figure, head, hands, feet in sanguine - on pattern paper, some with white and grey wash, numbered consecutively, many with Tissandié's atelier stamp, corner mounte


Somewhat rubbed, through to the cloth on the joints and board edges, head and tail of the spine chipped, front joint similarly split, remains sound, mounting leaves browned and some becoming brittle at the extremities, the drawings themselves contact browned at the corners, a few coming loose, a few minor edge-splits, 12 missing, but overall clean, very good.


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Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

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