Parfums Lucien Lelong.
Illustrations de A.M. Cassandre.Paris, Lucien Lelong, 13, rue Alphonse de Neuville, 1949 Stock Code: 95082
NotesFirst edition of this notably rare spectacular promotional brochure for Lelong's fragrances, with no other copies traced. Largely forgotten today, apart from amongst the couture cognoscenti, Lelong (18891958) was enormously influential.
After the First World War Lelong took charge of his parents' small fashion house, which was noted for its espousal of the modern lookthe chic, autobiographical heroine of Colette's 1908 novella Les Vrilles de la vigne is dressed by Lelongand continued their tradition of innovation advancing the concept of the "kinétique", clothes "constructed in such a way that their true shape would emerge in movement, not at rest". Not a designer himself, he employed a number of young designers who were later to strike out on their own. Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain, and Hubert de Givenchy all spent time developing collections for Lelong.
His contribution to the success of the house was in his vision, and his marketing brilliance: he redesigned his parents' salon decorating entirely in black, so that it was said to resemble a black-lined jewellery box, he offered discounts to society women who agreed to be photographed in his dresses, and was early into the branded perfume market. The first fragrances offered by Lelong were enigmatically named A, B, C, J, and N, intending to evoke a sense of mystery and romance. The artfully designed bottles were largely the work of Lelong himself. Over 30 years he created a total of 27 different fragrances.
This superbly produced catalogue features ten suitably mysterious and evocative plates by Cassandre (né Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron), the Ukrainian-born French painter, illustrator, poster designer, and typographer, probably best-known for his imposing poster for the great CGT liner Normandie.
Octavo. Original plain boards in cream wrapper, front panel with company device embossed within debossed cartouche.
With 10 chromolithographic plates after illustrations by Cassandre, and similarly printed plates from photographs of the perfume bottles themselves by Réné Messager.
Wrappers a little rubbed and irregularly toned, spine slightly chipped at ends, repair to short split at head of front joint, contemporary gift inscription to front free endpaper, else very good.
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