Théâtre de la Mode

A long-sleeved evening gown by Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli, part of the set Le Théâtre by Christian Bérard

A long-sleeved evening gown by Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli, part of the set Le Théâtre by Christian Bérard

The fashions of post-World War II France are highlighted in this 1946 exhibit, which shows one-third human size mannequins wearing fashions created by the country’s finest designers. When it debuted at Louvre’s Museum of Decorative Arts in 1945, the opening drew 100,000 visitors. After touring Europe and the US in 1946, the exhibition languished in the basement of San Francisco’s City of Paris department store; the sets were destroyed, but the mannequins were saved by Alma de Bretteville Spreckels who championed their acquisition by Maryhill Museum of Art.

An overall view of La Rue de la Paix en la Place Vendôme by Louis Touchagues

An overall view of La Rue de la Paix en la Place Vendôme by Louis Touchagues

Maryhill is now home to nine re-built sets and restored mannequins dressed in casual and formal wear of the day. Each year, three of the nine sets are on display. In 2015, La Rue de la Paix en la Place Vendôme by Louis Touchagues, L’Île de la Cité by Georges Douking and portions of Le Théâtre by Christian Bérard will be on exhibit.

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Théâtre de la Mode