Recently, I featured a Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History slideshow about the evolution of the cocktail dress. There is another excellent slideshow that features Haute Couture. All but the last designer in the fifteen slide series is French. As for the French designers, the photos feature Worth to LaCroix and cover the 1860s to 1987. The gorgeous dress, above, is by Jacques Fath from 1951. If only my wand were working, I’d have that one hanging in my closet. (Not exactly suitable for parent/teacher conferences, but I can dream, can’t I?) The brief but informative text that accompanies the slideshow explains the working of the haute couture system.
Today’s expression, se bercer de rêves (suh bear-say duh rev) literally means “to rock oneself with dreams.” A baby sleeps in a berceau after having been sung a berceuse. Se bercer also means to delude or kid oneself, like my dream of owning an original Jacques Fath gown, or even having the place to wear it.