Sunday, February 13, 2011

Designer of the week: Jean Desses

Jean Dessès was born (Jean Dimitre Verginie), in Alexandria, Egypt in 1904. His parents were both Greek. Jean Dessès originally studied law, but soon left and went to work for Maison Jane, a Parisian couture. In 1937, Desses opened his own couture salon in Paris.

After World War II he did extensive travel around the world. His work was influenced by his travels, creating draped evening gowns in chiffon, embroidered dresses, sheath dresses with tight jackets and flowing skirts.
He was endlessly inspired by the long and flowing drapery of ancient Greece and Egypt, where he was born; channeling that inspiration into ingeniously constructed chiffon gowns in soft colors.
His designs were popular with European royalty such as the Queen and royal Princesses of Greece and the Duchess of Windsor.
Dessés designed a whole wardrobe for Queen Frederika of Greece for her visit to the U.S. in 1958.
On his first visit to the U.S. just over a year after the Queen’s visit, Dessés won Life magazine’s “Gown of the Year Award.”
In 1962, he designed the wedding gown worn by Princess Sophia of Greece for her marriage to future King Juan Carlos of Spain.
Evening gowns were Dessés’s forté. He designed beautiful draped chiffon gowns in soft colors that were meant to make the women who wore them look like classical goddesses.

In 1963, Dessés retired to Greece where he ran a small boutique. Jean Dessés passed away in Athens in 1970.

Jean Dessès's dresses are as popular today as they were when he first designed them.

In 2001 Renee Zellweger wore this Jean Desses yellow chiffon to the Oscars.

In 2006 Jennifer Lopaz wore this Jean Desses green chiffon gown to the Oscars

Kristin Davis wore this Jean Desses pink chiffon gown.
A more detailed view of the gown.

I love Jean Desses contribution to the world of haute couture.

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