Saturday, September 8, 2007

The House of Boue Soeurs / French Couture Dress

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So purely elegant and so fashionable for a bride of the day circ late teens - early 1920's. Although these dresses are not labeled they have the earmarks of being created by the Boue Soeurs' French Couture House. Both of the dresses were purchased from Arlean Andres dress shop, 300 Delaware St., Buffalo, N.Y. and delivered to Mrs. R. Weed, Fairfax Hotel, Buffalo. Marked on another portion of the box is a label with the handwritten words "2 Boue' dresses Jane's & mine". I am very confident with this information plus further investigating these dresses are indeed from the House of Boue' Soeurs. It has been a delight to read of the two sisters who founded the Boue Soeurs', plus with further reading of Buffalo, N.Y. during this time period. It is my understanding Delaware Ave. was dubbed "Millionaire's Row" of fashionable homes & upscales businesses. So with this is mind parents of the bride would want only the finest for their daughter's wedding. And what could be finer than to purchase a lovely French "lingerie dress".

The bride's dress is of embroidered organdy & it is my understanding the embroidery work for the sisters was done in Venice. It truly is magnificent of Grecian style urn of flowers (10" tall x 12" wide) in center of dress with border of birds, flora & leaves near the bottom of dress as well as the yoke of dress. Lovely hand darn work lace (2" wide) in a stylized flora edges the round neckline & cap sleeves of the dress. This same lace is used as insertion at other various points on the dress including the hemline. Tiny rows of pintucks runs horitzal along the hem as well as 7" rows on either of the sides. Open "ladder" work from the yoke through the center of dress to the embroidered urn. In this area near the waist are two finished slits for inserting a ribbon sash. Snap closure down the back of dress to about the waist. Silk ribbon rosette cluster in a circular pattern decorate the shoulder of the dress. Again, it is my understanding this circular rosette cluster was a trademark of the sisters.

The Mother's dress is just a beautiful creation of hand embroidery on organdy of stylized flora, tiny leaves & buds. Almost the whole center front & back of the dress is of white organdy appliqued to the almond organdy of the sides & sleeves of the dress. Another signature trademark of the Boue' sisters as they used pale and muted colors, reminiscent of tinted almonds & spring colors. Insertions of hand darn work lace in stylied flora & roses fill the sides of the dress to below the hips. Finished openings on both the front & back at the waist for ribbon sash. Round needlework of cherubs on either side below the waist. Darn lace finishes the hem on the sides & back. The front hem line is of the organdy fabric. Scoop neckline with short sleeves finished in embroidery work. Back of the dress is of the same decorative panel as the front except the a few short pin tucks at the waist on the front. Slight "A" line flare to the dress.

These dresses do speak of the artistic beauty of a gentle time long ago.

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