Maison Lesage: Haute Couture Embroidery

Thames & Hudson. 2019. 224p. ISBN 9780500021538. $60. DEC ARTS
Few outside of high fashion will know the name Maison Lesage, yet many more have seen the fashion house’s products in luxury brands including Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, and Dior. In 1924, Albert Lesage took over the embroidery workshop of Michonet, and Maison Lesage was born. Lesage’s wife, Marie-Louise, was instrumental in the house’s early success, and their son François carried the family company into the latter half of the century. Art and design writer Mauriès acknowledges and references the principal book on Lesage, Palmer White’s Haute Couture Embroidery: The Art of Lesage. Mauriès’s text, notably more concise than White’s, extends the family story into the 21st century, when Maison Lesage opens an embroidery school and joins Chanel’s subsidiary company of craft ateliers, Paraffection. This chronology also offers a glimpse into how political and social events affected 20th-century fashion. Color image details of the embroidery and embellishments capture the eye on every page spread, making this an attractive book to browse.
VERDICT This volume will most appeal to readers of fashion and costume history. As a look book, anyone with an interest in embroidery will appreciate the technical finesse of Maison Lesage.
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