Saturday, April 16, 2011

John Cavanagh 1956 Paper Taffeta Evening Dress Illustrated by Rene Bouche

John Cavanagh Paper Taffeta Evening Dress
UK Vogue
November 1956
Etsy #71291823

Very little detail is known about Rene Bouche himself.  Born in Europe in 1906, he arrived at what would be his "bread and butter" career at age 33, when he persuaded the editors of the French-edition of Vogue to allow him to contribute sketches of the latest fashions.  His work appeared in both the French and British versions of the magazine, and he produced one of the prettiest covers of the year, showing a milliner's shop full of the summer's bows and flowers, ribbons and laces, straws and tulles. 

It was that spring of 1941 that Bouche's career effectively began.  Almost immediately he made a considerable "second impression" on Vogue's New York editors, and he quickly became a regular contributor to the magazine.  His work was almost exclusively black-and-white sketches, with a few full-color pieces offered up when the assignment or subject-matter warranted. Stylistically, his sketches often resembled what one critic called "frantic calligraphy," yet their mood was always soft and gentle.

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