Three large quarto volumes with 191 beautiful original fashion design illustrations tipped in on cards. Illustrations are in pen-and-ink and hand-colored with watercolors and sometimes heightened in gold and silver. Leaves: (11 x 9 inches; 280 x 225 mm) Illustrations: (9 1/2 x 6 3/8 inches; 240 x 160 mm). Each illustration is stamped with Lamotte's ink stamp on verso, and occasionally also on recto. The stamp reads "3 Faubourg St. Honore Paris Louise Lamotte" Each plate is also numbered and named on verso in ink. Many of the illustrations are also signed by Lamotte on verso. The spine of volume one reads 1920-1921, volume II reads 1922-1923, and volume III reads 1924. These drawings are particularly interesting in that the 1920s marked an important era in fashion. Fashion underwent a modernization and a simplification from the earlier Victorian and Edwardian eras. As seen in these present examples, the "roaring twenties" brought "the development of convenient and modern styles that rejected formality and multiple layers in favor of comfort and a more natural effect. The tubular look of La Garçonne fashion dominated much of the decade and was typified by the flapper dress which had dropped waistlines, raised hemlines, and was made from economical fabrics." (LOC, Women’s Fashion History Through Newspapers: 1921-1940 by Heather Thomas)
Bound by Gruel in full red morocco. Watered silk endpapers. Gilt dentelles and gilt board edges. All edges gilt. Louise Lamotte's gilt monogram in upper right corner of front boards. Spines lettered in gilt. Some scuffing to back board of volume I. Front board and spine of volume III a bit darkened. Some rubbing along board edges and outer joints, mainly to volume III. The silk is a bit loose on some of the free endpapers. Some minor offsetting from illustrations to facing blanks, but all illustrations are very clean. Overall a very good set of beautiful illustrations, a one-of-a-kind piece.
These three beautifully bound volumes are filled with 191 fashion design illustrations in the hand of French couturier Louise Lamotte. The illustrations are of woman's fashions and drawn on a woman's body. Each design is named with a woman's name and dated with a year between 1920-1924 and bound within the correlating volume.
Very little is known about fashion designer Louise Lamotte. She designed costumes within the theater and had an apartment/fashion studio located at 3 Faubourg St. Honore in Paris. During the 1920s and into present time, this street was and continues to be a hub for haute couture and high end fashion, housing the likes of Chanel, Hermes and Lanvin. After Lomotte's death, distant relative and artist Avital Sagalyn stayed at Lamotte's apartment at 3 Faubourg St. Honore at the request of Lamotte's brother. Sagalyn described the apartment being full of mannequins and three-way mirrors. These mannequins and mirrors went on to inspire Sagalyn's cubist paintings on the subject.