Mme. Henriette Favre – forgotten no more

Earlier this morning I responded to a comment about yesterday’s Weekend Wow and wrote it was too bad that more of the designer’s gowns hadn’t made it to today as extant garments: “I would think that anyone with this much talent must have made some spectacular gowns. Perhaps I’ll dig a bit more.” So I did. There really isn’t much out there, but what is out there is pretty impressive.

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Woman’s Mantelet by Henriette Favre. France, Paris, circa 1902 Cotton lace, silk chiffon, silk velvet ribbon, and sequins (59.68.9) LACMA Collections

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Dress and matching Mantle by Henriette Favre. Date 1905–7. French – silk, metal. Accession Number – C.I.60.42.2a–d

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Evening dress Henriette Favre, ca. 1903. French – silk, cotton, celluloid.

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Mme. Favre received at least two royal commissions from Queen Alexandra of Great Britain. How did she manage to nearly disappear from design history?

Ball gown with train, belonged to Queen Alexandra of Great Britain. By Henriette Favre, Paris, c. 1906. Princess-line dress of ninon embroidered with mirrored sequins and glass beads in a pattern of flowers and leaves. Dense fringe of beads hanging from the neckline in front accentuates the S-curve silhouette. Lining of cream-colored taffeta and satin.

ball gown with train

This is a court mourning gown commissioned by Queen Alexandra for her period of half mourning, a year after Queen Victoria’s death. This is how it was displayed at the Met Museum’s exhibition “Death Becomes Her.”

Favre, dress for Queen Alexandra. 1902. © Stylecurated_8

Favre, dress for Queen Alexandra. 1902. © Stylecurated_8

( photo from rosewatersaffron.wordpress.com0

( photo from rosewatersaffron.wordpress.com)

Henriette Favre, French, 1902. Silk, sequins. Gift of Miss Irene Lewisohn, 1937. Accession Number: C.I.37.44.1 (The same dress as above, from metmuseum.org online collection.)

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Sadly, I can find no biographical information about this talented designer. Nor can I find any other images of extant garments. There is no record of a Paris “House of Favre.” So this is my tribute to Herniette Favre – once a designer for royalty, yet now lost to time.

Henriette Favre label

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4 thoughts on “Mme. Henriette Favre – forgotten no more

    • It seems as if sometimes royalty commissions a gown and it ends up plastered with as much sparkle and other embellishments as it can take, and then some. But this one is so just elegant with the soft grey color and figure emphasizing beaded pattern. It doesn’t shout “Hey! Yoo-hoo!! HRH the Queen! Right here!!!” (That’s the job of a crown or knockout tiara.) It simply, yet firmly, announces “Royal Majesty. Period.” And I’d love to see it in person.

    • I have a thing for green velvet as it is, so the bottle-green silk velvet just about does me in. 😉 I can’t take credit for the pictures, but I wish there was one of the gown and the mantle together. I bet they are stunning together.

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