In his 1941 book The Ways of Fashion, industry insider and editor of Women’s Wear, Morris de Camp Crawford referred to the French couture house of Jeanne Hallée as “one of the best of the early houses.” While arguably true, Crawford unknowingly made a far more accurate statement about the house in the fact that he misspelled its name. M.D.C Crawford, like many before him, referred to the house as “Jeanne Halle” rather than “Jeanne Hallée,” highlighting, among various other reasons, how the house has become virtually forgotten today. Jeanne Hallée, in operation from 1870 to 1924, was a French lingerie and couture house located primarily at 3, rue de la Ville-l’Evêque in Paris. In the nearly sixty years it was open, the house held several names: from Jeanne Hallée, to Jeanne Hallée Diémert et Cie., to Suzanne – Jeanne Hallée Successor, to Anna – ancienne maison Jeanne Hallée. Though forgotten today, throughout its history, the name Jeanne Hallée (and its various misspellings) maintained a consistent reputation and identity for the firm.
This paper aims to rediscover and detail the history of the house of Jeanne Hallée, from its opening in 1870 as a lingerie house on the rue Royale to its closure as a premiere couture house on the rue de la Ville-l’Evêque in 1924. To do so, in this qualifying paper I examine and analyze available extant material detailing the daily activities of the house and its owners. This includes surviving garments, fashion press, commercial documents and records, references in contemporary literature, and most revealing, in the personal letters detailing the life of the women who kept this solely female-run firm open for almost sixty years. This research reveals the lost identity of the firm for the purpose of contextualizing its many extant garments held in museums today, but it also sheds light on the inner workings of the couture industry as it evolved in this pivotal early period.
|Commitee:||Montegut, Denyse, Berthon, Magali, Byrd, Sarah, Abrego, Sonya|
|School:||Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York|
|Department:||Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||MAI 81/11(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Couture, French fashion, Jeanne Hallée, Lingerie, World War One|
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