Ode to Madame Gres’ Draped Fashion in First Retrospective at the Musée Bourdelle in Paris

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PARIS (REUTERS).- A pleat is just a pleat — unless, of course, your name was Madame Gres. For this celebrated couturier, who pleated and draped her way through a half-century career in fashion, the art of meticulously folding fabric over the body to create dramatic sculpted forms elevated craft to art. Some 80 flowing creations from the artist, who died in 1993, are on display this summer at the Musee Bourdelle in the French capital. The collection, culled from the archives of the temporarily shuttered Musee Galliera of fashion, is the first retrospective of this legendary Parisian with the signature Angora turban to whom contemporary fashion designers owe much. In one stunning example, electric orange silk falls in hundreds of tiny folds in three tiers accentuated with brown ribbon in a 1977 dress that is at once contemporary and classic. In another room, seven white evening gowns dating from the 1950s to the 1970s offer versatility around a common theme. The dresses move from