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Pauline Trigère’s 1940s Fashion Designs Showcase a Fusion of Elegance and Innovation in Every Stitch

Pauline Trigère, a Franco-American couturière, carved a unique niche in the fashion industry with her innovative and sophisticated designs. Although her styles reached the pinnacle of popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, her influence began in the 1940s. This era marked the beginning of Trigère’s journey as a fashion innovator, blending impeccable craftsmanship with a forward-thinking approach to women’s fashion.

Early Career and Transition to America

Trigère’s journey in fashion design began long before her recognition in the United States. Born in Paris in 1908, she was introduced to the world of fashion by her tailor father and dressmaker mother. The skills she acquired during her early years in Paris laid the foundation for her future success. Her move to New York in 1937, escaping the growing tensions in Europe, marked a significant transition in her career. It was in America that Trigère would establish her name as a distinctive and influential designer.

1940s Fashion Scene and Trigère’s Entrance

The 1940s fashion scene was dominated by the impact of World War II, which brought about a more utilitarian approach to clothing. Amidst this backdrop, Trigère introduced designs that were both functional and elegant, a contrast to the austere styles prevalent during the war. Her designs from this period showcased her ability to adapt to challenging times while maintaining a sense of luxury and femininity.

Innovations in Cut and Construction

Trigère’s work in the 1940s was recognized for its innovative approach to cut and construction. She was known for her precise tailoring and attention to detail, creating garments that were as beautifully crafted inside as they were outwardly stylish. This period saw her experimenting with structure and form, leading to designs that were both modern and timeless.

The Relevance of Function in Fashion

A key aspect of Trigère’s designs was her focus on functionality. She believed that women’s clothing should be both beautiful and practical. This philosophy was evident in her creations, which were designed to be versatile and wearable. Her designs were not just fashionable but also catered to the needs of modern women, who were becoming increasingly active in public and professional life.

Signature Styles and Iconic Pieces

During the 1940s, Trigère developed several signature styles that would become synonymous with her brand. This included the introduction of the jumpsuit, a revolutionary garment that combined style with practicality. She also experimented with outerwear, creating the sleeveless coat and the reversible cape – items that showcased her skill in combining form with function.

#1 Model in rayon and wool dress with silk rose scarf by Pauline Trigere, March 15, 1945.

Model In Rayon And Wool Dress With Silk Rose Scarf By Pauline Trigere, March 15, 1945.

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#2 Model in bleached beige Juilliard wool jacket by Pauline Trigere, March 1945.

Model In Bleached Beige Juilliard Wool Jacket By Pauline Trigere, March 1945.

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#3 Dorothy Tivis in steel blue rayon dress by Pauline Trigere, 1946.

Dorothy Tivis In Steel Blue Rayon Dress By Pauline Trigere, 1946.

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#4 Hockanum Rose Cedar wool coat by Pauline Trigere, September 1945.

Hockanum Rose Cedar Wool Coat By Pauline Trigere, September 1945.

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#5 Model in Hockanum wool dress by Pauline Trigere, November 1946.

Model In Hockanum Wool Dress By Pauline Trigere, November 1946.

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#6 Natalie Paine in Wesley Simpson print dress by Pauline Trigere, December 15, 1946.

Natalie Paine In Wesley Simpson Print Dress By Pauline Trigere, December 15, 1946.

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#7 Dorian Leigh in costume by Pauline Trigere, March 15, 1947.

Dorian Leigh In Costume By Pauline Trigere, March 15, 1947.

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#8 Lisa Fonssagrives in afternoon gown by Pauline Trigere, October 15, 1947.

Lisa Fonssagrives In Afternoon Gown By Pauline Trigere, October 15, 1947.

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#9 Model in pink-sapphire sheer wool by Pauline Trigere, November 1947.

Model In Pink-Sapphire Sheer Wool By Pauline Trigere, November 1947.

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#10 Model in wool cape by Pauline Trigere, 1947.

Model In Wool Cape By Pauline Trigere, 1947.

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#11 Models in brocade gowns by Muriel King and Pauline Trigere, November 1, 1947.

Models In Brocade Gowns By Muriel King And Pauline Trigere, November 1, 1947.

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#12 Sabine Weber in satin evening dress by Pauline Trigere, 1947.

Sabine Weber In Satin Evening Dress By Pauline Trigere, 1947.

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#13 Betty Threatt in claret velvet coat by Pauline Trigere, 1948.

Betty Threatt In Claret Velvet Coat By Pauline Trigere, 1948.

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#14 Jean Patchett in wool chiffon gown by Pauline Trigere, November 1948.

Jean Patchett In Wool Chiffon Gown By Pauline Trigere, November 1948.

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#15 Model in rosy knit dress by Pauline Trigere, 1948.

Model In Rosy Knit Dress By Pauline Trigere, 1948.

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#16 Mrs. Howard Hawks in red wool capelet-jacket by Pauline Trigere, 1948.

Mrs. Howard Hawks In Red Wool Capelet-Jacket By Pauline Trigere, 1948.

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#17 Betty Bridgers in Juilliard kasha gabardine coat-dress by Pauline Trigere, March 1949.

Betty Bridgers In Juilliard Kasha Gabardine Coat-Dress By Pauline Trigere, March 1949.

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#18 Georgia Hamilton in plum-colored coat by Pauline Trigere, 1949.

Georgia Hamilton In Plum-Colored Coat By Pauline Trigere, 1949.

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#19 Model in ensemble by Pauline Trigere, 1949.

Model In Ensemble By Pauline Trigere, 1949.

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#20 Mrs. Nancy Hawkes in Stroock wool coat by Pauline Trigere, February 1, 1949.

Mrs. Nancy Hawkes In Stroock Wool Coat By Pauline Trigere, February 1, 1949.

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Written by Emily Madison

Emily Madison, a vintage enthusiast with a passion for all things old Hollywood and retro. When she's not busy fawning over her collection of vintage record players, you can find her cuddling with her beloved feline companions. With a love for classic films and a penchant for collecting vintage treasures, Emily is always on the lookout for the next big find.

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