Founded by American couturier Main Rousseau Bocher, Mainbocher was established in 1929, and operated in Paris prior to more than three decades in New York. Bocher, a native of Chicago, studied art at the University of Chicago and Chicago Academy of Fine Arts before serving in the Army in WWI, working as a fashion illustrator for Harper’s Bazaar and later editor-in-chief of French Vogue in 1927.
He designed haute couture for a clientele that included Diana Vreeland, Mary Pickford, Claudette Colbert and Wallis Simpson. Perhaps the most iconic piece was known as the Mainbocher Corset, which led to a shift in silhouette and introduced the Victorian influence that was pervasive in the 1940s. He retired at the age of 81, but his designs continue to influence designers today.
Shown above is a black silk chiffon cocktail dress with a subtly tiered lace skirt. Visit 1stdibs for more information.