A prominant London couture atelier in the Jazz Age was that of Zorene Ltd based in and around Hanover Square, W1. Zorene Ltd was founded in 1919 and thrived through the 1920s and into the 1930s and was described as Court Dressmakers. It was owned and run by Zoe Florence A. Benn and another lady called Irene, hence the name Zorene.
A prominant London couture atelier in the Jazz Age was that of Madame Yvonne based at 8 Motcombe Street, Belgrave Square, SW1.
Val St Cyr and Baroque Ltd
Val St Cyr as the house of Baroque was a major force in the dress-designing world of London in the Jazz Age and beyond. Long forgotten and ignored, Val St Cyr’s work was nevertheless magnificent and was characterized by being original, idiosyncratic, innovative and daring.
Merci et Cie the Movie Modiste
Post World War 1 there was renewed optimism for the British Film industry and various moves were made to improve the quality of productions with effective and original costume design recognised as being of crucial importance. Between 1919-1922 this was evident by the formation of two dress designing departments at the newly formed Islington studio for Famous Players Lasky, headed by Marcelle de St Martin and the Alliance Studios, headed by Gladys Jackson. But there were various other independent designers rising to the occasion as well. One such person was the fashion designer and costumier Mde de Petier of Merci et Cie (sometimes spelt Mercie) based at 90 Charing Cross Road, whose business was described as ‘milliners.’
The discovery of a feature in Dance Magazine from December 1924 about the New York modiste Sophie Rosenberg has sent me on a slight detour from my current research. It would appear that she was a significant figure in the New York fashion design world from 1915 right through to the mid 1950s. Taking her inspiration from her yearly trips to Paris, Rosenberg created original designs with a Parisian air. Her enterprises evolved in 1915 in conjunction with her husband under various names and in 1935 she entered into a rather disastrous and short-lived business arrangement with Gloria Vanderbilt before re-establishing her independence.
One of the leading ‘society’ couturiers in London during the 1920s was Buckmaster who created stylish and elegant ensembles for leading members of London’s high society.