Lately, Emile Pingat has been a major focus here at Lily Absinthe. To us, it seems that history has largely ignored Pingat while giving exclusive focus to Charles Frederick Worth. While by no means do we mean to denigrate Worth’s achievements, we also feel that it’s worthwhile to also call attention to some of the other couturiers who today are less well known.
Just to give an example of Pingat’s reach, we found this little reference in the December 3, 1885 edition of the Marin County Journal, a newspaper that was published in San Rafael, California:
Pingat is considered the artistic dress-maker in Paris fashionable circles, Worth now playing second scissors.
Ok, maybe we’re reaching here but it’s interesting seeing a reference to Pingat, albeit a brief humorous one, in a small newspaper (granted that San Rafael is relatively close to San Francisco).
Just a fluke? Maybe not..consider this extract from the “Fashion Notes” section of the November 3, 1883 edition of The Pacific Rural Press, a newspaper that was published in San Francisco from 1871 to 1894:
A leading feature of the fashions of the season, as shown at the October openings, is that of combination costumes. Scarcely a dress among all those made by the great French dressmakers Worth, Pingat, Felix, and the rest is of a single fabric, the rule being the combination of brocade or fancy dress goods with plain material to match. This is the case especially with the fine woolens, the use of which is constantly increasing, and which will this winter be worn for everything except elegant reception toilets.
And just to further show Pingat’s reach, below is an an advertisement from the September 22, 1895 edition of the Los Angeles Herald:
Of course, one does wonder if the advertised garments were actually manufactured by the designers as advertised or were knock-offs… 🙂
While the above has been focused on Pingat, it does indicate that Parisian designers like Worth and Pingat had cachet even on the West Coast of the United States in much the same way that the names Dior, Lagerfeld, and Dolce and Gabbana (to name a few) have cachet today among fashion consumers.
The above is only a small sampling and as we find more references, we will share them with you. 🙂