Lily Absinthe Looks At Gustave Beer


When people think of fashion, they think of France and Paris in particular. However, while Pars may have reigned as the fashion center of the Western world during the 19th and early 20th Centuries, the designers themselves were not necessarily French. Of these designers, Charles Worth is probably the most well-known of these non-French designers and his influence on fashion was undeniable.

One “foreign” designer who is not so well-known was Gustave Beer. Gustave (or Gustav, spellings vary) Beer was born in Germany about 1875 and first established himself as a designer in Vienna. Later, he relocated to Paris where he opened a fashion house in 1905. Beer’s approach tended to be conservative, emphasizing exquisite construction and fine materials over daring designs.

Below are just a few examples:

Opera Cape1

Opera Cape, c. 1895 – 1905

Day Dress c. 1904 - 1905 Gustave Beer

Day Dress, c. 1904 – 1905; Metropolitan Museum of Art (1999.135a–e)

Day Dress c. 1904 - 1905 Gustave Beer

Some more views.

Moving a bit later:

Gustave Beer Evening Dress c. 1905

Evening Dress, c. 1905

Gustave Beer Evening Dress c. 1905

And the evening gown as it was worn…

And a few detail pictures:

Gustave Beer Evening Dress c. 1905

Gustave Beer Evening Dress c. 1905

Unfortunately, the years have not been kind to this dress and there’s serious deterioration, especially in the interior:


Below is an ensemble c. 1905 consisting of skirt and two bodices allowing a quick change from day to evening dress:

Gustave Beer

Gustave Beer

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot out there about Beer but from what I’ve gathered, his fashion house continued until 1929 when it merged with the House of Drecoll to exist as Drecoll-Beer. Subsequently, Drecoll-Beer merged with the House of Agnes in 1931 and the Beer name was dropped.

We’ll be doing some more on Beer in the future as we unearth further information. 🙂

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