Maison Goossens: More to a Title Than Meets the Eye

Haute Couture Read:

Robert Goossens:

All images from Maison Goossens Haute Couture Jewelry, rights reserved. Sneak Peek view. Collage compiled from my copy of the text.

I must admit that when I heard about the release of the book Maison Goossens by Patrick Mauries via Thames and Hudson Ltd., which chronicles the work of Robert Goossens and his fantasic creations, I was already sold.  When the luxurious gray linen covered text arrived with the vibrant images I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.  Opening the book I experienced a rock crystal fantasy bijoux world of the work of Goossens in technicolor.  We are introduced to the old world accessories makers of France with Line Vautrin and Robert’s start there. The longevity of his career gives us an idea of how important such arduos hands-on training was to the eventual construction of such precise and beautifully crafted designs.  He did the time so to speak, and it wasn’t always glamourous – thus one can understand his pride in being called an artisan.  The book discusses Chanel’s relationship with Gripoix and the earlier more delicate designs versus the Fulco di Verdura’s style and how Goossens fits in, although it also touches on his work for other houses, like Balenciaga.  Key players in his career like Marquise de Beausset are address, intrigued yet?  You should be! Oh did I mention YSL, custom rock crystal chandeliers and Thierry Mugler?  Which leads me to one question, Maison Gripoix or Maison Degorce or? Here’s a clue, you have to read the last chapter for that answer… However, perhaps most relevant for collectors and admirers are the works of Patrick Goossens, heir to the thrown so to speak. Yes, those huge couture Dior earrings were his. In fact a number of images in the last chapter are very helpful in identifying his work on the runways and what the next vintage accessories to collect are!

“If Coco hadn’t taken me under her wing, I’m quite sure no one would have given my work a second glance. She was a bit like the grandmother I never knew. That said, she never told me if what I’d done was any good. Never ever! The first time I made her a piece of jewelry – a gold brooch with three large pearls and a diamond she’d given me, real gemstones- I took it up to her studio on the second floor( it was only the second time we had met). She put the brooch on and carried on talking about something else. After a little while, I asked her what she thought of the brooch. She looked straight at me with those jet-black eyes of hers and said: “If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have worn it!” (Robert Goossens, Maison Goossens by Patrick Mauries). 

*Available here


*Above sneak peek images photographs of the text’s, original image rights reserved to Maison Goossens.




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