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American in Paris: Mainbocher and the Americanization of Parisian Couture

Hailing from Chicago, Main Rousseau Bocher (1890-1976) became the premier American couturier in Paris only to bring his exacting and elegant creations back home where they found fans among the cream of American society

Bocher studied art in Chicago, New York and Munich,  then served in the US Army during World War I, after which he decided to stay in Paris. There, he worked as an illustrator for Harper’s Bazaar and eventually correspondent then editor in chief of Vogue Paris. Bocher decided to turn his infallible eye for choosing the best-selling and most influential clothes for each season to design and in 1930 he established Mainbocher Couture.

Written by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester dot brathwaite at gmail