At the beginning of the 20th century, manufactured Leavers lace progressively took over from hand-made lace which it had succeeded in imitating so perfectly. This was concurrent with the birth of Haute Couture. Designers such as Worth, Doucet, Paul Poiret or the Callot sisters used it more and more often to decorate afternoon and evening dresses, whilst the fashion for lace in the highly decorated belle epoque clothing also engendered a high demand.
In the 20s and 30s the lace was much in demand for its patterns, colours, delicacy and transparency in contrast to other materials available at the time.
In the 1950s and 60s Leavers lace from Calais and Caudry was used in abundance to decorate cocktail, evening and wedding dresses and accessories by top designers such as Christian Dior, Chanel, Balenciaga, Cardin, Lanvin, Grès, Balmain, Rochas, Givenchy, Saint-Laurent, Valentino, Nina Ricci etc..
to emphasize elegance and feminity.
After a period of decline when lace was considered old-fashioned, new designers emerged during the last quarter of the 20th century such as Thierry Mugler, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Christian Lacroix and then Franck Sorbier, Elie Saab, Eymeric Francois, Fred Sathal etc…. who rediscovered its spectacular design potential which they exploited reinventing, layerering and revamping it in a sophisticated baroque
effusion which swept over the highly mediatised fashion shows.
The demand for Dentelle de Calais-Caudry® hasn’t slowed down either in the collections of the top Haute Couture names or the more recent ones such as On aura tout vu, Alexis Mabille, Alexandre Vautier, Julien Fournié, Zuhair Murad… as well as the up-and-coming ones who don’t hesitate to work with it, defying convention.
The lace remains timeless whether used in a classical or modern way, a treasured ambassador of legendary french chic and elegance travelling around the world.
In the 1960s Ready-to-Wear collections appeared and with them a new generation of designers inventing a whole new style with its own identity, bringing fashion which had been previously elitist to a wider public. At the beginning of the 1980s luxury Ready-to-Wear collections were developed, produced in particular by a new wave of designers and in ranges of internationally famous fashion houses. Leavers lace from Calais and Caudry took pride of place, being used in multiple ways, constantly interacting with other materials, in a spirit of couture which delighted women and showed-off their femininity. Amongst the fashion designers Chantal Thomass was one of the avant-garde who launched the inside-out trend showing lace pieces with a lingerie feeling at her Ready-to-Wear shows.
Many luxury Ready-to-Wear houses from the world over and wedding dress designers incorporate Dentelle de Calais-Caudry® in their own fashion into their collections of clothes and accessories. Romantic, sentimental, bohemian, sober, provocative, sexy, floral or graphic, black, white or coloured, used in layering or transparent on the skin, lace is the sign of timeless elegance which renders women beautiful,
a luxury item to wear every day.
Although lingerie in the sense of underwear appeared in the 19th century it wasn’t until the first half of the 20th century that women’s underwear as we now know it appeared when corsets were replaced by bras (developed by Cadolle), girdles and suspenders, and slips.
In the 1950s the use of rayon, then nylon, combined with the use of rubber followed by latex brought comfort and ease of use for control-wear corsetry, and crease-resistant negligees and nightwear. These items were produced in pastel colours and decorated with Leavers lace from Calais and Caudry and provided a sophistication and refinement which marked a turning point during these years. Scandale, Warner, Playtex, Chantelle, Aubade, Lejaby… were the pioneers.
After the 1960s and 70s where the fashion was for a minimalist, transparent, seamless, nude look (Huit), the beginning of the 1980s was marked by a nostalgia for a retro feminine look and saw the return of suspenders, corsets, basques… and luxury materials such as Calais-Caudry lace, silk and embroidery. Innovative stylists such as Chantal Thomass heralded in a new era, adopting the inside-out trend which is still popular today.
The invention of stretch lace, as well as treatments rendering the material softer and even more comfortable, convinced top international lingerie brands to choose Dentelle de Calais-Caudry® for their luxury underwear.
With the impression of delicately drawing a sensual tattoo on the skin, it shapes and shows off the female body.
The current trend towards originality and personalisation of the materials and objects surrounding us is not just limited to the fashion world, but now extends to objects in our daily life, and to our way of life.
The extension of this trend into interior decoration, driven by a desire for privacy and cocooning in our home environment, provides Calais-Caudry lace with the opportunity to develop in other sectors. Nowadays thanks to research by the designers and decorators, and aided by advances in technology, high performance materials can be produced which combine flexibility and rigidity, malleability and strength.
Household objects, furniture and architects materials provide a new opportunity for avant-garde designs in which Dentelle de Calais-Caudry® is altered and transformed in association with other materials such as Dacryl, resin, silicon… or other technical textiles.
With its transparency and graphic design, lace is once again reinvented and its decorative attraction casts a spell bringing a touch of
poetry, elegance and refinement to traditional or contemporary realms.