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Guide to the Lucie Porges fashion design papers, 1950-2011

Collection Overview

Repository

Kellen Design Archives

Collection Identifier

KA.0139.01

Creator - Photographer

Lewin, Gideon, 1939-

Creator

Porges, Lucie, 1926-

Title

Lucie Porges fashion design papers, 1950-2011

Extent

9.1 linear ft: 8 boxes, 1 oversized box, 8 legal-size folders

Language of Materials

Majority of materials in English. One exhibition file in the Biographical and personal series contains materials in German and in English.

Summary

The Lucie Porges fashion design papers include biographical materials, fashion sketches, fashion illustrations and fashion photographs, and teaching records. It is of a primarily professional nature, with little documentation of Porges's personal life. The primary activities documented are Porges's fashion design work for Pauline Trigère and her teaching activities at Parsons School of Design.

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Biographical Note

Lucie Porges (née Eisenstab) was a fashion designer at the fashion house of Pauline Trigère (1951-1994) and instructor at Parsons School of Design (1999-2011).

She was born in Vienna, Austria on November 23, 1926. In 1938, Porges’s father was arrested and imprisoned at a time when anti-Jewish demonstrations were increasing in the city. After his release, the Porges family fled first to Cologne and then to Brussels. When the German army advanced on Brussels in 1940, the family fled again. Their train arrived in Toulouse in the south of France, where her father was taken to a French internment camp. The family were moved between French internment camps until 1942. In Lyon, Porges found a job painting silk scarves. The family arrived in Geneva in September 1942 and were finally taken to the Eriswil refugee camp.

After the war ended in 1945, Porges attended the École des Beaux Arts where she studied drawing on a scholarship awarded by an American committee. There she met her future husband, gag cartoonist Paul Peter Porges (1927-2016), in a modelling class. In 1947, Paul emigrated to the United States. Porges herself left Geneva for Paris in 1948. There she worked for a number of Parisian couturiers, including Maggy Rouff (1896-1971). During this period she learnt the skills of haute couture. She also put together a portfolio, finding work as an illustrator for L’Art et la Mode magazine.

Porges left Paris for New York in 1951 to join her now-fiancé in the United States. Paul Peter Porges (known as PPP) had been drafted into the United States Army for the war in Korea. Determined to find employment in fashion, Porges showed her portfolio to Pauline Trigère (1912-2002), who had a large showroom at 550 Seventh Avenue.

It was a partnership that would last forty-three years. Porges was the main sketcher, as Trigère did not sketch her designs but draped them instead. Lucie’s daughter, Vivette Porges, ventures that Trigère was not necessarily trained as an artist and therefore may not have possessed that skill. In addition to her role as a sketcher, Porges was also a fashion designer in her own right. She often accompanied Trigère to Europe on trips to select fabric.

Trigère closed her showroom in 1994 to open P.T. Concepts (which itself closed in 2000). Upon its closure, Porges associated herself with a small couture studio which served only private clients. She supervised the design, selection and adaptation of daytime and evening wear, and consulted with clients on their wardrobes (organizing clothing, advising new combinations, and advising additions).

Porges also taught a fashion design course, "Fashion Atelier," in Parsons School of Design's Continuing Education division beginning in 1999. It was Porges's only teaching experience, and her family assisted her in the more technologically-based administrative tasks associated with teaching as she had not learned how to use computers.

Lucie Porges taught fashion design at Parsons up until her death in June 2011.

References

Hanak, Werner. "Lucie Porges." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Jewish Women's Archive. March 1, 2009. https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/porges-lucie>.

"Lucie Porges." Stylelikeu.com. March 11, 2010. http://stylelikeu.com/profiles-2/closets/lucie-porges/

"Porges, Lucie Eisenstab." United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Accessed April 7, 2017. http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/about-us/promref/3b72551423/porges-lucie-eisenstab-porges.html.

"Studio portrait of the Eisenstab family." Photograph # 66662. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Last modified April 22, 2005. https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/pa1156120

Willis, Mary Pleshette. "ARTS ABROAD; Two Who Fled Austria in Terror Return in Triumph." New York Times. July 13, 2000. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/07/13/arts/arts-abroad-two-who-fled-austria-in-terror-return-in-triumph.html

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Scope and Content of Collection

The Lucie Porges fashion design papers include biographical materials, fashion sketches, fashion illustrations and fashion photographs, and teaching records. It is of a primarily professional nature, with little documentation of Porges's personal life. The primary activities documented are Porges's fashion design work for Pauline Trigère and her teaching activities at Parsons School of Design.

The Biographical and personal series contains materials not directly related to either the acts of designing or teaching. Of note is a dual language catalog produced by the Jewish Museum of the City of Vienna to coincide with the Style and Humor exhibition, which features works by both Lucie Porges and her husband, cartoonist Paul Peter Porges. Documents found throughout Lucie Porges's papers appear in the catalog, and it can be used to provide more context and dates to documents. This series also contains materials by and about Pauline Trigère, including undated speeches, photographs of Porges and Trigère, and Porges's curriculum vitae.

The Design series contains documentation of Porges's professional design work, primarily for Pauline Trigère. The series is divided into sub-series by fashion design function. The first sub-series, Publicity, contains records relating to the selling of finished collections, both to trade audiences and to consumers. Included here are fashion illustrations and fashion photographs, press releases and press packets, clippings from newspapers and magazines, and two portfolios. The majority of fashion photographs were taken by Gideon Lewin, Pauline Trigère’s longtime photographer.

The second sub-series, Sketches, consists of design drawings created by Porges. Pauline Trigère did not sketch, so Porges would sketch Trigère's designs, in addition to her own creations, which she sometimes identified as "my own" in fashion photographs she compiled. According to the donor, the Trigère studio was a very collaborative environment; a seasonal Trigère collection might contain apparel designed by Trigère and by Porges, with no indication as to which woman was the principal designer of a garment.

The teaching series contains documentation related to Porges's "Fashion Atelier" course at Parsons School Design, including syllabi, calendars, class hand-outs, lecture notes, and photographs. In an effort to understand her students, Porges pasted photographs of them into blank notebooks and asked students to include hand-written statements about themselves and their goals. Annotations to the books, along with correspondence addressed to her, indicate that she maintained contact with students. Snapshots also depict students in class, visiting Porges's home, and Porges herself setting up displays of clothing and ephemera to show her class.

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Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in 3 series:

  1. Biographical and personal, 1950-2007
  2. Design, 1950-2010
  3. Teaching, 1994-2011

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Administrative Information

Collection processed by Heather Anderson.

Publication Information

Kellen Design Archives

66 5th Avenue
lobby level
New York, NY, 10011
212.229.5942
archivist@newschool.edu

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Lucie Porges's daughter, Vivette Porges, 2016.

Processing Information note

Many of Porges's original folder titles have been retained, but their accuracy could not always be verified. Lucie's daughter advises that, while Lucie Porges created many of the folder titles, researchers should consider them "impressionistic." Series level notes herein indicate whether titles were devised by the archivists during processing, and which created by Lucie.

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Related Materials

A collection of Pauline Trigère's sketchbooks and garments are held by the Kent State University Museum in Ohio. Pauline Trigère's papers are held by Brandeis University in Massachusetts. Other records documenting Lucie Porges and her husband Paul Peter Porges are held by the United States Holocaust Museum and the Jewish Museum of the City of Vienna. A DVD video interview with Lucie Porges conducted by the Shoah Foundation at University of Southern California is included in the accession file and available upon request in the New School Archives.

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • Parsons School of Design. Fashion Design Department.

Genre(s)

  • Clippings (information artifacts).
  • Drawings.
  • Fashion photographs.
  • Lecture notes.
  • Photographs.
  • Press kits.
  • Sketchbooks.
  • Sketches.
  • Tear sheets.

Personal Name(s)

  • Trigére, Pauline

Subject(s)

  • Fashion design -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- New York -- 20th century.
  • Fashion design.
  • Fashion designers -- United States -- 20th century -- Pictorial works.
  • Fashion drawing.

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Collection Inventory

Series I. Biographical and personal 1950-2007 

Titles in this series have been devised by the archivists based upon the contents of the folders.

Box Folder
Catalog for Pauline Trigère exhibition at Kent State Museum, 1994 Mar 16 
1 1
Catalog and clippings for "Style and Humor" exhibition, 2007 
1 2
Correspondence, 1980, 1983, 1994 
1 3
Curriculum vitae, after 1994 
1 4
Flier as private consultant, after 1994 
1 5
Inspirational clippings, probably 1970s-2010 
k_18 1
International Design Conference program, 1980 Jun 
1 6
Photographs of Lucie Porges and Pauline Trigère, 1950s-1990s 
1 7
2 1
Program for Pauline Trigère's honorary doctorate and clippings, 1989-1992 
1 8
Speeches and essays by Pauline Trigère, before 1994 
1 9

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Series II. Design 1950-2010 

Series is divided into two sub-series, Publicity and Sketches, documenting the acts of creating fashion apparel (Sketches) and then marketing it (Publicity). In addition to sketching for Trigère, Porges also created fashion illustrations, many of which are signed.

Box Folder

Publicity 1950-2010 

Arranged alphabetically. Titles in this series have been devised by the archivists based upon the contents of the folders.

Box Folder
Abe Shrader annual report and clippings, 1980-1984 

The Abe Shrader Corporation, a Seventh Avenue manufacturer, offered a line of Pauline Trigère-designed coats in the 1980s under the name, "A Trigère Coat."

1 10
Celebrity Collection promotional material, 1961 
k_18 2
Clippings, 1955-2010 
1 11
2 2-3
k_18 3-4
Fashion illustrations, 1950s-1990s 
2 4-8
3 1-4
Fashion illustrations [reproductions], 1950s-1970s 
1 12
Fashion photographs, 1950s-1990s 

The majority of prints bearing a photographer's stamp are by Gideon Lewin. The oldest images, a series of contact sheets, probably date to the early 1950s, while the most recent images are from the 1990s. With few exceptions, all are black and white. The seven prints in OSx-1, Folder 1 are mounted on stiff board, presumably for the purposes of temporary display, or are of poor quality and likely work prints.

1 13-26
3 5-7
4 1-6
5 1-6
OSx-1 1
Group portrait of fashion designers, 1950s 

Black and white image depicting Norman Norell, James Galanos, Pauline Trigère and unidentified fourth designer seated behind models dressed in their apparrel. This image likely accompanied a magazine article.

5 7
Harper's Bazaar cover, 1968 

Image depicts a model wearing what is likely a Trigère dress. The fashion photograph is in the style of Hiro.

5 8
Invitations and announcements, 1971-1998 
1 27
Paris Report by Carmel Snow, 1952-1958 
8 1
Portfolios, 1956-1993 

Consists of two portfolios of different dimensions. The smaller portfolio largely consists of fashion illustrations, some swatched and some paired with black and white fashion photographs, in addition to clippings and tearsheets. The larger portfolio consists primarily of clippings and tearsheets.

8 2-3
OSx-1 2-4
Press kit from ABC Television Network, before 1978 

Photographs in press kit feature Marlene Sanders.

1 28
Press releases, 1963-1979 
6 1-2
Stationery and box, before 2000 
6 3
k_18 5
Sumergrade samples, photographs and clippings, 1977-1980 

Pauline Trigère and Lucie Porges designed fabrics of Kodel polyester and cotton featuring three patterns: "Vine and Trellis," "Vine," and "Trellis." The patterns were available in four colors: white on Trigère Red, brown, black, or blue. This fabric (of which samples are included in one folder) links the contents of both folders in this entry.

Using the fabric, Trigère designed bedspreads, comforters, draperies, shams, and decorative pillows for N. Sumergrade & Sons. In 1980, using the same fabric, Porges designed an umbrella, oversized tote bag, insulated cooler and quilted beach mat. These beach accessories were sold at Lord & Taylor. The folders contain photographs, advertisements and clippings of these non-apparel designs.

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k_18 6-7

Sketches 1950-1990 

This subseries is divided between alphabetically arranged files and chronologically arranged files based on Porges's original folder titles. The donor, Lucie's daughter, cautions that these labels should be treated as "impressionistic" and were likely created long after the drawings ceased to be active records. The processing archivists were not always able to verify the accuracy of the titles. The date range of 1950-1990 is an approximation, based upon the period in which Porges was affiliated with Pauline Trigère.

Box Folder
Alphabetical 
Absolut Vodka, probably 1994 
8 4
Coats, 1950s-1990s 
6 4-5
Copied sketches, 1950s-1990s 
6 6
Dresses, 1950s-1990s 
6 7-8
Dresses, circa 1980s 
6 9
Fall, 1950s-1990s 
6 10
Fall dresses, 1950s-1990s 
Fashion ideas, 1950s-1990s 
6 12
Follow through and abstract, 1950s-1990s 
6 13
Follow through on ideas, 1950s-1990s 
6 14
Furs, 1950s-1990s 
6 15
Good black and white sketches!, 1950s-1990s 
6 16
Grainware, 1950s-1990s 
6 17
Groups 2-tone, 1950s-1990s 
6 18
Handbag ideas, 1950s-1990s 
6 19
Ideas, 1950s-1990s 
6 20-22
Ideas and beautiful sketches, 1950s-1990s 
6 23
Ideas and cuttings, 1950s-1990s 
6 24
Ideas sketches, 1950s-1990s 
6 25
Jersey, 1950s-1990s 
6 26-27
Jewelry, 1950s-1990s 
6 28
Knits, 1950s-1990s 
6 29
Lingerie 1966 
6 30
Museum sketches, 1950s-1990s 

Depicts what appear to be historical silhouettes.

6 31
Old working sketches 
6 32
Original sketches of my things, 1950s-1990s 

Includes one black and white print of a fashion photograph.

6 33
Photographs of sketches, 1950s-1990s 
6 34
Poses, 1950s-1990s 
6 35-36
Schrader, 1950s-1990s 
6 37-38
Silhouettes, 1950s-1990s 
6 39-40
Silhouettes and special sketches, 1950s-1990s 
6 41
Sketchbook, 1950s-1990s 
6 42
Skidelsky, 1950s-1990s 
6 43
Special drawings, 1950s-1990s 
6 44
Spring coats, 1950s-1990s 
6 45
Sweaters, 1950s-1990s 
6 46
To cut appliques, 1950s-1990s 
6 47
To review, 1950s-1990s 
6 48-49
To rework, 1950s-1990s 
6 50-51
Triangles, 1950s-1990s 
6 52
2 tone, 1950s-1990s 
6 53
Working sketches at Trigère, 1950s-1990s 
6 54
Chronological 
Unidentified, 1950s-1990s 
6 55-77
7 1-2
8 5-7
1950s 
7 3
possibly 1960s 
6 4-5
1960s 
7 6-7
possibly fall 1960s 
7 8
possibly 1970s 
7 9-10
1970s and 1980s 
7 11
1980s 
7 12
Summer 1990 
7 13

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Series III. Teaching 1994-2011 

Except for the student profile books, titles in this series were created by Lucie Porges.

Box Folder
General, 1994-2011 

Includes notes, a few items of student work, and business cards.

7 14-17
k_18 8
Course structures, 1999 
7 18
Notebooks, after 1994 
7 19
Photographs, 1994-2003 

Depicting students in classroom and in Porges's home, sometimes modeling fashions. Other photographs depict Porges setting up displays of Pauline Trigère fashions in her home, holding garments and fashion photographs, the latter of which will be found in Series II. Design.

7 20-29
Semester plans, 1998-2009 

A calendar indicating the progression of course activities and discussion.

7 30
Student correspondence, 1998-2010 
7 31
Student profile books, 1996-2011 

Porges kept profile books to record each student she taught. She asked students to write their name, place of origin, academic background, goals for the class and contact information on a page. A photograph of the student accompanies most entries. Porges made notes on some entries, including comments on the student's performance, current ventures or gifts they gave her. Author and New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy is profiled as part of the Spring 2002 class.

7 32-38
Student work, 2000-2010, undated 
7 39
Student work: Triangle sketches, 2008-2010 
7 40
Syllabi and course descriptions, 1998-2000 
7 41

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Collection Guide Last Updated: 05/23/2017

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