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Great Danes

Chiffon couture that’s all about the details.


Dress Parade: Handmade couture at Robert Danes in Soho  

There’s no stereo-typical Robert Danes girl. The women who wear his glamorous silk-chiffon dresses come from all walks of life— but all are bound by a little secret that makes them gorgeous and others envious. (I’m sorry to let that secret out, but it’s almost party season, and girls need dresses.)

All of Danes’s pieces are handmade, most of French silk chiffon in any of 30 colors. His couture showroom is open to the public (62 Wooster Street, second floor; 212-941-5680; appointments recommended), and on our recent visit it was bustling. Rachel Danes, Robert’s partner in life and business, was helping a lithe thirtysomething try on gown after gown. She’s bought “a lot” of Chanel couture in the past, the customer says, but keeps coming back to Danes for items like a black seersucker dress with silk lining ($1,400) and the striking Solaris gown, made from 56 pattern pieces (the average gown has 10). Another shopper lingered over a rack of separates, including a crisp white shirt with an asymmetric placket ($780), an incredible ruched chiffon blouse with flowing sleeves ($1,550–$1,885), a sexy lacquered lace V-neck ($2,945), a sharp-collared wool dress ($1,290), and a wool bias-cut skirt with a fun kick on the side ($800).


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