Sketch of a female figure painted in tempera signed Alta Costura Pedro Rodríguez, ca. 1960-1967.
It represents the figure of a woman wearing a knee-length, brown, printed, bell-shaped cape with standing collar, invisible clasp and vertical openings for the arms, combined with long black gloves and a large pillbox-type hat with a rounded profile on her head and an open black umbrella leaning on the ground in her hand.
This type of large-format, fashion design sketches were used to adorn the walls of the House’s headquarters, thus offering an initial presentation of each season’s lines to its clients.
Pedro Rodríguez was born in Valencia in 1895 and died in Barcelona in 1990. He inaugurated his House of Haute Couture in 1919, the first to be opened in Spain, and in 1940 founded the Haute Couture Cooperative, which he presided until his death. He was the first Spanish fashion designer to present his creations on live models, on whom he moulded the fabric using just pins and scissors. The pattern would then be made and the drawing, with a sample of the fabric attached to it, sent to the workshops where the models were produced.
He was also one of those responsible for the impact of Spanish fashion the world over in the decades of 1950 and 1960, with an endless list of Spanish and foreign clients. Some of his most outstanding creations were tailored suits and coats, one of his main specialities following years in a tailor’s workshop, but it is in his evening gowns that his real talent shines through, particularly his gemstone embroidery most notable in his “jewel-dresses”, and an unrivalled mastery of shirring.