Bechoff David ~ Working dates 1901-1931
Biography of Bechoff David, fashion designer
Announcement: Rare images found October 2013 Archived at the bottom of this page. View our latest images found July 2014 – Gowns from 1909/1911.
It also verifies that he was a Member de la Chambre Syndicate de la Couture. The photographer is Felix H. Man. A fine photo of a young man at the height of his career and recognised by the elite Couture of Paris and highly acclaimed in New York. Bechoff-David’s known working dates were 1901-1931, and was of German birth. We have not found his actual life dates and are continuing to research this. Guessing from our information this could be between 1860′s/1870′s possibly he survived through to the start of the second world war, but he most certainly survived the first one. Nothing much has been recorded about this prolific and individualistic Designer, so we have collated our findings to date. Throughout the early 1900′s many French fashion Journals recorded his sumptuous elegant and detailed designs, which have fortunately been retained in our collection. His Fashion House Address was 8 Place de L’Opera, Paris. 1900 – 1901 The famous Designer Madeline Vionnet started as a Saleswoman for the House of Bechoff.
1902 – He did work on fashions in the Femina Journal REPORTS FROM AMERICA. He became very popular with his styles which were frequently bought by affluent American women who demanded Paris originals.
1907 – A charming gown for the young Lady of the house. The design has a cross over front edged in ribbon and lace and the sleeves are detailed with embroidered patterns. Her white high necked blouse shows through the gown with dramatic effect. The full skirt to the gown hangs in soft folds with matching patterns, ending in a wide band of satin ribbon. A sweet delicate style in pale blue.
1908 – Winter season. Wraps and coats for the automobile. The automobile brought about some stunning fashions for top coats and veils. These coats were worn for all manner of purposes, as they were warm and stylish!
There is a coat of black and grey serge trimmed with soutache which could have been worn anywhere. It is made by David Bechoff and the distinguishing feature is a bias panel down the centre back and front. It also has plenty of pockets and room enough at the shoulders to go over any smart blouse suit. 1910 – This Salon/Salesroom photograph shows fitting the gowns for the new client’s and he is standing in the background presiding over the proceedings.
Also in 1910 – it was reported that “some notable gowns at the Paris Theatre were described for the production of – Mon ami Teddy a play at the Renaissance. The Actresses were Mile. Yvonne de Bray, Mile, Cheirel and Mille. Bordoni”. Very detailed descriptions of their Theatre dresses are given but unfortunately no images of them. See enlarge section of this photo top right… The House of Bechoff designed many gowns for the Paris Theatre. He was a strong advocate of the high waisted styles in day and evening gowns which seems to have continued into 1911 even in the style of the coulottes as shown below.Section of photo view enlarged.This looks like an outstanding Theatre coat and the Dressmaker is adding a protection strip to the under-hem of the garment. Vintage images.1911 -The House of Bechoff designed some stunning coulottes which were divided quite low down from just above the knee line, with a panel at the back completely to the bottom which was straight in style giving the appearance from the back of a dress, (a modesty panel). It had a high waist line giving a long elegant appearance. Designed for walking and for the house.1911 – Photo by Felix. Long line culottes were in the height of Paris fashions. I call this design “Check Mate” so smart. These designs were inspired by the fashions from the Orient and ran alongside other designs by Paul Poiret.1912 – Fringed black evening gown. Velvet ribbon bands, jet beads and a large pink rose adorns this beautiful romantic style.1914 – (As reported in the press)An interesting report on sleeve designs for Bechoff’s dresses for the winter season. – Sleeve styles, (with thrift in mind). “Bechoff creating the fashion of using odd sleeves in garments is quite a feature for this winters clothes. The sleeves could be taken out and different ones added making an instant new style to existing clothes and thrifty too!Example: Velvet sleeves are put into a cloth coat or bodice, black lace sleeves are put in fille, or a velvet frock, and taffeta sleeves are used in a serge gown.This fashion undoubtedly gives an old frock many chances to become new. It is especially helpful in re-arranging house gowns, but it does not work in a chiffon blouse when it is to be worn with a coat suit.Here is where the SNAG comes. The present fashions call for entirely NEW blouses unless one keeps on the coat!” (Note this is written in old style english).Latest Rare Find, France April 2012. This design is unmistakably a Bechoff design, elegant in it’s lines. A long cream linen long coat with shaped lace long cuffs to the sleeves. It has a black satin lining showing on to the lapels The dress is magnificently cut into a deep “V” shape in the front, which is also lace. A flowing train to the dress flairs out at the back. The models huge black hat looks as if it has a fur dome shaped crown. It is named “Costume De Ville D’Eaux de Bechoff-David”. This image was undated but is likely to be in the early 1900’s… 1907 – 1914.
Very Latest find May 2012 Coloured photograph by Felix.
At a quick glance this looks like a very simple dress but under a magnifying glass this ball gown is quite complex. It is constructed using two layers of fabric for the main dress. The silk brocade under layer is embroidered with a flower pattern and is silver grey. Over the top is fine silk voile gracefully folding down to a lacy pattern towards the bottom and not quite reaching the under-skirt showing around the bottom. The top bodice is inlaid with shaped bands of lace, cut in a scooped shaped neckline. The short sleeves are also of fine lace attached off the shoulders, then going into a lace panel at the shoulders. The waist is held by rushed buckled belt. An imposing inspiration by Bechoff, simply stunning! Announcment: Taking it’s time but October 2013 brings me some stunning newly found images to archive for this page. All from 1907
A full transcript description of the above 1907 dresses is in the original French text and gives the textiles and colours used for each dress. Contact for more information on this. Journal La Mode Illustree September, 1907.
Design for a young lady of distinction.
An exquisite example of workmanship
New Images found July 2014 – From 1909. Model de Maison Bechoff-David. Photo studio – Rutlinger.
Description of fabric and colour used for this original design. French & English Robe en toile de soie bleue a dessins blanc. Jupe plisse avec tablier plat. Corsage drape overt sur devant de soie bleue unie. Guimpe de dentelle. Chapeau blanc garni de velours noir rt d’une paradie blanc
Description/English: Dress in blue silk and design is white. The side skirt is pleated top stiched in a panel. The blouse is draped over the front and is of pleated silk, with the neck scooped of lace.
Model de la Maison Bechoff-David. Photo studio – Rutlinger.
Description: Robe en linon blanc, quadrille rose., arnie d’entre-deux d’Irland. Corsarge drape sous une boucle : nicienne. Chapeau en satin noir avec coullisses roses.
A really stunning vintage design in pale colours. Robe in white linen, panel/ rose pink – from Ireland. Draped bodice. Black satin hat with roses. The sleeves are narrow with bands of lace. The skirt of the dress has a straight panel down the front with gathered side sections, making an elegant flaired skirt.
Description: Fabric & colour for this design. Robe de soie Liberty bleu turquoise. Sur laquelle est ouverte une tunique perlee or,. Reveres en Liberty turquoise. Chapeau noir garni d’un grand paradis blanc.
The dress is silk blu turquoise Liberty. The tunique is open and pearlised gold. It has turquoise revears of Liberty. (fabric). The hat is black garnished with large white feathers of birds of paradise.