I had never heard of Callot Soeurs (Callot Sisters). They were fashion designers in Paris in the early part of the 20th Century. I read about them in a book I just finished, All We Know, by Lisa Cohen who teaches at Wesleyan University. The book is a portrait of three women, none of whom I had ever heard of either: Esther Murphy, Mercedes de Acosta, and Madge Garland. All three are fascinating, lived in the middle to late 20th Century and had interesting lives, well worth the book.
Mentioned on page 164 is [are?] Callot Soeurs. The photos below are taken from the archives of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Many were donated to the Met by the Brooklyn Museum and some of those dresses were owned by Mercedes de Acosta.
If you ever watched House of Elliot on PBS, some of these fashions may seem familiar, although the clothing designed by the three Callot Soeurs seem much more couturier than those in House of Elliot. And, of course, they are French.
The notes accompanying the pictures on the Met website state that the clothes are “not on view”. They definitely need to be on view, though. Here’s a start.