Now this is an obscure house. In its day - a major name. But in 2011 - almost forgotten. I promise you, this is the most information you will find in one place on this house on the internet. Although, apparently someone bought and then sold the archives to this house on ebay. How sad it has been dispersed.
Bernard et Cie
Founded in 1905 at 31 Avenue de l’Opera. From Dressmakers of France: the who, how, and why of the French couture, by Picken and Miller: “He was originally a tailor, so inevitably the tendency was toward the simple, tailored lines. The firm was established in 1905 by Bernard in partnership with M. Jourda and M. Hirsch. His work was favored by the Parisienne and after the end of Word War I he was “discovered” by the American buyers.” By 1914, M. Jourda is referred to as the head of the house. The NY Times first mentions the house in 1908 - 1909. Saks and Co. carried copies, as did Macy’s, who referred to the house as one of the “leading European houses“. From the Oct. 4,1914 NY Times: “…all the men who are in business were at the war. Poiret, the two younger Worth’s, Bechoff, Martial, Bulloz, the one time head of the House of Beer, Jouda, the head of Bernard”.
Bonwit Teller carried models, with prices as high as $550. Oct 10, 1915 NY Times: “Bernard, who is always an American favorite, has a collection of more than 100 modes”. According to Fairchild’s, the house address was 33 Avenue de l’Opera in 1920. L’Officiel showed their models from 1921 - 1936. The House is listed at 33 Avenue de l’Opera until 1926, and at 35 Avenue de l’Opera in 1926 - 1927. Tres Parisien showed models in 1931 and 1933. There are no mentions after 1936. The heyday of the house would have been the Teens and 20s.
"A decorative wrap of black crepe Elizabeth heavily trimmed. The perpendicular line is worked in flecked blue and black braid with the entire floral motif in raised black soutache embroidery. The collar is also embroidered and circular folds of the plain georgette form a tiered band on the skirt".Bernard no. 43" Formal suit of beige crepe Elizabeth with solid embroidery of soutache braid and silk in self color. The pattern completely covers the skirt portion which shows a slight fullness over either hip, and a front ornament of tortoiseshell with steel beads. The bodice is worked in plain crepe with deep V neck and slightly frilled collar. The long coat with suggested waist line uses the selvage of the crepe to give a soft finish."