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Newspaper Page Text
"HOW I ESCAPED FROM FRANCE WITH 71 FALL
GOWNS!" WOMAN BRAVES DANGERS
New York. The gowns axe here!
Seventy-one model gowns and
A plucky little U. S. A. girl sails
into port with the first and only Paris
fall model gowns.
So, you see, American women are
going to have SOME French design
ed gowns for autumn wear, after all,
thanks to Miss Mary J. Walls, buyer
for a leading New York wholesale
Miss Walls tells a thrilling interest
ing story of an exciting hunt for Paris
model gowns, a wild midnight auto
ride through the French army to the
gang-plank of a liner pointed toward
But let her tell it.
BY MARY J. WALLS
When I reached Paris a few weeks
ago in quest of the new fashions the
city was hung with flags. They
streamed from every window along
the boulevards and streets.
The wireless had told us of trouble
in Servia, the railroad all the way
down from Havre was patrolled with
soldiers, but no one appreciated the
seriousness of the situation.
"Is it a fete?" some one asked,
"No, it is war," was the grim reply.
Americans and other tourists were
in distress, also, though not so se
riously. They found posted on bulletins this
"Foreigners wishing to leave Paris
must do so today (Sunday); those
remaining must shortly obtain 'Per
mis de-sejour.' They will have at the
time of their departure to justify their
identity to the special commissariat
'at the station. They will not be able
to avail themselves of automobiles."
Crowds rushed to the stations and
left for London at once. Others be
sieged the steamship offices for pass
age home, taking steerage accommo
dations without a murmur.
But by the next day conditions
"What shall I do?" I said to myself.
"Have I come three thousand miles
for nothing? Shall America have no
Parish fashions this autumn?"
I turned away and started to make
the rounds of the world's most fa
mous gown designers.
Callot was not ready.
I went to the beautiful atelier of
Paul Poiret. It was closed. I went
around to the private entrance on the
Faubourg St. Honore. There I saw
Monsieur Poiret, dressed in a sol
"I am going to join my regiment,"
said M. Poiret calmly. "An artist is
.nothing when a soldier is wanted
France needs men today, not artists."
At the famous Rue de la Paix
House of Worth I was greeted by
Jean and Jacques Worth, also in sol
At Doeuillet's on Place Vendome,
the same scene was repeated. M.
Doeuillet had joined the volunteers,
but a few gowns were made up and
these I procured.
The great steamer LaFrance was
being held at Havre.
"Let me know the latest minute to
leave Paris," I said to the manager
of the Compagnie Trans-Atlantique.
I arranged for an automobile to
leave at amoment's notice.
I procured my passports and
steamer accommodations. '
I started again my visits to the
The house of Bechoff-David was
forced to close. M. Bechoff also had
been called to arms.
His entire collection offered to me
I at war prices; half the usual fig
ures. I took them all.
"At last my quest is ended, I have
succeeded," I said.
How to get the gowns on the boat?