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Lucie Porges fashion design papers

Identifier: KA-0139-01


The Lucie Porges fashion design papers include biographical materials, fashion sketches, fashion illustrations and fashion photographs, and teaching records. It is of a primarily professional nature, with little documentation of Porges's personal life. The primary activities documented are Porges's fashion design work for Pauline Trigère and her teaching activities at Parsons School of Design.


  • 1950 - 2011



7.5 Cubic Feet (10 boxes, 1 oversized box, 8 legal-size folders, 1 oversize folder)

Scope and Content of Collection

The Lucie Porges fashion design papers include biographical materials, fashion sketches, fashion illustrations and fashion photographs, and teaching records. It is of a primarily professional nature, with little documentation of Porges's personal life. The primary activities documented are Porges's fashion design work for Pauline Trigère and her teaching activities at Parsons School of Design.

The Biographical and personal series contains materials not directly related to either the acts of designing or teaching. Of note is a dual language catalog produced by the Jewish Museum of the City of Vienna to coincide with the Style and Humor exhibition, which features works by both Lucie Porges and her husband, cartoonist Paul Peter Porges. Documents found throughout Lucie Porges's papers appear in the catalog, and it can be used to provide more context and dates to documents. This series also contains materials by and about Pauline Trigère, including undated speeches, photographs of Porges and Trigère, and Porges's curriculum vitae.

The Design series contains documentation of Porges's professional design work, primarily for Pauline Trigère. The series is divided into sub-series by fashion design function. The first sub-series, Publicity, contains records relating to the selling of finished collections, both to trade audiences and to consumers. Included here are fashion illustrations and fashion photographs, press releases and press packets, clippings from newspapers and magazines, and two portfolios. The majority of fashion photographs were taken by Gideon Lewin, Pauline Trigère’s longtime photographer.

The second sub-series, Sketches, consists of design drawings created by Porges. Pauline Trigère did not sketch, so Porges would sketch Trigère's designs, in addition to her own creations, which she sometimes identified as "my own" in fashion photographs she compiled. According to the donor, the Trigère studio was a very collaborative environment; a seasonal Trigère collection might contain apparel designed by Trigère and by Porges, with no indication as to which woman was the principal designer of a garment.

The teaching series contains documentation related to Porges's "Fashion Atelier" course at Parsons School Design, including syllabi, calendars, class hand-outs, lecture notes, and photographs. In an effort to understand her students, Porges pasted photographs of them into blank notebooks and asked students to include hand-written statements about themselves and their goals. Annotations to the books, along with correspondence addressed to her, indicate that she maintained contact with students. Snapshots also depict students in class, visiting Porges's home, and Porges herself setting up displays of clothing and ephemera to show her class.

Language of Materials

Majority of materials in English. One exhibition file in the Biographical and personal series contains materials in German and in English.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact:

Biographical Note

Lucie Porges (née Eisenstab) was a fashion designer at the fashion house of Pauline Trigère (1951-1994) and instructor at Parsons School of Design (1999-2011). She was born in Vienna, Austria on November 23, 1926. In 1938, Porges’s father was arrested and imprisoned at a time when anti-Jewish demonstrations were increasing in the city. After his release, the Porges family fled first to Cologne and then to Brussels. When the German army advanced on Brussels in 1940, the family fled again. Their train arrived in Toulouse in the south of France, where her father was taken to a French internment camp. The family were moved between French internment camps until 1942. In Lyon, Porges found a job painting silk scarves. The family arrived in Geneva in September 1942 and were finally taken to the Eriswil refugee camp.

After the war ended in 1945, Porges attended the École des Beaux Arts where she studied drawing on a scholarship awarded by an American committee. There she met her future husband, gag cartoonist Paul Peter Porges (1927-2016), in a modelling class. In 1947, Paul emigrated to the United States. Porges herself left Geneva for Paris in 1948. There she worked for a number of Parisian couturiers, including Maggy Rouff (1896-1971). During this period she learnt the skills of haute couture. She also put together a portfolio, finding work as an illustrator for L’Art et la Mode magazine.

Porges left Paris for New York in 1951 to join her now-fiancé in the United States. Paul Peter Porges (known as PPP) had been drafted into the United States Army for the war in Korea. Determined to find employment in fashion, Porges showed her portfolio to Pauline Trigère (1912-2002), who had a large showroom at 550 Seventh Avenue.

It was a partnership that would last forty-three years. Porges was the main sketcher, as Trigère did not sketch her designs but draped them instead. Lucie’s daughter, Vivette Porges, ventures that Trigère was not necessarily trained as an artist and therefore may not have possessed that skill. In addition to her role as a sketcher, Porges was also a fashion designer in her own right. She often accompanied Trigère to Europe on trips to select fabric.

Trigère closed her showroom in 1994 to open P.T. Concepts (which itself closed in 2000). Upon its closure, Porges associated herself with a small couture studio which served only private clients. She supervised the design, selection and adaptation of daytime and evening wear, and consulted with clients on their wardrobes (organizing clothing, advising new combinations, and advising additions).

Porges also taught a fashion design course, "Fashion Atelier," in Parsons School of Design's Continuing Education division beginning in 1999. It was Porges's only teaching experience, and her family assisted her in the more technologically-based administrative tasks associated with teaching as she had not learned how to use computers.

Lucie Porges taught fashion design at Parsons up until her death in June 2011.


Hanak, Werner. "Lucie Porges." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Jewish Women's Archive. March 1, 2009.>.

"Lucie Porges." March 11, 2010.

"Porges, Lucie Eisenstab." United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Accessed April 7, 2017.

"Studio portrait of the Eisenstab family." Photograph # 66662. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Last modified April 22, 2005.

Willis, Mary Pleshette. "ARTS ABROAD; Two Who Fled Austria in Terror Return in Triumph." New York Times. July 13, 2000.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in 3 series: 1. Biographical and personal, 1950-2007 2. Design, 1950-2010 3. Teaching, 1994-2011

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Lucie Porges's daughter, Vivette Porges, 2016. Additional material donated by Vivette Porges in 2017 and 2018.

Related Materials

A collection of Pauline Trigère's sketchbooks and garments are held by the Kent State University Museum in Ohio. Pauline Trigère's papers are held by Brandeis University in Massachusetts. Other records documenting Lucie Porges and her husband Paul Peter Porges are held by the United States Holocaust Museum and the Jewish Museum of the City of Vienna. A DVD video interview with Lucie Porges conducted by the Shoah Foundation at University of Southern California is included in the accession file and available upon request in the New School Archives.

Processing Information

Many of Porges's original folder titles have been retained, but their accuracy could not always be verified. Lucie's daughter advises that, while Lucie Porges created many of the folder titles, researchers should consider them "impressionistic." Series level notes herein indicate whether titles were devised by the archivists during processing, and which created by Lucie.

Guide to the Lucie Porges fashion design papers
Heather Anderson
May 23, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • February 26, 2020: New School Archives staff updated inventory and extent following integration of 2.1 linear feet of new material (2017.KA.06 and 2018.KA.04).