Madame Vionnett goes "underground"

The French fashion house Vionnett always daze us with their twist on the classics, and one of their strengths is how they reborn something so simple as a tube sock in to a high heel fashion shoe, one that truly will make a statement
for new generations to come. Another example of the “reworked” classics is the fur coat and hat, seen all over the runway for next year, wear it over-sized pared up with screaming pink and it will make you look right on trend, nothing like you gran at all!

The style seen in their spring / summer collection is a image of  most of the fashion houses forecasts; pastels, sheer fabrics and flowers. Boring, childish and way to girly fo me. Sure, knee long skirts, light sandals and lace blouses always does the trick, but even Primark has understood that and taken away its feeling of exclusiveness to the more upmarket labels.

And yes, you might need to stay in for a few night to be able to get your hands on some on the  labels larger items in the collection, but who ever said wearing a piece of fashion with such a interesting background and style would be cheap. The fashion house of Vionnet is one of the oldest in France and was started by the Chilleurs-aux-Bois born Madame Vionnet- she was born in 1876 and died on 2 March 1975 in Paris.
Defined as the “architect among dressmakers”, she trained in London with Kate Reilly, supplier to the British royal family and returned to France, where she worked with the famous Callot Soeurs and later with Jacques Doucet.

She founded her fashion house in 1912, being forced to close it just two years later due to the onset of the First World War. She became enormously successful in the Twenties, a success that culminated in 1923 when she opened her new premises on Avenue Montaigne, referred to, at that time, as the “Temple of Fashion”, a spectacular venue-atelier-boutique, the result of collaboration between the architect, Ferdinand Chanut, the decorator, George de Feure and the crystal sculptor, René Lalique.

Madeleine Vionnet was 63 when, in 1939, at the outbreak of the Second World War, she finally closed Vionnet, her fashion house, with which, for 27 years, she had developed many of the concepts and creative and commercial strategies that still, today, characterize the fashion system. She founded her maison in Paris, in 1912, impressing the world of couture with her totally innovative approach, her sartorial skills and the perfect balance between experimentation and elegance.
She is also the inventor of the bias cut, “coup en bias” – which she protected from imitations with a copyright and documents of authenticity

Madame Vionnet was also known as the celebrated queen of draping, which she tested using long cuts of crêpe, crêpe de chine, gabardine and satin on mannequins measuring 80 centimetres – half the size of an average body – Madeleine Vionnet was a star player in that revolution which, starting from the nineteen tens, modernized women’s clothing.
She was one among the first to liberate the body from stays and corsets, making women’s personalities, their wellbeing and their dreams the centre of fashion. Drawing inspiration from Greek art, she created garments that clung to the shape of the body, with a fluidity that echoed its movements, in the conviction that dresses must take on the personality of the person wearing them. In fact, she would say, “When a woman smiles, then her dress should smile too”.

Their designs are still today “classically French”, with a feel of Chanel and the ultra-classy, but somehow their pre-winter season have captured a more youthful and playful look, and the colour have gone darker than last year’s colour scheme and the whole collection is a tad more “underground”, even the photo shoot has been stripped down, with a urban and very warehouse and “arty” feel to it. Still  following Madame Vionnets visions of womanly freedom within the clothes and the ability to smile trough your outfits.


About the Author

Marketing, Social Media and creative writer, Maria has worked extensively in the music industry with venues and promoters, including The End / AKA. “I love to write. I love the challenge trying to give a memory to the reader through worlds – and I am always trying to write with feeling, passing the memories on".