Madeleine Vionnet Fashion And Style

Madeleine Vionnet, inventor of the bias cut, the halter, and the cowl is the underlying influence of sensuality and the female form in the fashion world.

The name Madeleine Vionnet may not ring a bell for most of us but in the years between World War I and World War II her name was synonymous with innovation and high fashion.What most fashion hipsters are not aware of is Vionnet's contributions to today's style.


Vionnet was unusual for her era.Trained as a dressmaker she entered the field of fashion at the time women were wearing corsets, padding and structural materials that blocked the curves of the figure.Vionnet was opposed to hiding the female figure.Her clothing designs were draped and flowing and fitted to the contours of the figure.Heresy for many in the fashion industry of that era, Vionnet paved the way for the future of fashion by slapping the community for being so rigid.

The effect of war times assisted her nicely.Amid shortages and rations a woman's ability to dress in the corseted and body hiding style of the early 1900's began to die out.Faced with the need to work in factory settings and help with the war effort, women's views and needs about fashion and everyday dressing began to change.Opening her first studio in 1912, Vionnet's influence was accepted and felt throughout the world over the next thirty years.

Her influence was not limited to design only but was also seen in the construction of the garment as well.Not only did Vionnet remove the bindings of fashion, she is credited with inventing the bias cut (which allows fabrics to cling to the shape they are draped over), along with the halter, the cowl, and a unique hemstitching.Her chiffon handkerchief dress also left its mark in fashion.

Her approach was one of mixing comfort, style and elegance.Her contributions reverberate in fashion and style circles to this day.


Having been deceased since 1975, her design studio closed long before that with the advent of World War II.Surprisingly, Vionnet is poised to make a comeback.The name was sold in 1988 to Guy de Lummen who has carried the name forward with a line of scarves, handbags and accessories since his purchase.The line is exclusive and expensive and found mostly in Europe and Japan.The de Lummen family has searched for many years to find the right venue and partners to create a full rebirth of Madeleine Vionnet's style that will bring back her innovative and elegant work.The fashion world is ripe for a comeback.

Most of the fashionable women and men of the modern world do not know about Vionnet and this is understandable.Even when she was designing in the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's, her styles were worn only by the very wealthy or famous.She could count Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn as clients.Her haute couture designs were expensive and affordable for a small few.


Becoming aware of Madeleine Vionnet's contributions to fashion allow one to sense the full impact of her ideas.Look at fashion today and you will see the sensuality and freedom that she invested into her designs.Her ideas permeate contemporary style.There are few designers and stylists not touched by her elegance, skill and cleverness.

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