Madeleine Vionnet is my favorite designer. Not because I’d buy all of her designs if I had the money, or because it would make me seem cool to own one of her designs. It is simply her legacy and approach to the industry that inspires me. She created the bias cut during the 1920′s and previous to this design, women were constricted by corsets in everyday life. Madeleine Vionnet told people to embrace the shape of their bodies so the bias cut was intended to fit to your natural body, and that is what the Vionnet brand was all about.It was all about freeing women from the oppression of the corset, despite never admitting to being a women’s rights activist, her work still made waves in the movement. She also strayed from convention by not actually drawing her designs. Instead she took a 3 foot model and draped material around it hoping to come up with a new, successful design. Her Grecian designs will live on. She lives alongside Paul Poiret in the history makers of fashion in the early 20th Century, making motions in the progression of women’s rights.
Corsets are making a comeback. They are highly endorsed by celebrities such as the Kardashian’s, who are highly influential towards all age groups. I am not saying that people shouldn’t do it but they need to be careful how they go about it. It can damage how people see themselves by promoting of a forced body shape. There will be young girls who think they need to ‘waist train’ with a corset.The way fashion is communicated to us is incredibly powerful and this is one of the many areas that can be dangerous. Take a leaf out of Madeleine Vionnet’s book and embrace what you have and don’t let seemingly positive adverts or endorsements tell you other wise. You can do waist training if you want but with a product like this don’t let it be because you want to look like the celebrity, but because you’ve thought about it and want to do it for yourself. Madeleine Vionnet has inspired the way I go about understanding the fashion industry, and the way I plan to work within it .I only hope to do work as positive as hers.
My favorite Vionnet gown, circa 1938. Made of rayon with decorative silk fringe in a scalloped motif. Vionnet embroidered individual graduated lengths of silk thread passed and looped through the fabric, with each thread forming two drops of fringe.
Madeleine Vionnet did not like to be called a fashion designer. And yet she is (in my opinion) one of the most influential dress makers in history. While her dresses may look minimal, her designs are all calculated perfectly, and made with superb workmanship. Vionnet was known for using the bias to create body conscience dresses that draped perfectly.
This blurb from “The Fashion Book” (Phaidon) sums her look up perfectly: “Madeleine Vionnet’s materials does not hang on the models but accompanies them,following their natural line, achieving a modern Grecian silhouette.”
Vionnet’s dresses were the height of fashion in the 1920′s and 1930′s.