It was the end of an era. The end of boning and corsets, bustles and petticoats. The end of forcibly shaping the female figure into an idealized version. Madeleine Vionnet’s revolutionary arrival on the fashion scene gave breathing room to the oppressed shapes of the 1920’s and 1930’s style-conscious woman. Silky drapes of satin, gabardine, and crêpe de chine moved with women as they did, sleekly accompanying every muscle. What was a complicated process of creation resulted in an effortless product, a fluid style. Funnily enough, Mme. Vionnet began the draping process on a doll, later moving on to lifesize models, and finally dressing the delectably elegant silhouettes of Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, and Greta Garbo. The house of Vionnet was synonymous with supple, shape-flattering, and the invention of the bias-cut gown. A recent obsession with her heartbreakingly luxurious designs has inspired me to embark upon making my very own Vionnet wedding gown – a process which most certainly will not begin with a doll, but will be just as complicated and enchanting as our very own Madeleine’s.
To see what the House of Vionnet is currently producing, sashay over to the Vionnet website.
To learn more about the Queen of the Bias Cut, pour over this biography in a cutie pie parisian cafe.
To fawn over photos of Mme. Vionnet’s go-orgeous gowns, check out the gallery below!