Though a wide selection of dresses, hats, lithographs, photos and film clips chosen by Albert Elbaz, Lanvin's current designer, the visitor quickly discovers a woman, one of the first fashion entrepreneurs with a vision and a business plan. Like many female designers of the day, Lanvin began as a milliner then rapidly built a fashion empire (well before Chanel or Dior). Soon after setting up her hat shop in 1885, she married, purchased the building (which exists today) then in 1908, launched a line of childrenswear, apparel for young ladies and women, then added bridal wear, lingerie and finally menswear in 1926!
|Jeanne Lanvin and daughter served as the basis for the company logo.|
Known for her use of artistic materials, embroidery, topstitching, spirals, cut-outs as well as the classic Art Deco codes of the day, her creations were quite modern and innovative.
|"My Fair Lady" gown. White circular ribbon pattern on tulle. 1939|
|Black taffeta with Swarovski crystal beads. 1925|
The fashions on display had quite a number of great ideas especially when it comes to embellishments. For this exhibition, I selected a dress entitled "Neptune" to recreate on Estelle, my model. The trick to transforming period costume into modern fashion is to borrow details from the original but translate the overall silhouette into modern aesthetics. The original is a loosely fitted, bias cut silk cocktail dress with fringe made from a skillful arrangement of long folded ribbons forming a spiral. I have not been always happy with the way these loose dresses look on my dolls, so I chose to cut a sheath dress, instead.
|"Neptune" dress (and its interpretation) from Lanvin Fall 1926 collection.|
|Black silk chiffon dress (l) with wavy embellishment & braided gold lamé. Brick coat (r) 1936.|
|White satin wedding dress. 1929|
Coming up right away..."Yves Saint Laurent 1971: Scandalous!"
Images of the Lanvin clothing by Katerina Jebb courtesy of the Palais Galliera.
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Location:Palais Galliera (Paris)