Madeleine Vionnet

Topics: Madeleine Vionnet, Coco Chanel, Haute couture Pages: 5 (2078 words) Published: May 18, 2013
Madeleine Vionnet is one of the most important designers of the 1900. In this essay I will analyze how the new technique of “the bias cut” have changed the relation between body and dress. First I will briefly write about France in the 1900 in an historical way, then I will narrow down analyzing the fashion and the main designers, to end with Madeleine Vionnet, her story and the bias cut. In France, the period between the end of the 1800 and the beginning of the new century is called Belle Epoque, because it was associated to cultural innovations and amusement, such as cabaret, can-can, cinema etc. But, a part from this, France was still culturally and socially a divided country. In the beginning of the twentieth century, exactly 1914, the first World War was unavoidable and it destroyed the country because of many losses and also in a financial way. Subsequently in the middle of the 1900 century, France, as other countries, lost the African and Asian colonies that became independent. Still in the middle of the 1900, the second World War started and the consequences were the same of the first World War, so the country felt in tragedy again. Speaking about art, in the 1900 started the movement in France, especially in Paris, of Avant-Garde. This is an other motif why Paris was important: other art movements took shape in the streets of Paris. There were different movements, such as cubism, expressionism etc. but all of them wanted to change the society, because they were unhappy with that. Speaking about changes, also in fashion something was changing with new designers. At the beginning of the century the body of women was still designed by the corset, that made an S shape and very tight and long skirts, so the comfort was not known at that period. Later then, three main designers changed the fashion and they are Paul Poiret, Gabrielle Chanel, known as Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet. Paul Poiret had a sense of spectacles, in fact he was inspired by the Ballet Russ and he introduced narrative elements into his fashion shows very easy to recognize. With his new fashion he hid the contours of the body. (Golbin, P. 2009) On the other side, there is Coco Chanel, who erased the contours of the body, in fact she was the creator of the modern uniforms and functional silhouette. (Golbin, P. 2009) The last is Madeleine Vionnet, who redefined the parameters of beauty and created a strong connection between the body and the dress. Starting from the beginning, Madeleine Vionnet was born in 1876 in Chilleurs-aux-Bois, into a modest family. She was very good at school, in fact her teacher wanted her to continue studying to become a teacher, but Vionnet's father did not agree, so at the age of 11 Vionnet left school. Her father's friend's wife had a dressmaker and she started working there as an apprentice. In 1898, she moved to England and she joined the dressmaker of Kate Reilly, that was specialized in copying French couture. After two years, Vionnet moved back to Paris and here she joined the most prestigious fashion houses of that period: she started with Mme Gerber atelier, where she worked as skirt cutter, bodice cutter and she created the first women's suit. Later, she moved to Callot Soeurs, where she started to design some of her own pieces. At the end, before opening her own atelier, she worked with Jacque Ducet, because he offered her what she was dreaming: to design. He said to her: “You can do what you like, a young Doucet house in an old Doucet house!” (Golbin, P. 2009) But after a collection inspired by the performer Isadora Duncan, who performed without corset or bra and in bare feet, Vionnet was not loved by the costumers, so that is the moment that, in 1912, she left the Doucet house to open one of her own. Unfortunately, after two years the First World War started so she had to close her house, but she continued making dresses for her clients, without being paid, mostly as a favor. This was worth it, because after...
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