The legendary fashion house that Madeleine Vionnet founded in 1912 has had a lot of ups and downs in the attempts to bring it back to its glory days.
Matteo Marzotto and Gianni Castiglioni acquired the brand in 2008 as “a long-term project to re-create Madeleine Vionnet’s heritage and to build a modern total look fashion house whilst respecting the elegance and sophistication of the original Vionnet brand.”
In the process, the house has run through quite a few Creative Directors including Sophia Kokosalaki and Marc Audibet. Next came Rodolfo Paglialuna, who opted to refashion Vionnet as an evening wear line. He achieved a level of success when Madonna and Hilary Swank wore his designs to A-list events, but after a few seasons, management gave the baton to Barbara and Lucia Croce. The sisters shifted direction and appealed instead to the well to do working woman in need of a stylish wardrobe, but not for long.
Goga Ashkenazi, is the company’s new owner and the latest Creative Director. After viewing slide shows from the past few year, Ms. Ashkenazi’s Demi-Couture collection comes closest to successfully modernizing this storied brand.
The film featured below is an homage to Isadora Duncan and marks Vionnet’s 100-year anniversary as well as highlighing the house’s continued connection to the world of arts.
Click here to watch the video.
“Homage to Isadora Duncan” premièred at Vionnet’s 100-year anniversary dinner in Paris on Sunday September 30th, 2012.
Director: Alessandro Possati
Score: José Miguel Maschietto
Choreography: Jakub Sekuba
Fashion History 411
Mme Vionnet was a fashion pioneer in her day. “The Queen of the bias cut” offered women sheer flowing dresses cut from chiffon and crepe de chine at a time when women were accustomed to being harnessed into uncomfortable corsets and heavy layers that restricted their movement. Dressed in a Vionnet, a woman resembled a Greek Goddess. Napoleon Bonaparte’s first wife, Josephine, had favored the Greek style of dressing in 1800 when Napoleon was the Emperor and France had nearly as many conquered territories as ancient Rome did at the height of its civilization. Had she been alive 120 years later, she doubtlessly would have gone to Mme Vionnet for her dresses. Mme Vionnet was said to have been inspired by Isadora Duncan, who Duncan performed in bare feet and a Greek tunic. – See more at www.thefashionexaminer.com