Art + Design

Vionnet, Then and Now

One hundred years ago in Paris, legendary fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet opened the doors of her eponymous fashion house. The inventor of the bias cut, hater of corsets, and arguably the first person to design clothes based on the actual lines of a woman’s body, Vionnet was one of the most important couturiers of the first part of the Twentieth Century.

A century later the House of Vionnet has been revived, and carries forward the stunningly beautiful design mission of its founder. Working on our centenary edition of the classic book Madeleine Vionnet, I’ve spent a lot of time in the past year with the lovely vintage photographs and real working dress patterns that represent Vionnet’s gowns in this volume. (And may I just say? This is a truly glorious book we’ve got here. All serious fashionistas should for sure have it on their Christmas lists).

But it wasn’t until recently that I started spending some quality time on the modern-day Vionnet website, and discovering the myriad clever ways the designers there have been honoring their founder’s legacy, while at the same time making innovative garments that are very much of the now. Pretty amazing stuff!

All images at left are from Madeleine Vionnet by Betty Kirke, available right here or wherever books are sold. All images at right are from Vionnet’s current demi-couture collection.

And as my holiday gift to you, take 25% off and receive free shipping when you purchase Madeleine Vionnet on by entering promo code VIONNET at checkout.

Bridget Watson Payne

Bridget Watson Payne

Executive Editor, Art Publishing. You can follow her at @WatsonPayne and read about her latest projects at
Bridget Watson Payne


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