Randi Hernandez
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Exhibition: “Madeleine Vionnet, Puriste de la Mode”


Exhibition: “Madeleine Vionnet, Puriste de la Mode”

Exhibition: “Madeleine Vionnet, Puriste de la Mode”

“What I did is not fashion — it was designed to last forever” (NY Times, July 13th 2009)

This telling quote was uttered by Madeleine Vionnet, the French designer who once made dresses for such stars as Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo. Ms. Vionnet (1876-1975) is currently being featured in a two-floor exhibit at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in the exhibition “Madeleine Vionnet, Puriste de la Mode” by curator Pamela Golbin. Fans of her work, including Karl Lagerfield and John Galliano, credit her with creating the bias-cut dress and for “freeing the female body” from the prisons of girdles and corsets. Vionnet helped to popularize the “Grecian Goddess” look, especially for sending the models out in her shows sans shoes. She painstakingly made each outfit on a miniature doll before recreating the life-size versions.

Bloated girls everywhere thank Ms. Vionnet! Now we can eat a burrito before going out and the bias-cut dress will hide our kidney bean “food babies.”

Source: New York Times article “Liberating Women’s Bodies” by Suzy Menkes

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