Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dress of the Day - July 4, 2011

Dress of the Day: Jeanne Lanvin, La Nuit de Paris (1926). Lanvin designed this gown for Jeanne Renouard, the director of the Theatre Daunou, the interior of which she also designed. By adding interior design to her couture business, Jeanne Lanvin foreshadowed the total lifestyle branding by fashion houses we see today. In addition, she was the first to make mother-daughter fashions and add a men's collection, so that the empire she built included fashion for adults and children as well as interior design.
As for this dress, it is singular. Lanvin excelled at sleek flapper dresses (see 6-29), but also went against the fashionable straight silhouette, as in this dazzling creation. The slim top contrasts with the fantastically full, cascading skirt.
Lanvin designed costumes for theater productions, and did 17 plays in one especially prolific year. Of the volume of creation she did, Lanvin wrote: "When you are constantly thinking about new designs, everything you see is transformed and adapted to whatever is in hand. The process happens naturally and becomes an instinct, a truth, a necessity, another language."

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