Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dress of the Day - June 14, 2011

Dress of the Day: Madeleine Vionnet, Evening Dress (ca. 1936). Vionnet is one of the most influential designers of the 20th century, famous for introducing the bias cut in the 1920s. This technique of cutting fabric on a diagonal made it cling to the body. Vionnet designed her gowns by draping fabric directly on small wooden models rather than through sketching. Her approach was to let the fabric embrace the body, revealing the natural form of the woman. She shared this aesthetic goal with Isadora Duncan, along with an interest in ancient Greek clothing. "When a woman smiles, then her dress should smile too," said Vionnet. In her quest for simplicity of line, she ingeniously designed dresses with as few seams and closures as possible - and sometimes her customers had to ask her how to get into them! Film stars including Katherine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, and Greta Garbo wore Vionnet's sleek satin and silk bias cut gowns, defining the look of the 1930s.

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