Designer Focus
Vionnet Resort 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Originally a French haute couture label founded by MadeleineVionnet in 1912, there is no other brand with a clearer DNA and construction identity. Vionnet is credited as an innovator of bias-cut draping; moving fashion of her time away from corsets and padding that distorted the natural curves of a woman's body. She left a lasting impact on the world of couture with her perfect balance between experimentation and elegance. The signature handkerchief-ing, the bias, and the plissé – how could one reinvent her ideas? Vionnet’s creative director, Goga Ashkenazi shows us how.

Ashkenazi has brought Vionnet into the now. If past Vionnet muses included Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, and Marlene Dietrich, its modern-era icons would include Madonna, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Carey Mulligan, and Zoe Saldana. Like Vionnet, Ashkenazi is not concerned with being the “designer of the moment". The new Vionnet references the label's storied heritage with collections of highly feminine yet contemporary designs – think softly draped columns with strong-shoulder necklines and clever hidden constructions with luxe fabrics.

The notion of flight fueled Ashkenazi’s imagination for Vionnet Resort 2015. There was a sense of lightness like wings of a dragonfly, the primary source of inspiration. It appeared first as an abstract print, in intricate webs of film over fluid fabrics. And then it morphed into a hybrid of contrasting textures and colours. It was smooth.

What made it all the more rousing was the way the fabrics draped the body. It was the bias-cut at work – a mainstay in the Vionnet repertoire. This has always been the highlight but this time, Ashkenazi reaffirmed her modern-day fairy tale. If Greta Garbo were living in present day, the Vionnet wardrobe would no doubt be her uniform of choice.

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