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Madeleine Vionnet

Kirke, Betty; Miyake, Issey (Foreword by)

59 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0811819973 / ISBN 13: 9780811819978
Published by Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA, 1998
Condition: NF Hardcover
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About this Item

Near fine in a fine DJ. Gift note to ffep. Brown cloth with gilt lettering, in DJ. ; Marvelous work. Originally published in Japan in 1991, this is the 2nd printing of the first Chronicle edition (it was later reprinted by Chronicle in 2005. Stunning photographs by Cecil Beaton, Horst, Man Ray, Penn, Munkacsi, Steichen and more. Also includes patterns for many of the gowns. ; Folio 13" - 23" tall; 244 p. Bookseller Inventory # 33820

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Madeleine Vionnet

Publisher: Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: NF

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

About this title

Synopsis:

Back in print at last, with a ravishing new cover, Madeleine Vionnet is "not only the best book on Vionnet, but perhaps the best book ever on a fashion designer" (Out). Madeleine Vionnet (1876–1975) was the greatest dressmaker in the world. Considered a genius for her innovations with the bias cut the most difficult and desirable cut in clothing design she has a fanatical following. Vionnet was a maverick, her results spectacular. She dressed the stars of the '30s, invented new pattern-making techniques, and eschewed corsets for her models. Vionnet's dresses are virtually un-copiable and highly coveted by vintage clothing collectors. Madeleine Vionnet is the definitive study of this venerated artist. Illustrated with more than 400 photographs, line drawings, and watercolors, it also includes 38 original patterns for Vionnet dresses. As the Art Deco Society of L.A.'s newsletter has said, anyone "interested in Art Deco or fashion must have this book."

Review:

Madeleine Vionnet's greatest distinction as a designer was her discovery of the bias cut. Cutting patterns along the bias forces the fabric to cling to the body and move with it, which created her trademark look of draped, form-conscious clothing. When designer Issey Miyake first saw a Vionnet dress, it was like the first time he saw Winged Victory at the Louvre: "I thought then that the statue of Nike had been reincarnated in the dresses by Vionnet. She had captured the most beautiful aspect of classical Greek aesthetics: the body and movement." Vionnet's long career as a dressmaker and designer began with the 20th century. Always conscious of women's bodies and inspired in part by modern dancer Isadora Duncan, she soon dispensed with corsets and other constricting garments, and used barefoot models to present her first solo collection. Though simple, her dresses were never plain; the use of a Cartier necklace as a halter strap is a classic Vionnet innovation. This inimitable combination of comfort and glamour made Vionnet's clothes a favorite among European nobility, Hollywood royalty--notably Marlene Dietrich, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Katharine Hepburn--as well as socialites and other trendsetters. Close to a century after its introduction, the bias cut remains an important element in clothing design.

Madeleine Vionnet is a tall book that echoes many of the designs inside. It is filled with contemporary photographs of the clothing, period pictures shot by Man Ray and Steichen, design sketches, and, perhaps most interestingly, patterns for the clothes. The accompanying text traces Vionnet's evolution from an 11-year-old seamstress, through her days apprenticing at the famed Callot Soeurs couture house in Paris, and on into the design empire that secured her an enduring spot in fashion history.

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