This is Madeleine Vionnet. Born in 1876, a seamstress at the age of eleven, she eventually became one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century with her famed “House of Vionnet” which opened in 1912 and operated through the late 1930′s. Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Christian Dior, Azzedine Alaia and Cristobal Balenciaga all name Vionnet as a major influence.
Madeleine Vionnet 1938 | This evening dress is from Schiaparelli's fall 1938 Pagan collection, which was inspired by Botticelli's paintings. For this collection, evening gowns were cut in a slim silhouette and ornamented with embroidered foliage and, as in this case, plastic leaves and flowers.
Vionnet dress cut on the straight grain and hung on the bias, to show what made Vionnet's dresses work so brilliantly. Sketch and diagram from Madeleine Vionnet by Betty Kirke, Chronicle Books #vionnet