For its first official fashion show on the Parisian calendar, Vionnet presents a vision of modern femininity delineated in bold, confident brushstrokes. As always, the collection is deeply rooted in the signatures of this storied house. But the calibration has moved distinctly forward, creating a complete wardrobe for a woman who is defined by her strength and self-assurance. Madame Vionnet’s own obsession with Greek draping is a central tenant, revisited on actual clothing construction as well as celebrated in a new print featuring ancient columns and contemporary flash stripes. The brush with antiquity, however, is refracted in a totally modern lens that borrows from the pop art oeuvre of Roy Lichtenstein and puts the woman in center stage.
Holes burnt into a white leather top, for example, are informed by Lichtenstein’s pixilation technique and produce a face configuration from afar. The bold graphic statement continues on a Zeus-inspired cloud, sky and thunder pattern based on an original Thayaht illustration that is crafted from an intricate intarsia of tulle, mohair, double georgette and satin.
Silhouettes are rooted in this brand’s rich DNA but updated with a strongly constructed shoulder and straight lines. The fascination with geometrics and square cuts of fabric continue on drape front jackets featuring unique double bodies of pony skin with suede, or contrast colored double cashmere and double matelassé. The new pant is high-waisted and voluminous in duchesse, leather or matelassé and is accentuated with an oversized oval shaped metal or suede disk belt. Long column dresses in double drap or stretch charmeuse retain a pure air of elegance, but given a draping effect with the disk belts. Simple square shaped tunic dresses trimmed in dotted crystal drops of trompe l’oeil framed duchesse, can be worn alone, layered over trousers or under slit skirts.
Heritage shapes are updated this season with a variety of deeply luxurious materials. Yellow kidassia fur and glossy black astrakhan are fused on an intricate coat or collaged together with printed duchesse satin on a short cocktail dress. Reverse sided metal mesh adds a new textural dimension, either on pools of liquid metal on a black or white gown, or on the shoulders of a fox vest or the racer back of a printed lynx vest.
The link between Vionnet’s vast visual heritage and its present-day pulse is on display with a dynamic, growing world of accessories. Carefully aged brass details, luxurious leathers and precious skins, and signature geometric shapes are combined with rich navy satin linings on bags, and navy leather shoe linings. The shoe heel, on high python boots or on the new bootie pump with 4 scale-like petals, has been sculpted into a sharp, immediately identifiable V shape. Inspired by Madeleine Vionnet’s letter-named fragrances and translated into the ancient Greek alphabet, the new “O” (Omega) and “D” (Delta) handbags have been cut in a striking rectangle silhouette with triangle sides. A new lightening bolt detail gives another nod to Thayaht on the new “Z” (Zeta) small shoulder bag while a 3D diamond shape satin evening bag opens like a precious jewel box.