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ARTIFICE and the Architecture of a BIAS CUT GOWN: Madeline Vionnet at the Musée D'Arts Decoratif

ARTEFICE writing for VINGT Paris

ARTEFICE1 ARTEFICE2 Madame Vionet, perhaps one of France's most celebrated couture houses of the early 20th century put her stamp on the look of classic, pure line that was and is, the Art Deco period, in the 1920s and 1930s of Paris.

The art of line, shape, form and Jazz music were all playing together in a harmony with the body that was now freed form corsetry, stays, and other foundations. It was pure women, and pure feminine, and is something we have to search for, in ARTIFICE but found it here at the Musée d'art Decoratif.

The Architecture of the cut, and the fabrics, are the most important factor in these gowns, along with the secondary use of simple color choices that are neutral. The shapes, still look very modern, very chic, and the use of metallics in combination with the sheer or crepe neutrals is breathtaking. 

Some of the gowns are so complicated, it took a computer graphics engineer to dissect the patterns, put them back together and display them in the exhibit. It is a wonder how a group of women in a couture shop discovered the interlocking mastery of the Bias Cut in these gowns, proving once again, that the human power of creativity, far outweighs the mastery of computer technology.

Most importantly, these gowns were a trend setting brand of Paris Fashion copied worldwide, and setting the look for an entire era, and sensibility, that has rarely resurfaced today. ARTIFICE can see how Alberta Feretti, Alber Albaz and Mr. Lauren have taken the classics of the bias cut, re-interpreted and refreshed them. However, there is no substitute for the original, and Madame Vionnet, is just that, a total original, which we think in ARTIFICE, is what makes it worthwhile viewing.

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