May 31, 2015

The woman who invented French fashion

Reuniting Les Flaneuses in Paris meant coming up with a programme that would allow us time to catch up as well as some cultural activity. None of us, however, are extreme museum buffs, therefore an elegant, easy-digestable dose of fashion was to be the answer.

The first Parisian retrospective of Jeanne Lanvin in the Musee Galliera was ideal after a short wander around the market on Avenue President Wilson. Luckily our foodie Flaneuses hadn't brought her shopping trolley!

We stepped into a world of past elegance and grandeur admiring the exquisite handcraft of the items made over nearly a century ago. In the days when there were no digitally or electronically commanded machines to seam, sew or knit, when every single stitch was handmade with a fragility and patience unheard of in the fast-paced world of today. We discovered the unrivalled story, the legacy and the name that ignites inspiration of many in the fashion business.

Jeanne Lanvin, founder of the oldest French fashion house still in business, started out in 1889 with a millinery shop on Rue Boissy d’Anglas, later branching out to women’s wear, children’s clothes, bridal fashions, lingerie, furs, interior decoration and men’s wear. The label employed more than 1,000 workers. In the 20s, the colour blue and its variations become a trademark for Lanvin, while Jeanne Lanvin made evening and lame boleros another trademark piece. She has been considered a key torchbearer for French elegance thanks to her workmanship and artistry as a designer.

Lanvin's creative director Alber Elbaz explains that for years Jeanne Lanvin didn’t get the recognition she deserved because her pieces whispered, they didn’t shout.

Musée Galliera here we come. 
No photography allowed inside!

A very romantic entrance to the museum's garden

 Madame Lanvin at work in the late 1930's

 Time for lunch with a view at "Les Ombres"

Best millefeuilles à la framboise ever!

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