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Up Close & Personal With Vionnet

We mentioned the Madeleine Vionnet exhibit at Les Arts Decoratifs when it went up months ago, but without a trip to Paris planned we thought we'd miss the chance to see it. Thanks to H&M and Sonia Rykiel we're here for two days and after seeing the exhibition yesterday morning, well, if you'll be in Europe before January and have the slightest interest in fashion, you must see it. It's one of the most extensive, fulfilling fashion exhibits I've ever seen. The museum's collection takes up two floors and starts at the end of the 19th century, when Vionnet abandoned her husband and baby to study fashion in London. It follows her through her training, the opening of her own shop and each of her revolutionary fashion inventions; she said, "At the end of my was more difficult for me. Because I had invented everything!"

Though her dresses and coats date from 1912 to the late 30's, the best part was how current almost every single piece was and the detailed way in which they're displayed. Also included is the doll on which she fitted her muslin patterns and a video of the designer walking through her label making process - she was so avidly against copies that she actually dipped her thumb in ink and pressed a finger print onto each and every label. How's that for copyright protection?

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