Jeanne Lanvin and her daughter Marguerite, 1907. © Patrimoine Lanvin
Jeanne Lanvin | Exhibition at Palais Galliera
The Palais Galliera, in close collaboration with Alber Elbaz, artistic director of Lanvin, is honouring the oldest French fashion house still in business. This first Paris exhibition devoted to Jeanne Lanvin (1867-1946) features over a hundred models from the amazing collections of the Palais Galliera and the Lanvin Heritage. Mademoiselle Jeanne began her career as a milliner in 1885. In 1889, she opened a shop “Lanvin (Melle Jeanne) Modes” at 16 Rue Boissy d’Anglas, then in 1893 acquired her premises at 22 Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré. In 1897, she gave birth to her only daughter, Marguerite, who became her primary source of inspiration.
Jeanne Lanvin, Evening coat, 1937. © Patrimoine Lanvin; photo by Katerina Jebb
In 1908, Jeanne Lanvin hit upon the new idea of children’s clothes. The following year, she opened the Young Ladies’ and Women’s department. That same year, she joined the Syndicat de la Couture, the designers’ union, and entered the closed world of French Fashion Houses. She also opened shops in Deauville, Biarritz, Barcelona, Buenos-Aires, Cannes, and Le Touquet… In 1927, she celebrated her daughter Marguerite’s thirtieth birthday with the creation of the legendary perfume Arpège.
Jeanne Lanvin, “Concerto” evening dress, 1934-35. Collection ©Musée Galliera
The famous logo designed by Paul Iribe, depicting the couturière with Marguerite, is displayed on the round bottle created by Armand Rateau. The same logo is still featured on Lanvin creations to this day. Jeanne Lanvin used travel diaries, swatches of ethnic fabrics and a vast library of art books to feed her curiosity and inspire her to create fabrics, patterns and exclusive colours. Jeanne Lanvin represents artistry in materials, embroidery, topstitches, twists, spirals, cut outs – all the virtuosity of the couturière’s craft.
Jeanne Lanvin, evening gown La Cavallini, 1925. Gouache © Patrimoine Lanvin
It is classical French perfection, with very 18th century style dresses–slender bust, low waist, ample skirt–contrasting with the tubular line of Art Deco with its black and white geometrical patterns, the profusion of ribbons, cristals, beads, and silk tassels. A capacity for hard work and an intuitive understanding of the modern world only partly explain the extraordinary success of this discreet woman. Alber Elbaz and the Palais Galliera invite you to an encounter with this great lady of haute couture, Jeanne Lanvin.