Introducing the Winter Mode, an Article by Madeleine Vionnet
This brief article in The Delineator, published in November, 1927, page 27, is ostensibly written by the couturier Madeleine Vionnet. It may actually be the report of a translated interview; The Delineator also published an article “by Captain Molyneux” in the same series, but I have not yet photographed it. The curvature of the page of the bound volume makes the pattern descriptions at the sides hard to read, so I will transcribe them; they are not written by Vionnet, but are editorial comments on the winter modes and are illustrated by two Butterick patterns, not necessarily Vionnet designs. (The Delineator was published by the Butterick Publishing Company.) You can read the article — the center column — exactly as printed:
Vionnet Headline and Introduction“Madeleine Vionnet, the famous Paris dressmaker was the first designer to make the unlined frock, discarding the hooks and bones of the tight lining. The famous Vionnet V’s of her modernistic cut made intricate line immensely more important than obvious trimming. Vionnet’s versions of flares and fagoting and bias cuts imbue the basic principles of the new mode with a supreme distinction, an ageless quality, the results of Mme. Vionnet’s own philosophy of dress.”
Vionnet’s Article from 1927
Elegant Evening Dress, Winter 1927
Under the dress on the left, the text says,
” 1749 – Concerning the evening mode there is no supposition for all its ways are well established. It is a fashion of supreme elegance, of great formality and dignity. Is very feminine in appearance, brilliantly conceived and brilliantly executed. In general the smart evening frock is both long and short due to an erratic hemline which is high in some places and low in others, jagged with points of drapery or elliptical as in the bouffant dresses where the longer line rounds down in back. The decolletage of the season is the low cut oval. This is new and flattering but V and square lines are continued and the latter is particularly distinguished when held by jewelled shoulder straps. Jewels are, in fact, very much a part of all evening dress. White frocks and black frocks depend on them for relief, and not only are there necklaces, bracelets and belt and shoulder touches, but dresses area embroidered with jewels, notably in necklace lines. There is much drapery in the mode, mostly with a left-side tendency, and skirts flare, some of them in most original ways.
“The front flare of the frock above (Design 1749) rises diagonally in a scalloped outline and a wing of drapery breaks the hem. For size 36, 3 1/8 yards 35-inch all-over lace. Designed for sizes 32 to 35 (15 to 18 years) and 36 to 44.”
Evening Wraps: White, Black, and Pastel
Under the coat on the right, the text says,”1653 – As to the evening wrap, it is very smart to match it to the frock, but if the wrap matches one of the frocks of the wardrobe and harmonizes with the others, that is quite in good style and very much less extravagant as the means one wrap instead of a series of them. White is, and has been for two seasons, the first color for evening, its continued vogue explained by the fact that a white frock and sun-bronzed skin is an intriguing combination. All black, relieved by rhinestones on the frock and by ermine on the wrap, follows white in the scale of evening colors, after which come pastel shades, used so much by Vionnet. Gray and yellow are sometimes seen and are interesting because they are new. The evening frock this season is made of transparent velvet, metallic fabrics, Georgette, chiffon, lace, flowered or gauze lamé or tulle – tulle with a gold dot is new. The evening wrap may be a coat or cape of fur, velvet, metallic fabric or brocade. The little evening jackets that are so useful in chilly rooms, or as a means of turning an evening gown into one for afternoon, are of the fabric of the frock.
“The coat illustrated (Design 1653) has a flare across the front with the ripples thrown to the left. For size 36, 4 yards of 39-inch velvet and 2/3 yard of 9-inch fur for binding are required. Designed for sizes 32 to 35 (15 to 18 years) and 36 to 44 [bust measurement.]”
One response to “Introducing the Winter Mode, by Madeleine Vionnet, 1927”
“Women ought only to ask of our skill and our experience the ability to out their own selves, not to create for them a uniform of which they will rapidly tire, forcing us to constant change.” Maybe the translation could use some work, but I endorse the sentiment.