WOMEN CRUSH WEDNESDAY: Jeanne Lanvin

WOMEN CRUSH WEDNESDAY: Jeanne Lanvin

  A selection of Jeanne Lanvin's "Library of Fabrics." Photo courtesy of lanvin.com.

A selection of Jeanne Lanvin's "Library of Fabrics." Photo courtesy of lanvin.com.

 Photo courtesy of metmuseum.org.

Photo courtesy of metmuseum.org.

 Jeanne Lanvin's evening dress, "Veilleur de Nuit" ("Night Watchman") on display at the Fine Arts Museums of San Franscisco. Photo courtesy of art.famsf.org.

Jeanne Lanvin's evening dress, "Veilleur de Nuit" ("Night Watchman") on display at the Fine Arts Museums of San Franscisco. Photo courtesy of art.famsf.org.

Artists are often inspired by places, people, or ideas that they love. For Jeanne Lanvin, it was her beloved daughter.

Jeanne Lanvin was a hard worker her entire life. Born in Paris on January 1, 1867, she began her first employment by assisting dressmakers at the young age of 13. Nicknamed "The Little Omnibus," she would run around her familiar Parisian streets via foot rather than purchasing tickets for transportation. By 18, she had completed her first apprenticeship with a milliner and established her own atelier.

Jeanne Lanvin had one child, Marie-Blanche di Pietro (also know as Margurerite, or endearingly "Ririte" by Lanvin). Marguerite would serve as the inspiration and motivation for Lanvin's early popular works. Designing pieces for her daughter with a look of eternal youth, the pieces soon began to gain popularity and draw the attention of other wealthy Parisians who desired similar styles for their own children. Already having a successful ladies' collection, Jeanne Lanvin added a children's collection to her wearable haute couture collection that included luxurious jackets, coats, dresses, hats, and gloves.

Aside from a very flourishing couture clothier empire, including her own dye factory and two workrooms dedicated to in-house embroidery, Lanvin also launched a very successful perfume line. Inspired by the sound of Marguerite's piano scales, "Arpege" was introduced in 1927. Not only was the fragrance beautiful, but the flacon stopped bottle stood out with its spherical La Boule design. On it to this day is the art deco gold image of Jeanne and Marguarite.

  Photo courtesy of en.vogue.fr.

Photo courtesy of en.vogue.fr.

Lanvin put an emphasis on beauty, love, and perfection. She created wearable couture clothing that could serve men, woman, and children. Whether it came to the diminutive details of coral, ribbons, sequins, pearls or shells or the precise process of dying fabric and material, Lanvin was nearly as loving, caring, and generous with her clothing as she was with Marguerite. And when Jeanne Lanvin passed away in 1946, that is exactly who was most fit to take over as director of the Lanvin Fashion House.

When you are constantly thinking about new designs everything you see is transformed and adapted to whatever is in hand. The process happens naturally and becomes an instinct, a truth, a necessity, another language.
— Jeanne Lanvin
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