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Lanvin Retrospective in Paris

24 February 2015

Discover the History of France's Oldest Fashion House this March

Alongside the likes of Saint Laurent and Vuitton, the Lanvin show will feature at the top of every blogger and editor's must-see list at Paris Fashion Week next month. Now in its second century, Lanvin remains the oldest fashion house in France still in business and the brand's heritage not only continues to inspire creative director Alber Elbaz's designs, but has also led to a new exhibition at Palais Galliera. After picking out your favourite designs on the latest catwalks, head to the 19th century museum to see a retrospective dedicated to Jeanne Lanvin and admire jewel-like dresses, glittering bridal gowns and elaborate embroideries in displays created "...around the dream of fashion".


From Apprentice to Entrepreneur

Jeanne Lanvin began her career in 1885 as an apprentice to a milliner in Paris before starting her own boutique only four years later. By 1893 she had had become renowned for her pearl encrusted, feather adorned hat designs and moved her business into 22 Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré. It wasn't until the birth of her daughter, Marguerite, in 1897 that she began to experiment with garment construction. She began with childrenswear, however her creations were adored by the children's mothers to the extent that she soon expanded into young ladies and womenswear, as well as men's bespoke tailoring. Upon joining the Syndicat de la Couture in 1909, Lanvin became an exclusive French fashion house and continued to expand into bridalwear, furs and lingerie over many years, leaving a true fashion legacy upon her passing in 1946.

Though a supremely talented designer, Jeanne Lanvin is remembered for contributing far more than clothing alone. She had the foresight to see fashion as a lifestyle, turning her hand to interior décor, perfume in celebration of Maguerite's 30th birthday and comfortable sportswear for women during the 20's. She remained finely attuned to the needs of the time, not by attending society events, but by her own ambition and surrounding herself with artists, writers, musicians and designers. Her curiosity for culture saw her taking inspiration from travel diaries, ethnic fabric samples and art books to influence her craft. However it was Marguerite who remained key to inspiring each achievement and it is the image of the mother and daughter dancing that has been used to identify every creation in the Lanvin logo.


The First Retrospective

Opening on March the 8th, over 100 models will be on show at the first ever retrospective dedicated to the French designer. Elbaz has worked closely with curator Olivier Saillard and the Galliera team to create an exhibition that focuses more on admiration than a chronologically ordered history. Various themes of her work are explored, including three colour palettes, one of which is the famous Lanvin blue that was inspired by a Fra Angelico fresco. Lanvin's skill and expertise is brought to the forefront in displays showcasing embroidery, for which the house had three workshops, beading and use of topstitching. From decorations inspired by the Far East and Art Deco geometric patterns, to an oversized Swarovski crystal bow, it'll offer a fascinating chance to see the designer's many influences and achievements. Elbaz has said that he's hoping "... to hear the visitors say 'I love Jeanne Lanvin'", and whether you're a life-long devotee or new fan, it'll be hard not to.


Perfect Package for Fashion Fans

If you'd like to discover some of fashions most famed treasures for yourself, up to two tickets for the Jeanne Lanvin exhibition are included in a luxury package offered by Hotel de Vigny. Enjoy a minimum two night stay in some of the finest five-star surroundings in Paris and energise with a delicious buffet breakfast, before taking a scenic 13 minute stroll to the Palais Galliera from the hotel from just £239 per night. Find out how you can book your stay this March with this exclusive offer... and perhaps even enjoy a visit to the store Jeanne Lanvin aquired all those years ago on the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré too.

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