Vionnet – Copyright photographs

Madeleine Vionnet was passionately against plagiarism, adopting a number of clever measures to protect her work. In 1919 she started taking copyright photographs (front, side and back) for each garment she produced. Later these evolved into a single snap simultaneously showing all three views through the clever positioning of mirrors. Each garment was also christened with its own unique name and number, and labelled with Vionnet’s signature and fingerprint.

While at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs back in June 2018, the team went to the Photothèque to study some of Vionnet’s fascinating registration albums of copyright photographs, which she donated in 1952 to the Union Française des Arts du Costume (UFAC). Here are some of our favourites, including the ones of our chosen dress (in a lighter colour):

Archive photograph from the registration album, 1921. Photothèque, fonds Union Française des Arts du Costume, gift Madeleine Vionnet
Archive photographs from the registration album, 1921. Photothèque, fonds Union Française des Arts du Costume, gift Madeleine Vionnet

Isabella Coraça