Research – body in motion (dance)

Isadora Duncan, 1900. © Eadweard Muybridge/Getty Images
Isadora Duncan, 1900. © Eadweard Muybridge/Getty Images

In this instalment of ‘body in motion’, we look at the close relationship between our chosen designers and dance. All our designers had at some point tipped their toes in the world of dance, either through finding inspiration in dancers, dressing them or actively collaborating with companies to produce costumes for performances. It is indeed interesting, if not revealing, that the more we think about the concepts of body/movement/performance, the more intertwined our designers and their creations become with the idea of a body in motion. Continue reading “Research – body in motion (dance)”

Research – shoes

French shoes, ca. 1922. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
French shoes, ca. 1922. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This pictorial shoe research was conducted to inform the height of the 3D avatars (‘bodies’) that will wear the digital visualisations. It aimed to identify what kind of shoes were worn with the chosen dresses, looking at both photographs of models/clients wearing our designers’ creations (not necessarily the chosen ones) and contemporary shoes in the online databases of the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The selected shoes range from 3 years prior to 3 years post the creation date of our chosen dresses. For instance, the Charles James dress dates 1945, so we looked at shoes ranging from 1942 to 1948. This allowance reflected the slower changes in footwear styles, mostly in the early 20th century.

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3D Imaging

3D rendering of Vionnet dress from 1935. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.
3D rendering of Vionnet dress from 1935. Image by Liam Leslie for Exploding Fashion.

Created using 3D imaging software combined with an iPhone camera, this virtual model was created within the museum archive.  Utilising emergent technologies as a means of quickly capturing a 3-dimensional visualisation in the archive space.  Continue reading “3D Imaging”

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.

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Madeleine Vionnet – Biography

Madeleine Vionnet by Thérèse Bonnet, ca 1925. Librairie Diktats.
Madeleine Vionnet by Thérèse Bonnet, ca 1925. Librairie Diktats.

‘When a woman smiles, her dress must smile also’

Madeleine Vionnet (1876-1975) was part of a group of creative women who transformed fashion in the early 20th century. That she preferred to identify herself as a dressmaker rather than a designer is a testament to her commitment to the craft. She sought to bring about a cohesion between body and dress, starting her design process on a half-scale mannequin and working with the features of the fabric to value the natural contours of the body. Continue reading “Madeleine Vionnet – Biography”