Vionnet Celebrates 100 Years in Fashion

Dolores Chaplin, Lambert Wilson and Clotilde Courau were among attendees.

Clothilde Courau

Clothilde Courau

Photo By Dominique Maître

100 YEARS YOUNG: Vionnet celebrated its century in fashion on Sunday during a candle-lit dinner at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, which featured a new demi-couture collection paying homage to the house’s signature design.
Vionnet’s new owner, Goga Ashkenazi, revealed she’s been intensely involved the design process.
“I haven’t seen my children in three weeks. I haven’t slept ... I checked every seam,” she said, adding her job will also include doing some of the “showing and selling” of new collections. And with that, Ashkenazi crouched down to demonstrate the easy comfort of the clothes.
“We’re trying to be revolutionary, but also keep the heritage,” she added. “We are sticking to the same path that Vionnet represents. We all just look up to [its founder Madeleine Vionnet], because what she was able to do was just unnatural.”
The demi-couture collection features 20 dresses, including sultry sheer models and silky draped asymmetric looks with kimono sleeves.
“Vionnet is really connected to our French history; our grandmothers worked for them!” exclaimed Lambert Wilson. “It is part of such a prestigious heritage, because they made a direct link to art.”
Wearing a Vionnet ensemble, Dolores Chaplin said, “I feel like a Greek goddess.” She plays a burlesque, B-movie actress in the film "Après Mai” (“Something in the Air”) and a scantily clad love interest who shrugs off Astérix in the latest Asterix and Obelix movie. The character is nothing like her, she said, adding that in real life, “I try not to be blasé.”
Clotilde Courau is working on a new performance in which she will read 12 letters by Edith Piaf to musical accompaniment. “I’m trying to show who she was,” she said.
It was Vahina Giocante — who plays a war photographer in an upcoming film — who asked the night’s ultimate question: “Where was I one hundred years ago?”
Festivities also included a short movie by Alessandro Possati and musical performance by Lianne La Havas.