Jeanne Lanvin Palais Galliera, Paris

The Palais Galliera offers a chance till August 23rd to go and see the first Paris exhibit on the work of Jeanne Lanvin, which is currently the oldest couture house still in operation. The current artistic director of Lanvin, Alber Elbaz, collaborated closely with the museum to create this beautiful retrospective of one of France’s most talented designers.

We were not able to to photograph the garments on display however by using some of the images in the book published of the exhibit we hope to share the experience. This model above was originally displayed at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, 1925.

Jeanne Lanvin was known for creating beautiful dresses for children, inspired by her only daughter Marguerite. It was a real pleasure to finally see in person one of her most famous dresses for children on display in the museum (blue and white dress above right).

Her style is marked for the innovative and beautiful embellishments that adorned her clothes, often in asymmetrical placements. While the garments on display are breathtaking, what we really coveted were her research books, stuffed with the embroidery and beading swatches she had developed over the years. (Above swatches circa 1925)

Pearl embroideries from different embroidery albums. (Above left from summer 1925 / Above right from 1924)

This design remains utterly contemporary, with the embellished trims touching on the current trends for 3D texture and stitches. Above is a photo of the separate trims (left) and right of the dress Concerto from 1934.

Wedding Dress Beatrice summer 1926 / Evening gown Scintillante, summer 1939

We found these lovely illustrated sweater flats on display in the exhibit, some of the only knitwear related items in the show.

Jeanne Lanvin loved the clean geometry of circles which is made even starker when executed in the precise color palette of black, white and red.

The pristine dresses and beautiful exhibit provide a wonderful juxtaposition against the research books that show the real working side of a design studio, with swatches hastily attached to pages and hand scribbled notes in the margins.

The Jeanne Lanvin exhibit is on from March 8th- August 23rd, 2015. It is located at the Palais Galliera, City of Paris Museum of Fashion, 10 rue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 75116 Paris.