Born on January 1, 1867 in Paris, Jeanne Lanvin was the eldest of eleven children.
At age 13, Jeanne worked with a milliner as a delivery girl. She was nicknamed “little bus” because of his habit of always chasing the bus to save some money. The salary she received each month was 25 francs.
  At age 16 he became an apprentice, first of a headgear, then as a dressmaker in a fashion house. In 1889 opened a hat shop at 22, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and was already thinking about opening her own maison.

Jeanne with her sister Marie-Alix and her daughter Marguerite, by the age of 19

In 1895 she married Italian Count Emilio di Pietri, two years later she had a daughter, Marguerite. Divorced in 1903, she found her  forced to rely on her own acumen and when friends and customers began to compliment the clothes she made ​​for her younger sister and her daughter, Lanvin began to make copies to sell. So Jeanne Lanvin began creating sets for mother and daughter that made a huge success and became her trademark. In 1909 her studio joined the Syndicat de la Couture.

Paul Iribe, the famous illustrator, created the logo for the fashion house Lanvin, a drawing by Jeanne of the bond between mother and daughter. Her daughter became the Countess de Polignac, and continue to wear dresses made by her mother.

In 1913, Lanvin creates her first major contribution to haute couture, the “robes de style” a pre war dress marking the waist and with a full skirt, inspired by models of the eighteenth century. She corresponded exactly to the return of romantic femininity that attracted women in sentimental atmosphere, inspired by the absence of their husbands who fought in the First World War. In 1914 Influenced by Orientalism, Lanvin created models in silk and velvet.
The dres was so popular that lasted until the 20s as an alternative to models with low waist, “à la garçonne”. Due to its enormous popularity, some fashion historians  say that “robes de style” were the forerunners of the “New Look” launched by Christian Dior in the post World War II.

When the straight waist has become a prerequisite for elegance, Lanvin dropped waists and skirts began to extend from the hips, keeping the romantic aspect. These dresses were named as “picture dresses”.

Extravagant and theatrical women loved Lanvin’s insistence that the 20 should not submit completely to the era of Jazz, so the star Yvonne Printemps  became an ambassador of the picture dress.

But the designer’s range of creative  was not restricted only to models with inspiration in past centuries. Lanvin was innovative in creating the  “Chemise” dress before the I World War , the model had a simple cut but still kept certain romanticism. It was a precursor of the square silhouette of the ’20s and served as a strong influence for Chanel.
At first the chemise was an outfit for little girls, but  achieved success among young women and Lanvin created larger versions.
Jeanne Lanvin

In a 1921  Resortcollection , Lanvin introduced  the Aztec embroidery.
And in 1922, a Breton suit appeared in the Lanvin collection, composed of a skirt, a short coat braided with many small buttons and a large white organdy collar – for the laity is not organza and organdy – facedown on a satin bow red. A sailor hat completed the outfit. Her success was so great that in 1923 she had her own factory to produce he characteristics floral colors.
A menswear division was opened by Lanvin in 1926, and thus she became the first couturier to dress whole families.
a 20’s Lanvin dress

The stylist was responsible for launching several scents such as: “Lanvin Perfume” and “Arpège” – inspired by the sound of scales that Marguerite was practicing the piano.

Jeanne Lanvin died on July 6, 1946, aged 79. Marguerite assumed management of the company until her death in 1958.

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