Top image: Backstage at Lanvin SS20, photography Sara Cimino
It’s easy to forget that Lanvin‘s history stretches way back to the late 19th century, when designer Jeanne Lanvin found herself inundated with requests for the beautiful, one-off gowns she made for her daughter Marguerite. Inspired by the demand for her obvious talent, she turned her hobby into a full-time business when she officially launched her eponymous fashion house in 1889.
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"The confident black logo, designed in 1923 is both timeless (we do not recognise the dress as fashion, but instead as costume) and feels like an iconic example of Art Deco graphics." A quote by #JudithClark (@prefigured_) from #LanvinDialogues third episode, to watch via @Lanvinofficial IGTV. Featuring Jennifer Higgie @bowdownpodcast, Editor at large of @Frieze_Magazine, @LukeEdwardHall, artist, and #CloePitiot, Curator at @madparis, all invited by Creative Director @BrunoSialelli to discuss #Lanvin’s past and present from their home.
Now, Lanvin has enlisted professor and exhibition-maker Judith Clark to delve deep into these archives with a newly-launched series of short films, Lanvin Dialogues. This continues the recent excavation of its fabled history, which has become an ongoing focus of creative director Bruno Sialelli: for his first collections, he took inspiration from the playful nature of Lanvin’s early designs, and even looked to a surrealist comic strip popular in the early 20th century.
The videos are released regularly on the brand’s official Instagram TV – there are three episodes so far, which have touched on the iconic logo, a house obsession with quattrocento blue and Jeanne Lanvin’s early career as a milliner. To add different perspectives, Clark is also joined by an ever-changing roster of guests, which have included creative director Sialelli, Frieze Magazine‘s editor-at-large Jennifer Higgie and artist Leanne Shapton, who reinterpreted Lanvin signatures in her New York studio.
Episodes of ‘Dialogues’ can be seen in full on Lanvin’s Instagram TV.