Madeleine Vionnet’s Dresses and the Winged Victory of Samothrace
I arrived in Paris in 1991.Two revelations in my life led to my beginning to create my unique pieces in my own way: the dresses created by Madeleine Vionnet and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
In 1992, I read “Vionnet”, a book by Betty Kirke.Vionnet worked with a half-size wood mannequin to create her dresses.
She used to say, “What I created was not Fashion. It is harmony: an ensemble of shapes and colours that would never change nor age. I wanted only things that would last, not just for a month or a year, but forever.”
And, “There are no seams in the human body, anymore than there are in a piece of fruit.” These words, and the image of her dresses, revealed to me the truth about creating. She also said, “I have created dresses in my own way. All by myself, I brought about a revolution.”
She opened my eyes to the truth that real creation is complete liberation.
The Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre.
When I saw this statue for the first time, I felt an energy that was incredibly strong, sacred, the statue seemed immortal and alive. Grace becomes incarnate through the wind, which is the symbol of complete liberation. I felt the same complete freedom was expressed in the Winged Victory of Samothrace and in Vionnet’s dresses.
I began to create my dresses in my own way, as Vionnet had done, and my own unique method developed: creating a Dress with a full-size mannequin in front of a mirror and with the intention that my creation would give the same experience as the Winged Victory of Samothrace: complete liberation.