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Madeleine Vionnet Hardcover – September 8, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The modern photography is crisp, the detail shots stunning. But too many dark colored garments are photographed against a dark background, or overly dramatic lighting is used, and detail is lost. It's the photos from the designer's own registration albums that are the treasures. They are frequently blurred, but to see the garments on human figures with period hairstyles, makeup, and body language is a treat--some are shot in front of mirrors, so details from many angles are recorded. The real disappointment is the original sketches that are sometimes included facing the dramatic real garment shots. The sketches have been reduced to just over 2" tall, so, again, much of the original detail is lost. And the text describing the materials used, the date, the source of the photos is MINISCULE.
Too few garments are shown flat. Exactly two, in fact. Considering that Vionnet's genius is the draping of geometric shapes on the human form with astonishing results, this is an odd oversight. The collection of images come across like an exhibition catalog.
I have Betty Kirke's book Madeleine Vionnet, and it remains one of my most treasured things. Pictures of garments are paired with *patterns* and textual analysis of the geometric forms being explored. This book suffers badly in comparison.
If you're really interested in draping extraordinary garments, choose Betty Kirke's book over this one. If you just want a coffee table book of pretty dresses, this is the one for you.
The book is full of stylish color photos depicting the pieces in their preserved condition, each dress gets multiple shots along with archival images showing the dresses on real models back at the day. There are also some Sketches along with the photos, and each photo has brief captions giving information about the piece and it's date. The book also starts with three chapters narrating the history of Madeleine Vionnet, the social background of her times, as well as her methods and techniques. The book ends with some testimonies by those who collaborated with her along with a complete chronology of her life. Highly recommended.
Seeing a comprehensive body of work from my all time favorite designer was overwhelming. AND...the publisher did an extraordinary job in documenting for this book. A true "must-have" for draping enthusiasts! Gorgeous.....pages and pages of beautiful work.