The exhibit (which includes more than a dozen items) pays tribute to Vionnets signature pieces -- which were inspired by dancer Isadora Duncan, who wore loose-fitting dresses during performances. [Vionnet] decided to do garments without any corsets, and the models were outraged, says Bissonnette. They actually had to start taking baths and cleaning their toenails. The fashion houses said, You can create whatever, but were not going to sell it.
The snub didnt faze Vionnet: She opened her own studio in 1912 and proceeded to revolutionize womens wear. She died in 1975 at the age of 98, but her minimalist patterns still influence todays couture. She let the body move into the garments, says Bissonnette. She joined construction and aesthetics in ways that no other designer has. She was -- and still is -- one of the most forward-thinking designers ever.
Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-8:45 p.m.; Sundays, 12-4:45 p.m. Starts: Oct. 10. Continues through Jan. 27, 2007