Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of George Drew, 1988
Not on view
This particular shade of blue is known as "Lanvin blue." The shade was one of the many designer colors which Lanvin had produced in her dye factory in Nanterre, France. The color could not be reproduced and therefore was never subjected to reproduction as was many of the designer garments in this period where design theft was rampant. As with many of Lanvin's creations, this garment shows historical representation. Its loose style and sleeve design are directly mimicking of the houppelande worn by men and women in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Jeanne Lanvin was apprenticed to a milliner and a dressmaker before opening her own millinery shop in 1889. She expanded into dressmaking when her clients began asking for the ensembles in which she adorned her daughter, Marguerite di Pietro (1897-1958). Her style embodied the femininity of youth in a most modern way with meticulous and relatively sparse surface embellishments and robe de style silhouettes, which could be worn by women of all ages. Lanvin's aptitude can be seen through her house's 1920s expansion into fur, lingerie, men's wear, household goods and perfume. She even had the forethought to open her own dye factory which produced the inimitable 'Lanvin blue.' The longevity of the House of Lanvin can be credited to her attentive management and design standards from its inception.