Vionnet

Vionnet



In early 2012, Goga Ashkenazi purchased a majority share of the business and took full control of the label in November of that year. She replaced the sisters as designer in August. In October of 2012, she put together a celebratory collection for 100 Years of the Brand with a demi couture collection paying homage to the house’s signature design. She had been buying up Vionnet dresses and sketches as fast as she could get her hands on them. So she and her team had been doing their homework on the Vionnet styles and techniques. Technically they were ready. The questions in everyone’s mind were, could they translate it for today’s woman and compete in today’s market?

The reviewers were not impressed with the first offerings of the house under Goga’s leadership. Her second collection in Fall Ready-to-Wear 2013 was better, but still nothing the reviewers raved about. Her Spring Ready-to-Wear 2014 wasn’t much better. But the house was getting busy with an advertising campaign shot by Jean-Paul Goude and Ashkenazi had pulled in designer Hussein Chalayan to design the demi-couture line. So Goga’s Pre-Fall 2014 collection was getting the “yes, this was okay; no, this was not okay” from the reviewers; while Chalayan’s first collection was due to show in about a week. No pressure. And then the reviewers gave his collection the same treatment. Hussein Chalayan had decided not to revisit the ghost of Madeleine Vionnet, but to tread new ground. He used an industrial theme. Shelves and pipes might be a bit difficult to translate into women’s wear, but Chalayan tried. Some of it was successful, and some of it wasn’t. Some of it even seemed to relate to the Vionnet vision in spite of Chalayan.