Born in 1876 her creative life spanned the two World wars and she was an important contributor to the Modern movement. With the notion of looking back to look forward, Vionnet drew on Greek art, especially the form of the vase as an example of the female form, in order to create groundbreaking couture for the newly independent women in the period that followed the Great War.
Despite her humble background in Chilleurs-aux-Boix, Vionnet went from strength to strength as she moved from her home to London, and eventually to Paris; opening her own fashion house in 1922 after having worked alongside the Callot Soeurs.
Invention: the bias cut
Vionnet's work is characteristically subtle, elegant and fluid, drawing on a base of flesh tones, shades of stone and well-defined colours. Also, she frequently uses scatters of bugle beads, impossibly beautiful crepe and silk fabrics and forward-thinking cuts. After all, she was the inventor of the bias cut; which was revolutionary for women at the time. Quite literally the corset of the years that preceded the war gave way to the loose, independent and subtle second skin of Vionnet's elegant bias cut.
Her use of Greek art as an influence is apparent in the majority of her dresses as the woman appear like goddesses.