Woman's Afternoon Dress
Designed by Jeanne Lanvin, French, 1867 - 1946
Jeanne Lanvin, who apprenticed as a milliner, opened her couture house in 1909. Her trademark youthful, feminine style was originally inspired by the dresses she created for her young daughter. Lanvin's gowns for 1916 were mostly one-piece, such as this dress with its waist marked by the designer's signature: a small rose bouquet (front) and a childlike bit of looped ribbon (back). The prevailing fashion of the period featured hip draperies based on the panniered silhouettes of the eighteenth century. Lanvin's version incorporates a hoop skirt flattened at front and back, which gave the wearer a doll-like appearance and would have been ideal attire for a young woman. During the 1920s, Lanvin elaborated on this silhouette, which became known as the robe de style.