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Published on Oct 1, 2012
The timeless and influential vision of Madeleine Vionnet is celebrated in a short film that also pays tribute to modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan, who was Vionnet's contemporary in 1920s Paris and a rich source of inspiration for the legendary designer. Directed by Alessandro Possati, the film marks Vionnet's 100-year anniversary and highlights the house's enduring connection to the world of arts. Firmly established by Madame Vionnet, these cultural associations are continually reaffirmed in the modern day evolution of the brand. Set to an original score by acclaimed young composer José Miguel Maschietto, the film brings Vionnet's timeless collection to life in an elemental choreography by Jakub Sekuba. Four uniquely beautiful and talented ballerinas from the esteemed National Theatre in Prague become embodiments of the free spirit of Vionnet. Their performance is a showcase for the perfectly engineered dresses displaying Vionnet's signature bias cut and drape. The dual qualities of form and fluidity—the enduring Vionnet codes—are evoked with mesmerizing clarity. Architectural dresses become undulating expressions of lightness, the movement of the fabrics echoing each dancer's powerful grace. A progression of four acts, the performance begins with an interpretation of Isadora Duncan's own unrestrained style and culminates in an explosive pastiche of 21st Century breakdancing and rave. Madeleine Vionnet liberated women's bodies. Doing away with the constrictions of corsets and padding she reduced her designs to a purity of construction that brought the wearer closest to their natural state. Isadora Duncan, whose own costume was a Grecian tunic and bare feet, eschewed the rigid poise of traditional ballet and became a pioneer for natural movement in dance. Both were turn-of-the-century revolutionaries using their unique artistry to create new modes of expression for the modern woman. "Homage to Isadora Duncan" will première at Vionnet's 100-year anniversary dinner in Paris on Sunday September 30th, 2012.