I became aware of designer Madeleine Vionnet's work when I bought a book about designers several months ago. Although she was designing many decades ago I feel many of her designs have a modern appeal. Vionnet's influence in fashion is still large today although I don't think she is known well enough as one of fashion's greatest designers. The appeal of her beautiful flowing dresses stems from her masterly bias cut which she so regularly used. The bias cut allowed the garments to fall in fluid lines around the body. Vionnet's whole aesthetic was focused around garments that flattered the body rather than constraining it. Chanel and Poiret are usually credited as the first designers to get rid of the corset but in fact we have Vionnet to thank for that. Vionnet's influence from Greek statues and art can clearly be seen in the garments below.
First image from www.hemlockvintage.com
All other images from http://www.vam.ac.uk/
It wasn't until I was looking for images for this post that I realised her fashion house is still running today but under the control of Goga Ashkenazi. The pared back feel continues with garments that are very much focused on excellent cut and sumptuous fabrics which fall in folds around the body. Personally, I think Ashkenazi has wonderfully continued the aesthetic of Vionnet's garments in the modern day. The images below are a selection of garments from recent collections.
Above images from http://vionnet.com/