Lanvin – a distinct air of romance


Jeanne Lanvin (1867-1946) is the original fashion designer who has transcended all trends.  Her designs remain as relevant today as they were 125 years ago.  Elegant, distinctive, graceful and stylish, all this and more can be used to describe the creations that bear the name, Lanvin.

Jeanne Lanvin  Photograph Source:  History of Haute Couture

Jeanne Lanvin Photograph Source: History of Haute Couture

Jeanne Lanvin began as a milliner but it was the birth of her daughter, Marguerite, that inspired her to create eye-catching outfits for her little girl. Very soon, many mothers were wanting similar outfits for their daughters with matching creations for themselves.  The word was out!


Photograph: Source – Portrait of Jeanne Lanvin

The creations appealed on many levels as Lanvin endeavoured to merge artistic and historic references into her work. Quattrocento blue or ‘Lanvin blue’ was inspired by a Fra Angelico fresco in Florence. Such was her desire to perfect and incorporate the colour into her collections, that she opened her own dye factory to produce the cornflower tint, that is still a core shade in all her collections.


Lanvin ‘La Diva’ from 1935-36 Sketch and gown

A true trailblazer, Lanvin was one of the first designers to create a signature scent. In 1927, to celebrate Marguerite’s 13th birthday she launched the legendary perfume Arpège inspired by her daughter practicing arpeggio scales on the piano.

Arpege Perfume  Photograph:  Google

Arpege Perfume Photograph: Google

The famous logo portrays Lanvin with her daughter and was designed by Paul Iribe. It is featured on the perfume bottles as well as being used by the House of Lanvin to this day.  It is a wonderful and unique tribute to the mother and daughter relationship which inspired this amazing fashion house.


Lanvin: The 1939 ‘Scintillante’ sketch and gown

The most appealing feature of Lanvin’s work is the way each piece is imbued with romance. Exquisite fabrics such as georgette, draped silk, and velvets combine with soft bows, ribbons, embroidery and lavish jewels, in a truly feminine and elegant look.  None of this has been lost over the decades.  These outfits from the Vogue June 2017 fashion show, bear the hallmarks of the brand.  They are examples of the romance that has carried through into the 21st Century –  modern, elegant and chic.

Vogue fashion show 2

Lanvin Spring 2017 Ready-to-wear Photograph Source: Vogue

anvin Spring 2017 Ready-to-wear  Photograph Source:  Vogue

Lanvin Spring 2017 Ready-to-wear Photograph Source: Vogue

And a word from the designer herself:

I act on impulse and believe in instinct. My dresses aren’t premeditated. I’m carried away by feeling, and technical knowledge helps me make my clothes become a reality’  Jeanne Lanvin

With integrity and instinct being her philosophy, Lanvin has left us a uniquely rich legacy.