Biography of Jeanne Lanvin, fashion designer

Her career began after her training as an apprentice at the House of Talbot - Dressmaker and also a Milliner.

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Jeanne Lanvin Fashion Designer
Celebration after the Fashion Show

Jeane Lanvin – In 1890, she opened her Millinery shop in the Rue de Faubourge St. Honore. Paris. While making her hats, she also made dresses for a younger sister and daughter.

In 1909, Jeanne Lanvin commenced making dresses for sale and her reputation grew. There was no distinction between designing for children, or adults. Paul Iribe, created the logo for the House of Lanvin.

In 1913, Jeanne Lanvin created her “Robes de Style”, based on 18th century designs. These small waisted dresses remained popular for many years and were the fore-runners of the new look, which Dior brought out just after the end of the second world war.

In 1914, Jeanne Lanvin moved to the Eastern-style, using velvets and satins, reflections upon the impact these designs had in 1910 – 1911 and onwards. (See comments on 1920’s further down).

After a Fashion Show with Jeanne Lanvin – She interrupts to serve the best possible Champagne and sandwiches, which makes it seem much more like a musical at home than a theatrical performance”. This quote was written by Bettina Wilson, and describes this photograph. ~ Comments on style trends in the 1920’s ~ Distinctly defining many unique styles for the 1920’s, including a simple chemise dress, using Aztec embroidery, and also in 1922 a Breton suit, with a gently gathered skirt, a short-braided jacket had lots of buttons and a big white organza collar, turning down, over a red satin bow.

A Sailor’s hat topped the whole delightful ensemble. Perfume by Lanvin: My Sin perfume was launched in 1925. A famous perfume was created for her daughter’s birthday in 1927 called Arperge.

In 1926 Jeanne Lanvin introduced a menswear division, the first Couturier to dress the whole family. Branches were opened in Nice, Cannes and Biarritz.

Jeanne Lanvin Fashion Designer
1926 Fitting above & below!

1934 – Line drawing of Jeanne Lanvan attending to her design.

Jeanne Lanvin
1934 – Designing a luxurious gown

1937 – These two smilar styles were painted by the Artist: Christian Berard and he has chosen the background in Jeanne Lanvin’s preferred colour blue.

Jeanne Lanvin Fashion Designer
Artist: Christian Berard 1937
Jeanne Lanvin
Jeanne Lanvin portrait

This side view caricature portrait was printed in 1938 and found in a Fashion Journal. Her Collection for this year was also given and the premier robe is shown below.

Jeanne Lanvin Fashion Designer
1938 – Drawing of Evening Gown

1938 – Magnifique robe de e’charpe garnie d’un large ruban brode’ de pierreries – (gems). French Text for Jeanne Lanvin’s latest collection in 1938.

Jeanne Lanvin
French Collection description 1938

~ GRAND EXHIBITION (L’Exposition de New York) ~

Jeanne Lanvin
Jeanne Lanvin, Marcel Rochas & Lucien Lelong
Jeanne Lanvin
Exhibition Plinth showing latest Models

This superb painting by Serge Ivanoff, is a rare find indeed. The Journal front cover is dated 1940, which is the time he was in Paris. The model ‘s dress design is smart, showing off her accessories, a red pilbox hat with black lace, and a black bag with matching bowed shoes. Also, up to the minute gauntlet gloves.

Jeanne Lanvin Fashion Designer
Artist: Serge Ivanoff 1940

1940 – A practical blue/gey striped day dress and plain coat with attractive edging in purple. This design is typical for the period and is vey effective with her choice of accessories.

Jeanne Lanvin
1940 Co-ordinated blue dress & coat

A great skill developed in the use of embroidery. Her work contained a particular shade of blue so often, that it came to be called “LANVIN BLUE”. This was the deep robins egg shade inspired by medieval; stained glass. Also she used silk, taffeta, velvet, chiffon, organza, lace, tulle, free-flowing ribbons, amongst other materials, and liked applique, couching, quilting, parallel stitching and embroidery.

While this photograph was taken she was giving an interview for a Fashion Journal. This was reported in a question and answer session by the interviewer and Jeanne Lanvin in 1941. Some of her answers, on her opinions during her working career were extremely succinct.

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Jeanne Lanvin

1941 An attractive collection of different skirts the blue and white check design is by Jeanne Lanvin.

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A collection of long skirts 1941

1st December 1945 Sensational red seasonal dress for the Christmas occasion.

Jeanne Lanvin Fashion Designer
d’Apres-Midi – rich royal red dress

1945 – This brightly coloured Yellow summer dress with a yoke and flaired skirt brings the birds down to feed. Her dress also has embroidered feathered friends.

Jeanne Lanvin Fashion Designer
Jeanne Lanvin-1945
Jeanne Lanvin Fashion Designer
Little Red Riding Hood 1945 by Remy Hetreau

1945-1946 Jeanne Lanvin exhibited at the Theatre de la Mode Paris. An exhibition of many Fashion Designers displaying their dress designs on miniature fashion dolls. This photo shows a beautiful small replica being admired by her.

Jeanne. Lanvin 1945-6 Fashion Designer

Jeanne Lanvin suffered during the second world war, although she kept designing. She died in 1946 and her Daughter Marie-Blanche carried on the business until she herself died in 1958. The Lanvin name has continued to be revered today and is certainly not forgotten.

Cosmetics has played a big part in the preservation of the Lanvin name. The Fashion House entrance of Castillo – 1947

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Entrance Castillo 1947

1947 -A dark green suit after Lanvin.

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1947 Dark green suit after Jeanne Lanvin

This advertisement was shown in 1954, with the original design by Paul Iribe.

Jeanne Lanvin Logo
Lanvin’s Logo used in her powder advert

1959 Advetisement for many famous Lanvin perfumes.

Jeanne Lanvin
Perfume Advert – 1959

The House of Lanvin carried on after her reign as LANVIN CASTILLO Here is a pure Shetland wool dress & Coat – 1962 ~ impeccable!

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Lanvin-Castilo carrying on the tradition.

Antonio del Castillo a young Spanish designer joined in 1950-1963. WEDDING – Marie-Blanche, who upon her marriage became the Countesse de Polignac ran the house closely with him. Collections after him were designed by Jules-Francois Crahay a Belgian.

He designed a Wedding dress worn at the marriage of Mary ll & Bernard Lanvin, the grand-nephew of Jeanne and then the owner of the House. Madame Lanvin a former model and great beauty worked closely with Crahay.

In 1982 taking charge of the Pret-a-porter Collections herself. This was one of the Wedding gowns designed by Maison Lanvin Castillo in 1959, and was used for this textile advertisement.

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1959 Lanvin Castilo a great Wedding gown
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Fashion House Label


2016 – A new design by Jeanne Lanvin  Dated 1939 is added to this archive. The fabric used is satin.

Jeanne Lanvin Fashion Designer
Jeanne Lanvin – 1939