Support the restoration of the Lanvin Collection
Jeanne Lanvin (1867-1946) was one of the major french couturiers of the 20th century. Although it no longer produces Haute Couture, the House of Lanvin is the oldest couture house still in activity. Jeanne Lanvin was born into a modest working-class family and began working when she was thirteen, in 1880, as an apprentice dressmaker for several milliners and hat shops. She opened her first shop to sell her own creations, then mostly hats. She revealed her talent as a couturier with a children’s collection inspired by the birth of her daughter, then launched her first women’s collection in 1909. From then on, she was chiefly known for her dresses and use of color. The perfect finishing of her outfits also contributed to her fame. Characterized by their typically french elegance, her garments succeed in emphasizing the personality of their wearer without dominating. During the 1920s, the House of Lanvin developed considerably, diversifying into interior decoration, perfumes and men’s couture. After Jeanne Lanvin’s death in 1946, a series of designers continued to create for the House of Lanvin, including her daughter Marie-Blanche de Polignac, Claude Montana and Alber Elbaz; and the couture house has also changed ownership several times.
The Lanvin collection is extremely comprehensive. Composed of 144 pieces, it comprises day dresses, evening dresses, coats and accessories (hats and bags).
Support the restoration of the Worth Collection
The English-born couturier Charles Frederick Worth (1825 -1895) is regarded as one of the founders of Parisian haute couture.
Born into modest means family, he worked as an apprentice for two London textile merchants, where he acquired an extensive knowledge of fabrics and the requirements of couturiers. In 1845, Worth moved to Paris where he was hired by Gagelin, a prosperous draper’s shop selling textiles, shawls and ready-to-wear garments, where he eventually opened a couture department: his first job as a professional couturier. The creations he showed at the World’s fairs in London in 1851 and in Paris in 1855 won awards, an international recognition that enabled Worth to found his own firm in 1858.
Until then the couturier merely executed an order for a client, but Worth revolutionized the profession by creating his own pieces and collections, also pioneering the use of the fashion model and organizing fashion shows. His regularly renewed collections founded the modern fashion cycle and with it the Haute Couture. As a passionate art lover, Worth forged close ties with many artists, who influenced his creations. His success has to be seen in the context of the Second Empire. Under Napoleon III, Paris became again an imperial capital and a European showcase. The new Empress’ tastes set the tone at court, where Worth was in favor, and he became the leading couturier of Parisian high society and french aristocracy.
The Worth collection comprises 38 costumes, 55% of which require medium or long-term interventions. The recurrent problems are soiling, wear and fiber deterioration (90%).
Support the restoration of the Doucet Collection
Jacques Doucet (1853-1929) was a great couturier, art collector, patron of the arts and a leading personality on the Parisian artistic and literary scene from the 1880s to the 1930s. In the shop in rue de la Paix that he inherited from his mother, he founded one of the first couture houses. His rich clientele of actresses and socialites – Réjane, Sarah Bernhardt, Liane de Pougy, la Belle Otéro – secured his fortune and enabled him to indulge in his passions as an art collector and bibliophile.
After amassing a major collection of 18th century pictures, drawings, sculptures and furnitures, Doucet took an interest in the books of the same period then sold this initial collection in 1912 to acquire pictures by Manet, Cézanne, Degas and Van Gogh. He also created a library of contemporary art and literature (manuscripts by Stendhal, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Apollinaire, Gide, Cocteau, Mauriac, Proust, etc.), which he donated to the University of Pari The textiles of this period often pose serious conservation problems preliminary restoration study covers only the initial collection.
Support the restoration au the Poiret Collection
Paul Poiret (1879-1944) trained as a fashion artist with Jacques Doucet, then worked for Worth before opening his own couture house in 1903. He dressed the actress Réjane, embraced the orientalism that became a hallmark of his creations, participated in all the Parisian avant-gardes, designed costumes for the Ballets Russes with Bakst, produced fabrics in collaboration with the Wiener Werkstätte, and commissioned Raoul Dufy to design printed fabric patterns. He also became famous for his extravagant lifestyle and parties, and above all for being one of the pioneers of women’s emancipation, eliminating the corset from his dresses and outfits and inventing the trouser skirt and other daring innovations.
The Poiret collection comprises 78 costumes (day dresses, evening dresses and coats). Their state of conservation differs. Around 50% of the collection is in excellent condition, requiring only minor interventions, while the other 50% requires more time-consuming conservation treatment.