One of the most influential designers of the 1920s and '30s, Jeanne Lanvin's skillful use of intricate trimmings, virtuoso embroideries and beaded decorations in clear, light, floral colors became a Lanvin trademark. When Lanvin died in 1946, ownership of the firm was naturally ceded to the designer's daughter, Marguerite di Pietro.
The eldest of 11 children, she became an apprentice milliner at Madame Félix in Paris at the age of 16 and trained at dressmaker Talbot before becoming a milliner on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in 1889.
In 1895, Lanvin married her first husband, Count Emilio di Pietro, an Italian nobleman and two years later gave birth to a daughter, Marguerite (also known as Marie-Blanche) (1897–1958). The couple's only child, Marguerite di Pietro became an opera singer, married the Count Jean de Polignac (1888–1943), and was, on the death of her mother, the director of the Lanvin fashion house. Lanvin and di Pietro divorced in 1903. Lanvin's second husband, whom she married in 1907, was Xavier Melet, a journalist at the newspaper Les Temps and later the French consul in Manchester, England.
In 1909, Lanvin joined the Syndicat de la Couture, which marked her formal status as a couturière. Lanvin made such beautiful clothes for her daughter that they began to attract the attention of a number of wealthy people who requested copies for their own children. Soon, Lanvin was making dresses for their mothers, and some of the most famous names in Europe were included in the clientele of her new boutique on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris. She became known for her mother-and-daughter outfits and exquisite robes de style, as well as her modern and global approach to the fashion industry.
From 1923, the Lanvin empire included a dye factory in Nanterre. In the 1920s, Lanvin opened shops devoted to home décor, menswear, furs and lingerie.
However, her most significant expansion was the creation of Lanvin Parfums SA in 1924 and the introduction of her signature, fragrance Arpège, in 1927, inspired by the sound of her daughter Marguerite's practicing her scales on the piano. ("Arpège" is French for arpeggio.)
In addition, Lanvin commissioned Rateau to decorate her apartment at 16 rue Barbet-de-Jouy, Paris, and two country houses. (The living room, boudoir and bathroom of the apartment was reassembled in 1985 in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.) For this domicile, Rateau designed some remarkable 1920–22 furniture in bronze.
During 1921–22, Rateau was manager of Lanvin-Sport and he also designed the Lanvin spherical La Boule perfume flacon for Arpège (originally produced by the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres). To this day, Arpège perfume containers are imprinted with Paul Iribe's gold image (rendered in 1907) of Lanvin and her daughter Marguerite. Rateau also designed Lanvin’s fashion house and managed Lanvin-Décoration (an interior-design department, established 1920) in the main store on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
Princesse Constance de Polignac has now refurbished the legendary château and opened seventeen rooms to the public, each named after family members or illustrious former guests. The walls of the Chambre Cocteau are graced with the artist's line drawings and decorative scribbles dedicated to Marie-Blanche, and the Chambre Comte Jean is handsomely arrayed in blue-and-gray-striped fabric. Guests are free to use the music room and wander the beautiful .
French-style garden landscaped by Jean-Claude Forestier, a friend of Monet. The Domaine also uses alternative energy sources whenever possible, the lawns are pesticide-free, and in the restaurant head chef Raphaël Dubroeucq focuses on organic cuisine using locally sourced Breton produce. Plans are also afoot to plant an organic kitchen garden, and install a naturally heated and filtered swimming pool.
"A couple of golden legend! Marguerite, Princess adored his mother Jeanne Lanvin, becomes Princess de Polignac, the oldest noble lineage, and now is named Marie-Blanche. According to Francis Poulenc: "If you played the game portraits, I would say that Marie-Blanche was, it is never a Vuillard: all shades of delicacy and French." Raised in a beautiful setting - Jeanne Lanvin Rateau had used to decorate the house in the Rue Barbet-de-Jouy - it is also a musician and singer appreciated the greatest. A love she shares with her husband. "Music was magnetized Jean and Marie-Blanche towards each other and faithfully rocked their union" , as was mentioned before her niece Constance, Pierre de Polignac - His Highness Serene Prince Pierre de Monaco."
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