Dialogue: 130 Years of Lanvin

Venue: Fosun Foundation Shanghai

Shanghai, China: World famous fashion brand Lanvin announces it will join with Shanghai Fosun Foundation on December 7, 2019, to present the exhibition “Dialogue: 130 Years of Lanvin” to Chinese audiences. The exhibition features over seventy antique clothing items, new runway show pieces, and precious works of embroidery, providing a sweeping view of this legendary brand’s profound influence on the fashion world over the past 130 years, and its reinterpretation under Lanvin’s new Creative Director, Bruno Sialelli.


As it commemorates the 130th anniversary of Lanvin, this exhibition also welcomes new Creative Director Bruno Sialelli. Looking back over this legendary history, Lanvin’s landmark designs have infused the brand with extraordinary DNA, while the touching human stories behind each design have bestowed Lanvin with a unique culture. This spiritual core is found within every aspect of the brand, transcending time and space to provide Lanvin’s designers with an inexhaustible wellspring of creative inspiration. Founder Jeanne Lanvin employed what are now iconic design elements such as bow ties, the mother and daughter brooch, children’s clothing and the childlike mind, medieval style, exotic flavor and the iconic “Lanvin blue” to form a signature style which has now found new life in the hands of Creative Director Bruno Sialelli. It shimmers with the luster of the times, and continues the splendor of the Lanvin brand in the dialogue between history and modern transmission.

Just like the exhibition title, Dialogue brings Jeanne Lanvin’s vision together with the brand’s completely new interpretation in a dialogue of resonance.

—Lanvin Creative Director, Bruno Sialelli

Bows and Logos
Lanvin’s unparalleled and unrequited love for Marguerite provided her with the inspiration and the motivation that she needed to develop the House of Lanvin. In 1924, Lanvin adopted the famous logo, known as the Woman and Child – a tender motif that expresses Lanvin’s multifaceted relationship with Marguerite. Lanvin’s familial and precious ethos is captured in the image of a mother leaning forwards to clasp her daughter’s hands.

Playing with Scale
In 1908, Lanvin developed a children’s line in response to the demand generated by the clothing she made for her daughter, Marguerite Marie-Blanche (b. 1897). The following year she added a Young Ladies and Women’s department where mothers and daughters ordered their Lanvin creations together.

The New Medieval: Lanvin Bleu
The ‘Angel’ (L’ange) dress illustrates Jeanne Lanvin’s interest in the cultural production of Medieval and Renaissance Europe. The vivid ultramarine used to convey the angels’ robes was a costly and luxurious colour in 15th-century Florentine painting. It was translated onto silk by the dye factories established by Lanvin in 1923. The formula for the dye was carefully safeguarded and ‘Lanvin Blue’ continues to be central to the language of the House today.

Flora and Fauna
Between 1921 and 1925, Jeanne Lanvin worked closely with the designer and draughtsman Armand-Albert Rateau. Their numerous collaborations gave Lanvin an “architectural framework for her style – a modernism that embraced ornament”. For the dining room in Lanvin’s Paris residence at 16 rue Barbet-de-Jouy, Rateau designed an elaborate folding screen composed of ten panels. It brings together constellations of plants and flowers, sinuous tress, and animals composed of smooth, curving lines.
The rabbit and fox chase continues from Rateau’s famous screen onto dresses in Bruno Sialelli’s collection for Autumn/Winter 2019.

Comic gallery
Conceived as an immersive performance, and referenced in the second floor gallery, Bruno drew on surrealist references by reproducing the sleep-induced adventures of US cartoonist Winsor McCay’s comic strip, Little Nemo in Slumberland (1905-11), on accessories and clothing. This collection renewed the House’s legacy of daydreams as a perfect device to fetishise French elegance and experiment with craft techniques and imaginative silhouettes.


What is changing and what is eternal? Since its inception, Lanvin has aspired to lead world fashion trends, marshaling penetrating insight into the essence of ever-changing fashion, a pioneering modern spirit, outstanding design and bold innovation, Lanvin has constantly brought new developments to timeless classics. Lanvin collaborates with a wide range of creators including visual artists, musicians, designers and writers, and draws inspiration from the cultures of the world. As they create new fashions, they also change the way fashion is presented, modeled and displayed.

“Each installation poses a question about what is changing and what is constant; the exquisite construction and attention to detail that persists at Lanvin is what delegates change to design. ”

-Curator and Exhibition Designer, Judith Clark

Lanvin’s Theatre
The relationship between Lanvin and theatre is one of the least renowned, yet fascinating aspects of the house. Jeanne Lanvin’ s contribution to stage costume was impressive, and spanned more than 35 years. She collaborated on 300-plus theatrical works that are counted in the archive.

Deco Poses
In 1925, Jeanne Lanvin was appointed President of the fashion section at the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes – a significant event in the history of fashion and design. Lanvin reprised the role of President of the Pavillon de l’Élégance for the Exposition internationale des arts et techniques dans la vie moderne, held in Paris in 1937. Once again, the mannequins featured in the pavilion broke with tradition. The modern mannequin acts, therefore, as a conduit for the powerful role of imagination in our encounters with fashion.

Exotic Travel
Lanvin travelled the world in search of new experiences and sources of inspiration. Her visits to museums, churches, and antique shops led her to collect costumes and ancient, folk, and ethnic textiles that informed her fashion designs.

The references of the garments adorned in shells are to beautifully painted women’s dresses. The one on display, ‘Coquillage rose’ (‘Pink Shell’), is from 1925, and it shows the translation across time and gender.