Lanvin Fashion House, which is the oldest fashion house still in operation, originated as a small hat shop. Founded in Paris in 1889 by 22-year-old milliner Jeanne Lanvin, her small business sooned turned into one of France’s premier couture houses with her skillful evocation of classic femininity. In the beginning stages, it was Lanvin alone, and with the birth of her daughter, the business saw new heights.
Marguerite, Jeanne’s daughter, was the object of Jeanne's creative inspiration. The logo of Lanvin was actually inspired by a photo taken for Jeanne and her daughter as they attended a ball in matching outfits. The dedicated mother would use luxurious fabrics to design her daughter the wardrobe of every little girl’s dreams. The elegant style of Marguerite was quickly noticed by other wealthy mothers, who wanted the same for their daughters, and later became customers of the Lanvin fashion house. This unexpected development caught the eye of the savvy business woman, and in 1908 she opened up and dedicated a whole section of her store for children’s clothing.
In 1909, Lanvin became a part of the Syndicat de la Couture, formalizing her status as a couturière, and expanding the company’s influence. In 1923, the Lanvin House acquired a dye factory in Nanterre. In the 1920s, Lanvin established shops devoted to not only clothes of high fashion, but also home decor, menswear, furs and lingerie. A rather notable expansion of Lanvin’s at the time would be the creation of Lanvin Parfums SA, created in 1924. Later the brand would introduce their signature fragrance, Arpège, in 1927, named so after the musical sense the smell was said to invoke. The perfume is also said to have been inspired by the sound of Lanvin’s daughter practicing her scales on the piano (Marguerite later became an opera singer).
Lanvin’s focus on quality and style doesn’t only pertain to their furniture, fashion, and fragrance departments, but to their jewelry as well.
Lanvin Jewelry: Art Form
This bracelet, which is made in France, is a rare Lanvin double-bird bangle bracelet. It features an exotic double-bird design enveloped with enamel and encrusted with crystals. All of the crystals are handset. Enameled jewelry is itself an art, and the hand set crystals provide a perfect lit-from-within framing.
Lanvin Jewelry: Bold Mix of Styles
Another unique piece from Lanvin jewelry creations is this limited edition collector’s item velvet necklace features a cascade-like element made of pearls and crystals.
Fusing the traditional concept of jewelry made of metals and stone and the trendy edginess of rich texture of velvet fabric, this Lanvin jewelry piece manages to create luxury, elegance and modern time relevance.
Lanvin Jewelry: Innovative Design
Among many accomplishments in other trades and fields, Lanvin’s jewelry collections add to those achievements by reflecting the fashion house's founding principles of quality, impeccable sense of style, and the fearless take on innovative approaches in design.
Throughout her career Lanvin experimented with texture. For example, one of her work, currently at the Met Museum, is silk evening dress "Roseraie", spring/summer 1923. The dress is decorated with flower head designs of roses that are made of ribbons. They are said to be reminiscent of the floral designs of Art Nouveau architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Incorporating white feathers in this Lanvin’s crystal jewelry piece evokes the sense of lightness and weightlessness. The crystals set in a bird pattern complete the piece.