Sew Your Own Vionnet-Inspired Circle SkirtCreate a custom version with just a few body measurements
Madeleine Vionnet (1876–1975) was a purist. To her, the best designs incorporated four principles: proportion, movement, balance, and truth. I believe these elements are all found in the skirt of a 1937 evening gown, illustrated as pattern 18 in Madeleine Vionnet by Betty Kirke (Chronicle Books, 1998). At first glance, Vionnet’s skirt looks like a simple circle skirt, but it is composed of several geometric pattern pieces, instead of a big circle with another circle cut out for the waist. One pattern piece I had never seen before was a two-piece yoke that is one and a quarter circles. Laid flat, and before joining to the skirt panels, the yoke looked like a spiral.
Vionnet was influenced by the artistic theory of “dynamic symmetry,” which suggests the application of the golden ratio and logarithmic spiral creates beautiful art. She applied proportion and geometric shapes to the properties of fabric, gravity, and human anatomy.…
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