On the Runway

Notes on Vionnet

Vionnet has had a tough time finding its voice in recent years – not least because the house’s founder was such a genius of cut that she remains one of fashion’s greatest icons. In the hands of Rodolfo Paglialunga, however, it looks like the house’s fortunes are on the
rise. For spring, he delivers an exercise in apparent simplicity: a black square, a white square, a little chain laced with leather strings or accordion pleated frills and you’ve got a tunic dress. Sounds minimalist, but the designer’s thought process is so compelling
– think innovative vertical draping for a billowing red dress, anchored by a technical cord at the next and a resin chain-cum-belt, photographic printed flower inserts, or a raw linen “burlap” skirt trimmed with feathers – that you can’t help but marvel at how he managed to pull it off. Your neighborhood drycleaner might grumble about the integrated hardware, but that’s a small price to pay for this level of chic.