Couture history to stay in the UK as vintage Vionnet dresses bought by UK museums

UK museums join forces to keep Vionnet's couture collection on British shores

A group of UK museums has joinned forces to keep Vionnet’s couture collection on British shores.

One of fashion’s must-have brands of the moment, Vionnet was recently relaunched with new designer Rodolho Pagialunga at the helm, and the 2010 collection is not to be missed.

For those unfamiliar with the brand, or long-time supporters wanting to remind themselves of some of the original magic, some of Madame Vionnet’s amazing couture creations have now been assured their place in British fashion history thanks to three UK museums.

London’s Victoria and Albert, the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, and Bath’s Fashion Museum have jointly acquired nine couture gowns originally designed by Madeleine Vionnet for a wealthy British socialite, after a temporary export ban was placed on them by the British government earlier this year.

The museums joined forces to raise the funds needed to purchase the gowns, which had belonged to Lady Foley, the wife of a former flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force.

Although outstanding, relatively few examples of Vionnet’s work exist in Britain, and the museums were keen to purchase Foley’s collection.

V&A fashion curator, Sonnet Stanfill, told WWD: ‘These evening dresses represent some of the best work of a designer who made garments of technical brilliance with a lyrical presence, and are an important addition to our collection.’

Here at Marie Claire, we couldn’t agree more.

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