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On June 22 1876 right across the Swiss border from Lake Geneva in Chilleurs-aux-Bois France the lovely and skilled fashion couturier Madeleine Vionnet was born Early along Madeleine Vionnet expressed adequate and promising math skills however at the young age of twelve she left school to begin an apprenticeship as a seamstress for a Parisian dressmaker Milbank 160 At age twenty two years after a relatively brief marriage Vionnet moved to London to work for the couture house of Kate Reilly but promptly returned to Paris to pursue a position under Madame Marie Gerber at the couture house Callot Soeurs Designer Briefs VionnetAt Callot Soeurs it was Madeleine Vionnets responsibility to reproduce and make fresh the toiles or canvas fabrics used for dressmaking Later Vionnet went on to work under Jacques Doucet in his own fashion house where she had much more design flexibility than she had in the past Milbank 160 Vionnet was for the first time given the opportunity to create and send her own designs out into the market under a designer name however the retail women working for Doucet had a great deal of influence in the design process and often rejected and insulted Vionnets innovative designs refusing to promote them for retail While with Doucet Madeleine Vionnet without doubt felt restrained in a creative sense her free spirit barefooted models and modernism disgusted Doucet and after their latest quarrel she made the decision to break away from Doucet and open her own couture house In 1912 Madeleine Vionnets very own house at 222 Rue de Rivoli opened its doors Like many other Parisian fashion houses during the First World War Vionnet chose to close shop reopening in 1919By 1922 business had grown steadily as clients such as Queen of the Belgians Queen of Spain Katherine Hepburn and Mrs William Vanderbilt lent their patronage to the blossoming dressmaker Vionnets clients had been the women who were known primarily for being wonderfully
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