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Madeleine Vionnet and Galeries Lafayette : The unlikely marriage of a Parisian couture house and a French department store, 1922--40

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  • Florence Brachet Champsaur

Abstract

In the past, fashion history has traditionally produced monographs on talented designers emphasising the creativity of the luxury couture business and the tastes of its elite clientele. This case study, based on the unpublished records of Galeries Lafayette , offers a balanced and decompartmentalised interpretation of relationships among the players in the fashion system. Fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet never considered herself an artist and was well aware of the commercial aspects of the business, while the owner of Galeries Lafayette , Théophile Bader, tried to generate corporate synergy between the couture house and the department store. The examination of the partnership between Vionnet and Bader raises important questions, not only about counterfeiting but also about the transfer of creativity from designers to manufacturers.

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  • Florence Brachet Champsaur, 2012. "Madeleine Vionnet and Galeries Lafayette : The unlikely marriage of a Parisian couture house and a French department store, 1922--40," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(1), pages 48-66, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:54:y:2012:i:1:p:48-66 DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2011.617208
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