There's been another designer change at Vionnet. The Croce sisters, who took over for Rudy Paglialunga, are out after just one runway season. Today's collection was designed under the new creative director Goga Ashkenazi, who is also the company's new owner. And don't forget Sophia Kokosalaki and Marc Audibet, who both had their shot at turning the label into something with its previous owners. Got all that?
It's a long way of saying that reviving a heritage label, no matter how illustrious the name, is hard. Really hard. And Vionnet's name was once illustrious; the inventor of the bias cut, she helped free women from the cage of corsetry. Now? You can't blame customers if they've lost interest. Inconsistency can sink a brand; even a 100-year-old name can lose its currency.
Ashkenazi demonstrated today that she has a general sense of Madeleine Vionnet's house codes—the asymmetric necklines, the draped square cuts—and she gave the sheer chiffons and georgettes a modern spin, often pairing them with pants underneath. But the collection lacked finesse, and it'll need it to compete in the fashion world of 2012.