Madeleine Vionnet revolutionized (a strong word I know) garment making by introducing the bias cut. The cut had been used before but just for cuffs, collars or trimmings.
She explains: One day I decided to decorate a dress with flounces arranged diagonally across it. The flounces and support were cut to follow the grain of the fabric, but the sewing was on the bias, so the dress hung badly. Then I realised that is was a mistake to go against the material and I cut the whole support on the bias. Not only did the dress hang well, it hung differently, and I went on to exploit this technique.
Amazing really. People copied her left right and centre and she took them to court. Vogue reported: The lawsuit brought by Mlle Vionnet against illegal imitations of her designs was attended by a most attractive audience.
| Jacques Griffe reproduces the handkerchief-point dress, composed of four large squares |
A beautiful diagram showing the construction of the dress using four squares.
Another construction explained using one piece of fabric.