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One of the most influential designers of the 1920s and '30s, Jeanne Lanvin's skillful use of intricate trimmings, virtuoso embroideries and beaded decorations in clear, light, floral colors became a Lanvin trademark. When Lanvin died in 1946, ownership of the firm was naturally ceded to the designer's daughter, Marguerite di Pietro.
Early life 
The eldest of 11 children, she became an apprentice milliner at Madame Félix in Paris at the age of 16 and trained at dressmaker Talbot before becoming a milliner on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in 1889.
Personal life 
In 1895, Lanvin married her first husband, Count Emilio di Pietro, an Italian nobleman and two years later gave birth to a daughter, Marguerite (also known as Marie-Blanche) (1897–1958). The couple's only child, Marguerite di Pietro became an opera singer, married the Count Jean de Polignac (1888–1943), and was, on the death of her mother, the director of the Lanvin fashion house. Lanvin and di Pietro divorced in 1903. Lanvin's second husband, whom she married in 1907, was Xavier Melet, a journalist at the newspaper Les Temps and later the French consul in Manchester, England.
In 1909, Lanvin joined the Syndicat de la Couture, which marked her formal status as a couturière. Lanvin made such beautiful clothes for her daughter that they began to attract the attention of a number of wealthy people who requested copies for their own children. Soon, Lanvin was making dresses for their mothers, and some of the most famous names in Europe were included in the clientele of her new boutique on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris. She became known for her mother-and-daughter outfits and exquisite robes de style, as well as her modern and global approach to the fashion industry.[who?]
However, her most significant expansion was the creation of Lanvin Parfums SA in 1924 and the introduction of her signature, fragrance Arpège, in 1927, inspired by the sound of her daughter Marguerite's practicing her scales on the piano. ("Arpège" is French for arpeggio.)
In addition, Lanvin commissioned Rateau to decorate her apartment at 16 rue Barbet-de-Jouy, Paris, and two country houses. (The living room, boudoir and bathroom of the apartment was reassembled in 1985 in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.) For this domicile, Rateau designed some remarkable 1920–22 furniture in bronze.
During 1921–22, Rateau was manager of Lanvin-Sport and he also designed the Lanvin spherical La Boule perfume flacon for Arpège (originally produced by the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres). To this day, Arpège perfume containers are imprinted with Paul Iribe's gold image (rendered in 1907) of Lanvin and her daughter Marguerite. Rateau also designed Lanvin’s fashion house and managed Lanvin-Décoration (an interior-design department, established 1920) in the main store on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
- Chevalier de l'Order de la Légion d'Honneur, to Jeanne Lanvin, 1926
- Officier de l'Order de la Légion d'Honneur, to Jeanne Lanvin, 1938
See also 
- Colette, Emilio Terry, et al. (1965). Homage à Marie-Blanche, Comtesse Jean de Polignac, Monaco.
- "Jeanne Lanvin" and "Claude Montana" in Morgan, Ann (1984). Contemporary Designers, New York: Macmillan. | ISBN 0-333-33524-4
- "Castillo", "Jules-François Crahay", and "Jean Gaumont-Lanvin" in Remaury, Bruno, director (1994). Dictionnaire de la Mode au XXe Siècle, Paris: Éditions du Regard. | ISBN 2-84105-181-1
- Barillé, Elisabeth (1997). Lanvin, Paris: Assouline. | ISBN 2-84323-015-2)
- Picon, Jérôme (2002). Jeanne Lanvin, Paris: Flammarion. | ISBN 2-08-210044-8
- "Armand Albert Rateau" and "Jeanne Lanvin" in Byars, Mel (2004). The Design Encyclopedia, New York: The Museum of Modern Art. | ISBN 0-87070-012-X
- Menkes, Suzy (24 May 2005). "At Lanvin, a master of improvisation", International Herald Tribune.
- Lanvin home page
- Jeanne Lanvin at the Fashion Model Directory
- Biography of Lanvin of Toutenparfum.com
- The 'Jeanne Lanvin' fragrance, named after Lanvin's founder, on the Lanvin Parfums website
- Sewing patterns by Lanvin
- "Jeanne Lanvin – Evening gown". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
- "Interactive timeline of couture houses and couturier biographies". Victoria and Albert Museum.