Dialogue: 130 Years of Lanvin

Ian Thompson
January 17, 2020

Bonaveri has sponsored an exhibition by supplying Schläppi 2200 female mannequins for Lanvin in Shanghai.

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The exhibition features over seventy antique clothing items displayed on fabric covered Schläppi 2200 mannequins and Bonaveri bust forms including new runway showpieces, and precious works of embroidery, providing a complete synopsis of Lanvin’s profound influence on the fashion industry.

Working together with London-based curator Judith Clark, Bonaveri created bespoke Schläppi 2200 standing and seated mannequins, covered in fine calico with raw wood articulated arms and hands. The 2200 collection has a long pedigree with haute couture fashion and the Schläppi collection as a whole has been a favourite of Lanvin’s for some time.

This exhibition explores the work of the haute couture fashion house spanning its creation in 1889 up until the present day. It is Paris’ oldest fashion brand and remains firmly ahead as a leader in high-end fashion. Under the new creative direction of Bruno Sialelli, Lanvin aims to reinforce the brand’s personal heritage; a hallmark endowed by its creator, evident in its original “mother & child” logo.


In 1925 and again in 1937 Jeanne Lanvin was appointed President of the fashion component of the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts. In both exhibitions, Lanvin showcased garments by using emotive mannequins for her display. At the time, the use of mannequins was a break with tradition and reinforced Lanvin’s longtime appreciation for their ability to convey a narrative.

The Actress’s Dressing Room on the 1st floor of the Grand Palais.
The mannequins dressed in Lanvin. Musée des Arts décoratifs, Albert Lévy collection

So too in this exhibition, creative director, Judith Clark has showcased Lanvin’s archive using Schläppi mannequins in varied positions. Each is arranged on low platforms where mannequins are grouped in a collective set exploring themes that resonate throughout the designer’s career.

Just like the exhibition title, Dialogue brings Jeanne Lanvin’s vision together with the brand’s completely new interpretation in a dialogue of resonance.
Bruno Sialelli – Lanvin Creative Director

The exhibition is located in the Foster + Partners / Thomas Heatherwick Studio-designed “Bund Finance Center”, a dramatic and curvacious building on Shanghai’s waterfront. The exhibition is now open and will continue until February 2020.

Dialogue: 130 Years of Lanvin is showing at the Fosun Foundation Shanghai
Saturday, December 7, 2019–Sunday, February 9, 2020

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