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The UK governement has placed an export ban on 11 Vionnet dresses in an attempt to keep them in the country. The French designer was responsible for popularising the bias cut, often draping fabric straight onto a dress form. The collection includes a black chantilly lace dress with velvet bows and a gold tulle evening gown. All the pieces date from 1929 to 1939 and are estimated to be worth £450,000.

"Madeleine Vionnet is not well-known in the U.K. and is underrepresented in our public collections," said Pamela Robertson, a member of the reviewing committee. "As well as being beautiful objects with great public appeal, these dresses form a highly important research collection for students of fashion and social history." The label was revived in 2006 with Sophia Kokosalaki at the helm but has since been replaced by Marc Audibet who previously worked at Hermés and Prada.

[Image, Source: WWD]