The first time I saw this Madeleine Vionnet halter evening gown, I had a hard time reconciling it with my knowledge of Vionnet's work. When I think of Vionnet, ingenious construction techniques are first in my mind, not applied decoration. Tucks, pleats, twists, innovative seaming and bias cut fabrics, often applied to gossamer weight chiffon, are both the technical foundations of her work and frequently the sole decorative elements. Don't get me wrong--I like a shiny sequin or glittery rhinestone as much as the next person. But I've always appreciated the deceptive simplicity of Vionnet's work and the way in which her unornamented designs force you to focus on the basic elements of her work: textile and construction.