fashion history

“Moda di Valentino”

“I hope people will say, ‘Mr. Valentino, he did something for fashion, no?'” – Valentino Garavani

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Valentino Garavani is an Italian fashion designer who created the Valentino brands. Like most of the great designers for the fashion world, Valentino was interested in fashion from an early age. He moved to Paris to pursue his fashion dreams. He studied at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne and at the École des Beaux-Arts. He interned under Jacques Faith, for Balenciaga, and also for Jean Desses. In 1960 he opened his first fashion house in Rome. He took much of his inspirations from Paris and put it into his own house; this also led him to become known for “Valentino red.” The next year he also met future business partner and lifelong friend Giancarlo Giammetti. After struggling with bankruptcy, Valentino made a comeback in 1962 in Florence. He started making famous friends and designing for them, such as Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Princess Margaret, the Countess of Snowdon. In 1964, he made an impact on Jackie Kennedy, who would later wear Valentino’s clothing often and became a close friend. 1966 brought about his now famous “V” logo and started having more shows in Rome instead of Florence. During the 1970s, he made himself known in New York City and with artist Andy Warhol. From 1983-1985, Valentino worked with Ford Motor Company. The Accademia Valentino opened in 1990. Elizabeth Taylor helped Valentino and Giammetti start the AIDS support organization, L.I.F.E. Valentino Garavani retired in 2008 after his final haute couture show was held in Paris. His work is shown in an exhibition in London that opened in 2013.  The online Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum is also dedicated to the designer. He appeared in the The Devil Wears Prada movie as himself. The 2008 film Valentino: The Last Emperor was made about him. In 2006, he was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. He was also given the sixth annual Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion from the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2011 and in 2014 the Medal of the City of Paris. He loves dogs, especially his six pugs. Valentino collections and line include Valentino, Valentino Garavani, Valentino Roma and R.E.D. Valentino. The Valentino headquarters is in Milan. The creative directors are Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. The Valentino lines include menswear and womenswear, footwear, eyewear, fragrances and accessories.

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Credit: Valentino

Roberto Cavalli

 

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“With time, fashion has become part of my DNA.” – Roberto Cavalli

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Roberto Cavalli is an Italian fashion designer who has made his spot in the fashion industry. He took an interest in textile prints which brought attention to himself and his designs starting at an early age. He started showed his designs of leather and patchwork materials in Paris, bringing notice from companies like Hermes. He was 32 when he presented his first collection in Paris. He concentrated on jeans with creative patterns and prints, incorporating leather and brocade as well. In 1972 he opened his first boutique. He is credited with creating the sand-blasted jean look, which he debuted in 1994 in Milan. During the same year, Cavalli’s main line was sold in over fifty countries around the world. 1998 brought about lines from Cavalli of menswear, womenswear, accessories, underwear, eyewear, jewelry, fragrances, footwear, and more. Other collections from the brand are RC Menswear, Just Cavalli, the Angels and Devils Children Collection, and Robert Cavalli Home. He uses signature animal prints in his designs. He was a judge during Miss Universe 1997. In 2013, he was given from the Domus Academy in Milan an Honorary Master Diploma in Fashion Management. He received controversy from the Hindu community in 2004 as well as the Maktab Tarighat Oveyssi Shahmaghsoudi school of Islamic Sufism in 2014. He has been married twice and has five children, including famous designer Daniele Cavalli. Celebrities like Beyonce, Oprah, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Bon Jovi, and Kimora Lee Simmons are known to wear Cavalli clothing. His most famous smell for women is the Serpentine perfume as well as for men his Just Cavalli fragrance line. Roberto Cavalli designs usually leave an audience talking and are hard to forget.

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Credit: Roberto Cavalli

Alexander McQueen

“It’s a new era in fashion; there are no rules.” – Alexander McQueen

 

Lee Alexander McQueen- The Designer:

He is a British fashion designer who founded his own label which has become a major name for the fashion world. He grew up in London and decided in elementary school that he wanted to be a fashion designer. After dropping out of school at 16, he apprenticed for Anderson & Sheppard, Gieves & Hawkes, and Angels and Bermans. He worked for Prince Charles until moving to Milan to work for Romeo Gigli. He returned to London in 1994 and attended Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and graduated with his masters degree in fashion design. He worked as head designer for Givenchy starting in 1996 and ending in 2004. McQueen brought extreme creativity to the brand. McQueen designed for David Bowie and Bjork, even directing a music video for her. He became known for his theatrical designs and runway shows along with his shock tactics. Some of his collections are titled “McQueen’s Theatre of Cruelty,” “The Birds,” and “Widows of Culloden.” He is known for creating the “bumsters” pants and trend, the “Manta dress,” and using skulls on clothing. He was one of the first designers to use Indian models. His most famous runway show was his 2001 Spring/Summer collection VOSS. His awards include the British Designer of the Year and the International Designer of the Year from the Council of Fashion Designers in 2003. He collaborated with Gucci and Puma. McQueen has boutiques all around the world, such as in Las Vegas, Milan, New York, Los Angeles, and London. Lady Gaga has used his designs in her music videos, and other celebrities like Rihanna and Sarah Jessica Parker have also worn McQueen clothing. He enjoyed scuba diving. Alexander McQueen committed suicide on February 11, 2010. His funeral was in London and his ashes were scattered on the Isle of Syke. A memorial for the designer was held on September 20, 2010 at St. Paul’s Cathedral; guests included Stella McCartney, Bjork, Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Naomi Campbell. Performers like Kayne West, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Courtney Love, Bjork, and models like Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss have all made tributes to the designer. Savage Beauty, an exhibition for McQueen, was held in 2011 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is to become a traveling exhibition starting in 2015. Lee Alexander McQueen’s eccentric and creative self is still missed in the fashion world to this day.

Alexander McQueen- Fashion Brand:

Founded by Lee Alexander McQueen in 1992, it is a famous British fashion house known worldwide. Sarah Burton was named creative director of the company in 2010. The brand starting launching menswear collections in 2005 and womenswear in 2008. 2008 also brought about an online store for the company. It’s famous low-priced collection is called McQ, which consists of men and women’s clothing, accessories, and a ready-to-wear line. The collection is supposed to be geared towards a younger audience and the creative director is Pina Ferlisi. McQ’s first standalone boutique was created in London in 2012 and was presented at London Fashion Week the same year. The brand has collaborated with jeweler Shaun Leane and perfumer Jacques Cavallier, Alexander McQueen brand’s first two fragrances are Kingdom and My Queen. The brand also has an eyewear collection, focusing on the signature skull design. The company also has a Centurion Card. The Alexander McQueen PUMA line launched in 2006. The company was the first to join the MAC’s cosmetics releases by fashion designers. McQ Alexander McQueen for Target was launched in 2008. The brand also has luggage. The Alexander McQueen brand has a number of controversies from runway shows to design lawsuits. An underwear line was launched in 2008 and has helped support AIDS charities. Harley Huges was added to the McQueen team in 2014 alongside Sarah Burton. Even without Lee Alexander McQueen, his brand is still able to thrive for his legacy.

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Credit: Alexander McQueen

Tom Ford

“Dressing well is a form of good manners.” – Tom Ford

He is a film director, an author, and a fashion designer well-known with high-end names like Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Thomas “Tom” Ford was born in Texas and later moved with his family to New Mexico. After graduating from high school and then dropping out of Brad College at Simon’s Rock, he moved to New York City and studied art history at New York University. He then left there and was apart of a number of television ads. Ford then enrolled at Parsons The New School for Design where he studied interior architecture. While at Parsons, he spent some time in Paris where he found his love for fashion. While in Paris he interned for Chloe’s press office. He graduated from Parsons while a degree in architecture but also spent time studying fashion. Ford then worked under fashion designer Cathy Hardwick. Hardwick said while interviewing Ford, he mentioned Armani being one of his favorite designers. When Hardwick later asked him why, he said she was wearing Armani, and then that there was no wonder he was hired. In 1988, he worked for Marc Jacobs. Ford has mentioned that he left the company because “Too much style in America is tacky. It’s looked down upon to be too stylish. Europeans, however, appreciate style.” Ford was then hired in 1990 for Gucci. He started designing menswear and then shoes for the brand. In 1992, Ford became design director, including Gucci’s ready-to-wear line, fragrances, advertising, image, and store design. He became creative director in 1994 where he starting changing the brand for the better. Gucci sales rates increased 90% between 1995-1996 because for Ford. Within the 1990s, Ford brought Gucci into partnership with LVMH and Pinault-Printemps-Redoute. Gucci was practically bankrupt when Ford joined and by 2004 when he left the company, they valued over $10 billion. Ford then became creative director for Yves Saint Laurent. In 2005, he created his own film production company. The following year, Ford launched his own line of menswear, eyewear, and accessories. His famous film debut is titled A Single Man. His film earned a number of award nominations for both the film and the actors apart of it. He wrote a book called Tom Ford in 2004. Tom Ford has been recognized with a number of awards such as the 1997 People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People, the 1999 Style Icon Award for Elle, the 2000 Best International Designer for VH1/Vogue, the 2000 British GQ International Man of the Year Award, the 2001 Best Fashion Designer for Time Magazine, the 2001 Designer of the Year Award for GQ USA, the 2004 International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame, the 2008 Menswear Designer of the Year for the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and the 2014 Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. Tom Ford has many new ideas to bring to both the fashion world and film industry.

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Credit: Tom Ford

Michael Kors

“Personal style is knowing yourself, your lifestyle, your body and finding clothes that become the frame. You become the star. It’s knowing when to say yes and when to say no.” – Michael Kors

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Karl Anderson, Jr., now known as Michael Kors, is a New York City based fashion designer. Kors’ collections include womenswear, menswear, handbags, shoes, jeans, footwear, watches, and other accessories. His mother was a model which led him to have an interest in fashion since a young age. Even as a teenager, he was designing and selling clothing under the name the “Iron Butterfly.” He attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City but then dropped out to work at Bergdorf Goodman boutique selling his designs. Then in 1981, he launched his womenswear line. From 1993-1997, Kors suffered financial trouble but then got back on his feet when he became the first womenswear designer for Celine fashion house. For his own brand, he launched a menswear collection in 2002. He left the Celine house in 2003 and added accessories to his own line. Kors was able to add to his brand, including the Michael Kors runway collection, the MICHAEL Michael Kors and KORS Michael Kors lines. He has boutiques nationally such as in New York, Chicago, and Beverly Hills. Kors is well-known for his time on the television show Project Runway. He is also popular with celebrities; stars such as Jennifer Lopez and Rachel McAdams have worn his clothing. First Lady Michelle Obama wore Michael Kors in her first term official portrait as First Lady as well as Alicia Keys at President Obama’s inaugural ball in 2013. Gwyneth Paltrow wore Michael Kors collection in the movie Possession and in 2006 Jennifer Garner wore a custom Michael Kors dress as a presenter at the Academy Awards. He starred as himself in an episode of Gossip Girl and was referenced in the film The Devil Wears Prada. In 2014, Michael Kors was listed as the latest fashion industry billionaire. Other awards are the 2013 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion, the Golden Heart Lifetime Achievement Award by God’s Love We Deliver in 2012, the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research in 2010, the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America along with the Fragrance Foundation’s FiFi Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010. He was on Time magazine’s list of top 100 most influential people in 2013. Michael Kors still has a lot to offer the fashion industry.

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Credit: Michael Kors

Urban Impact

“Anyone can get dressed up and glamorous but it is how people dress in their days off that are the most intriguing.” – Alexander Wang

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 He is an urban fashion designer for his own line as well as the Creative Director for Balenciaga. He was born in San Fransisco, California and developed an interest for design at an early age. He attended Parsons: The New School for Design until 2005 when he decided to create his own label. He interned at Marc Jacobs, Teen Vogue, and Vogue. 2007 brought the runway release of his first ready-wear collection for women. In 2008, Wang was awarded as the winner for the Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund Award and Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award. His first handbag collection was launced in 2008. He was mentored by Diane von Furstenberg. In 2009, he won the Swarovski Womenswear Designer of the Year and the Swiss Textiles Award. Also during this year, Wang launched Women’s T by Alexander Wang. In 2010, he launched the Men’s T by Alexander Wang and also won the Swarovski Womenswear Designer of the Year award for accessories. According to GQ US magazine, he was the Best Menswear Designer of the Year for 2011 and also won CFDA’ s Best Accessory Designer award. He was also given the “Fashion Star” award by Fashion Group International in 2013. His first store opened in 2011 in New York. His first Balenciaga collection was released in 2013. As of 2014, he is the next designer for H&M. His clothing designs, including footwear, eyewear, and lingerie collections are now sold worldwide, such as in Barneys New York. He designed for Principle 6 during the Soch Winter Olympics to support against anti-gay discrimination. Alexander Wang’s creative, hipster, and younger-geared style will continue growing for years to come.

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Credit: Alexander Wang

Hermes, s’il vous plaît!

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The Beginning:

Established in 1837, this French based luxury brand produces anywhere from fragrances and high end clothing to accessories and Birkin bags. The founder of Hermes is Thierry Hermès, who started it as a harness workshop in Paris. His son, Charles-Émile Hermès took over the company, and with the help of his family, Hermes started offering their products to the most elite in places in Europe, Asia, Russia, and North America. After Charles, his son Émile Hermès really took over the company and brought it to the foundation it needed to become so successful today. Hermes started furnishing for the czar of Russia and is said to be the first to introduce the zipper in France. Hermes created the first leather golf jacket with a zipper. During the 1920s, the first accessories and clothing lines were formed for the company, such as in 1922 when the first leather handbag collection was introduced by Hermes. In 1929, the first womenswear couture apparel line was introduced. The 1930s brought about Hermes watches for both men and women. In 1935, the “Kelly bag,” named after Grace Kelly, was created. Then in 1937, Hermes scarves were released. The first Hermes perfume was called Eau d’Hermès and was produced in 1949. The horse and carriage logo started in the 1950s. Queen Elizabeth II worn a Hermes scarf in a postage stamp in 1956.

Back to the Top:

Jean-Louis Dumas brought Hermes out of a low point during the 1970s. He started selling products to Bloomingdale’s in New York. He changed the image for Hermes. The 1979 denim advertising for the company brought a new look for Hermes. By the 1990s, the Hermes family was listed on Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires. Jean-Louis Dumas retired in 2006 and passed away in 2010. Patrick Thomas replaced him and was the first non-Hermes person to lead the company. Hermes now sells clothing for men and women, watches, fragrances, gloves, tablewear, jewelry, footwear, cosmetics, and other accessories. As of 2012, Hermes doesn’t allow refunds on their products, only exchanges (within ten days of the purchase) and only for a different color for the piece. Hermes will remain a competing luxury brand for many years to come.

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Credit: Hermes

 

Le Luxe à son Meilleur

“Happiness is the secret to all beauty. There is no beauty without happiness.” – Christian Dior

Christian Dior: The Designer

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Christian Dior is the founder of one of the top fashion houses of the world. Even at a young age, he was always interested in fashion. He started selling fashion sketches. His father helped him open a small art gallery in 1928 but had to be closed due to family financial problems. In 1937, Dior started working under designer Robert Piguet and alongside Pierre Balmain. Dior then succeed Marc Bohan as house designer until joining the army. In 1942 he joined the Lucien Lelong fashion house. In 1946, Dior founded his own fashion house. New Look (originally titled Corolle) was the title of his first collection released in 1947. It was structured upon the use of many fabrics and creating shapes. The collection helped bring Paris back as the top for fashion. In 1951, he released his first book called Je Suis Couturier. In March of 1957, he appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Christian Dior passed away on October 23rd, 1957. 

Christian Dior: The Fashion House

Christian Dior is one of the best known fashion houses in the world. It’s chaired by Bernard Arnault and owned by LVMH. The company produces ready wear clothing lines for men, women, and children, as well as accessories, footwear, jewelry, fragrances, and cosmetics. The brand has a tradition of creating haute couture collections. The New Look collection was the beginning for making Dior majorly significant for the fashion world. Along with the clothing collection, the company launched Christian Dior Parfums in which both lines granted Dior over 12 million dollars in profits in 1948. The first store outside of Paris opened in New York City in 1949. The brand began licensing the name “Christian Dior” in 1950 on a number of products including neckties, furs, hats, gloves, scarves, and jewelry. During the same year, Dior designed the dresses in the film Stage Fright. Christian Dior Models Limited was created in 1952. The next year, the first shoe line was launched. By this time, locations were in Paris, New York City, Mexico, Cuba, Italy, and Canada for the brand. In 1955, the first Dior lipstick was released. Dior had sold over 100,000 clothing pieces by 1956. Yves Saint Laurent was promoted Artistic Director in 1957 and was replaced by Marc Bohan in 1960. He created the Slim Look which was highly praised by Elizabeth Taylor in 1961. Miss Dior, the first French ready-to-wear collection was launched in 1967, the first Baby Dior boutique was opened in 1967, and The Christian Dior Coordinated Knit Line was released in 1968. The company was sold to LVMH during the same year and the Christian Dior Cosmetics launched in 1969. In 1973, the first Christian Dior Ready-to-Wear Fur collection was released. The Paris Fashion Museum dedicated an exhibition to the company on their 40th anniversary. Bohan was replaced as head designer in 1989 by Gianfranco Ferré. By 1997, Ferré was replaced by John Galliano. The famous Dior “J’adore” was released in 1999. Dior’s ads are said to have started the porn chic campaigns trend for the fashion industry. The “Christian Dior: Man of the Century,” exhibition was held in Normandy in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Christian Dior. Raf Simmons was announced as the new artistic director in 2012. Christian Dior locations to date is over 210 places. Actress Jennifer Lawrence is commonly known for wearing designs by Dior. The company will continue being at the top for the fashion world for many years to come.

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Credit: Christian Dior

“Ain’t Laurent Without Yves”

“We must never confuse elegance with snobbery.” – Yves Saint Laurent

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Know as one of the most important names in the fashion industry, French designer Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent was never afraid to push the limit. He started off with an interest in fashion at an early age. Laurent entered and won a fashion designs contest in 1953 called the International Wool Secretariat. After attending the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, his talents opened up a whole new world. He once again entered the competition and won for the second time, beating out follow designer Karl Lagerfeld. Laurent was then introduced to Christian Dior by French Vogue editor Michel De Brunoff. He was hired for Dior the same day. After the death of Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent succeed the designer and became the head designer for the House of Christian Dior S.A. in 1957. The next year, Laurent launched his spring 1958 collection to rave reviews, even being know as the creator of the “trapeze dress.” Farah Diba, the wife of the Shah of Iran, asked Laurent to design her wedding gown in 1959. The next year, Laurent joined the French Army. During this time, he was fired from Dior and suffered medical and mental health problems. After being released from the Army hospital the same year, he sued Dior and won the case. Laurent and then partner, Pierre Bergé, started their own fashion house. It was then that Laurent changed the fashion world. He is said to be the first to introduce a women’s tuxedo suit. This happened in 1966, called Le Smoking. Laurent’s brand starting popularizing styles like safari jackets for men and women along with the beatnik look, wearing silhouettes, and thigh-high boots. He is also said to be the first to launch a ready-wear line. He is well-known for his use of non-white models such as supermodel Iman. In 1983 he was honored at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But starting n the 1960s and 70s, Laurent received criticism for becoming known for partying, drinking, and the use of cocaine. The pressure to creating two per year lines of ready-to-wear collections and haute couture ones brought down Laurent’s health and led to him turning over his lines to his assistants in 1987. French president Jacques Chirac gave Laurent the rank of Commander of the Légion d’Honneur in 2001. He retired in 2002. In 2007, French president Nicolas Sarkozy awarded Laurent with the title Grand Officier de la Légion d’honneur. Yves Saint Laurent died in 2008 from brain cancer. His ashes were spread in Marrakech, Morocco. An auction of famous paintings collected over by Laurent over the years took place in 2009 and the proceeds went to AIDS research. Laurent was a main focus for a number of films, including the 2014 release of the film Yves Saint Laurent, directed by Jalil Lespert; the part of Laurent is played by French actor Pierre Niney. Even through hard times and controversy, Yves Saint Laurent’s works are still being used in the fashion industry today and he is known as a great fashion name.

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Credit: Yves Saint Laurent

Threads Suggestions: John Galliano

“Style is wearing an evening dress to McDonalds, wearing heels to play football. It is personality, confidence, and seduction.” – John Galliano

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British fashion designer John Galliano is known for his unique style and creative fashion ideas along with his works with fashion companies and creating his own label. He graduated from St. Martin’s School of Art in 1988 with a degree in Fashion Design. His first collection, Les Incroyables, was inspired by the French Revolution. With such rave reviews, the London fashion boutique Browns bought the collection. Galliano then started his own line. After a number of failed business agreements, Galliano moved from London to Paris. His first show was shown in the 1989 Paris Fashion Week. He designed for Kylie Minogue in 1991. With the help and recognition of American Vogue and Vanity Fair, Galliano was able to get the financial aid and support to receive credibility in Paris for fashion. In 1995, Galliano became the head designer for Givenchy. This was the first time a British designer was head of a French fashion house. His first couture show was presented in 1996. The same year, Galliano was moved to head designer of Christian Dior. Starting in 2011, Galliano has been through legal court battles for making anti-semitic comments. He was suspended from Dior in the same year. He has since made a comeback in 2013 with Oscar de la Renta. He received British Designer of the Year in 1987, 1994, 1995, and 1997. He received a Commander of the Order of the British Empire honor in 2001. He was awarded with a French Legion of Honor medal in 2009 but was taken away in 2012. John Galliano will continue bringing his eccentric and creative ideas to the fashion industry.

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Credit: Galliano