Apr 032012
Givenchy Audrey Hepburn Together

Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn Together

Fashion Designer Hubert de Givenchy was born to a wealthy family 1927 in Beauvais, France. He stands an impressive 6′ 6″ inches in height.
He studied in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts  and his first job in fashion was for Jacques Fath in Paris in 1945.

He then worked briefly for Robert Piguet and for Lucien Lelong (1946) and with with Lelong’s assistants, Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior.

His final induction into fashion was with Elsa Schiaparelli between 1947 and 1951.

Cate Blanchett wearing Givenchy

Cate Blanchett wearing a Givenchy gown

He opened the House of Givenchy in 1952 and named his first collection after Bettina Graziani, Paris’s top model at the time.

Hubert de Givenchy’s designs leapt to international recognition when Audrey Hepburn wore his white dress in Billy Wilder’s film ‘Sabrina’.

From then on, Audrey Hepburn came to epitomise the Givenchy style of the 50’s and 60’s along with Jackie Kennedy.

It was the death of John F Kennedy that brought global attention to Givenchy dresses. When John F.Kennedy was assasinated, the world witnessed a mourning Kennedy family all dressed in Givenchy clothes. Jackie Kennedy ordered a Givenchy dress for the funeral, which was especially flown in from Paris. It is said, that at that time, that Givenchy possessed individual patterns sheets for every female member of the Kennedy family.

In 1988, Givenchy sold his business to Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton (LVMH).

Following his retirement in 1995, John Galliano, a graduate from St. Martin’s School of Art in London took Givenchys place as head of design.

Galliano’s first collection for Givenchy combined extravagance with the elegant restraint of Givenchy and injected a new competition and creativity into the French haute couture.

In 1996 as Galliano was switching to Dior, a fellow Englishman and another alumni of St. Martins, Alexander McQueen became head of design where he remained until 2001.


Givenchy Couture 2010/2011

At this point, Julien Macdonald became the new Artistic Director of Women for Givenchy.

Since 2005, the creative side has been headed by Riccardo Tisci.

In January 2007, La Poste issued postage stamps for the St. Valentine’s Day designed by Givenchy.


 4:24 am  Fashion
Dec 112011
Sonia Nathalie Rykiel Designers

Sonia and Nathalie Rykiel

Sonia Rykiel was born in Paris, France in 1930.

Sonia Rykiel is especially noted for her knitwear and her habit for writing random words across her clothing. She is still an icon 40 years after she started.

She began in 1962 by creating sweaters and maternity dresses for her husband’s shop Laura in Paris. This came about because she was pregnant at the time and couldn’t find any suitable clothing. So she made her own. She was crowned “Queen of Knits” by the Americans in 1967.


Sonia Rykiel Knitwear at H&M stores

By 1974 she had created inside-out stitching, elminated hems and begun to design tracksuits – freeing women from normal fashion constraints.

In 2008 she was made Commandeur De l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur by President Nicholas Sarkozy.

Her daughter Nathalie, born in 1975 is now the President and Creative Director of the company.


 4:56 pm  Fashion
Oct 302011
Stella McCartney Summer 2011 Collection

Stella McCartney Summer 2011 Collection

Stella McCartney was born in 1971, the daughter of ex-Beatle Sir Paul and Linda McCartney.

Stella began her fashion training in London’s Savile Row at Edward Sexton. Her own company still offers tailored women-only bespoke tailoring only a few streets away.

She studied at St Martin’s College of Art and Design in London. Her college graduation show in 1995 was a sell out, with the help of her supermodel friends Naoimi Campbell, Kate Moss and Yasmin LeBon. A signature style of sharp tailoring, natural confidence and sexy femininity was immediately apparent in her first collection.

In 1997 she was appointed Creative Director of Chloe – a relationship that proved to be successful.

Her own label was launched in 2001 as a joint venture with the Gucci Group. The brand’s luxury ready-to-wear, shoes, bags, fragrances, eyewear, accessories, organic skin care range and performance range with Adidas are available through its acclaimed flagship stores and around 600 luxury stores in key cities worldwide.

She has a sportswear range with Adidas by Stella McCartney and in tandem with Adidas has developed the Team GB Uniforms for London 2012.

Stella McCartney Designer

Stella McCartney Designer

Stella McCartney has a strict ‘no animal policy” – Her designs to not utilise fur, leather, wool, silk, and other animal-derived fabrics. Stella along with her father Paul McCartney support PETA who protest against designers who use animal fur and those who wear it.

In November 2009, Stella McCartney collaborated with the Gap on a baby and children’s wear collection which was extended into a second season in March 2010.

November 2010 marks the launch of Stella McCartney Kids, a collection catering for newborns and children up to the age of 12.


 5:04 pm  Fashion
Jun 032011

Tom Ford

Tom Ford was born in Austin, Texas in 1962, but spent most of his childhood years in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Tom Ford enrolled on an art history course at New York University and was also trained as an actor. It was there he discovered the seminal Studio 54 nightclub and Warhol’s Factory, where he met pop artist Andy Warhol for the first time.

Tom Ford studied interior architecture at Parsons School of Design in New York. He later moved on to finish his studies at Parsons in Paris, France. By the end of the course Ford realised that he wanted to work in fashion. As soon as his studies were completed in 1986, Ford quickly returned to New York where he began his professional training.

In 1990 after moving to Paris, Ford was hired by Gucci’s then creative director Dawn Mello (previous head of purchase with Bergdorf-Goodman) as chief women’s ready-to-wear designer. A few years passed, and in 1992, he moved up the corporate ladder of the fashion world and once again took on the role of Design Director.

Business went bad for Gucci and Tom Ford was almost fired by Maurizio Gucci in 1993, but this was counteracted by Domenico de Sole, director of Gucci America Inc.

Tom brings a hard-edged look synonymous with 21st-century glamour to his clothes. In 2000, the Gucci group added Yves Saint Laurent to their stable and, unsurprisingly, Tom’s first collection for the French label was a study in black and white. In that year, Ford was named Best International Designer at the first VH1/Vogue Awards in New York.

“I am a perfectionist,” declared Tom Ford. “This job is a total ego thing in a way. To be a designer and say, ‘This is the way people should dress, this is the way their homes should look, this is the way the world should be.’ But then, that’s the goal: world domination through style.”

He made profits soar at Gucci, which was faltering when he took over. During this year there seems to have been some disagreement between Yves St. Laurent and Tom Ford about the way YSL was proceeding. This led to the resignation of Yves St. Laurent in January 2002 from the company he had built. Gucci bought out YSL Rive Gauche and appointed Tom Ford to take up the design responsibilities of YSL Ruve Gauche ready-to-wear.

In November 2003 it was announced that Tom and chief executive Domenico De Sole would be leaving the Italy brand in 2004 “with great sadness” but Ford said he was “confident that we are leaving behind one of the strongest teams in the industry.” Then in March 2004, he presented his last collections for YSL Rive Gauche and Gucci, amid very emotional farewells. Both collections were smash hits.

Celebrity fans of Ford’s style include Madonna, Bianca Jagger and Trudie Styler (“Well, he’s perfect, isn’t he? He’s like Sting, he doesn’t do small talk. He doesn’t always give very much of himself, so you want more.”). But Ford’s ultimate sign of approval came from his mother, who was heard to demand her YSL discount card after watching his first runway show for the house.

As the first major initiative, this company has now collaborated with cosmetics giant Estée Lauder to create beauty products and fragrances. No financial figures have been revealed about the deal. We saw the beauty line and sunglasses by the end of 2005, also a woman’s fragrance ‘Amber N.de’ and ‘Youth Dew’.

Then Ford announced a return to fashion with a signature ready-to-wear men’s line. The clothing line, which will be produced by European manufacturer Ermenegildo Zegna,cater to a high-end clientele, with a men’s suit fetching upwards of $2,000.

Starting from Madison Ave, Manhattan, there are now stores across the world.


Tom Ford sells Andy Warhol self portrait

In 2010 Ford sold his Andy Warhol self portrait for a staggering $32 million having paid just $15 million for it a few years earlier.

Meanwhile, Ford has made a seamless transition to filmmaker with A Single Man, the soulful, immaculately styled story of a grieving college professor in 1960s California.

The ultra-confident Ford never doubted his abilities — though he admits plenty of other people did.

“It’s funny, because everyone was so supportive,” Ford said. “And now that I’ve made the film, quite a few people have said to me, ‘Isn’t it nice you did that when everyone was laughing at you?'”


 4:21 am  Fashion
May 312011
Lady Gaga and Beyonce wearing Thierry-Mugler

Lady Gaga and Beyonce wearing Thierry Mugler

Thierry Mugler was born in 1948 in Strasbourg. At age 14 he had joined the Ballet of the National Rhine Opera where he danced for 6 years.

By 1969 he left home to travel and by 1971 he had created his first personal collection called “Café de Paris”. In 1974 he created the label Thierry Mugler.

In 1978 he opened his first Paris boutique at the Place des Victoires and at the same time, Thierry Mugler launched a collection for men.

Thierry Mugler Designer

Thierry Mugler Designer

He is a stage designer, photographer, and costume designer in one. He has designed  costumes for Cirque du Soleil and is currently working on fashions for Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

In the universe of French fashion, Thierry Mugler appears as a multi-faceted artist.


 11:35 am  Fashion
Jan 162011

Born in Paris in 1929, Ted Lapidus opened his Haute Couture House and a Boutique for Men and Women in Marbeuf in 1957.

It was in 1963 that he was admitted as a member of the Haute Couture Federation, that same year he presented his first fashion collection in 1963. In 1968 Lapidus opened the “Rive Gauche” boutique on the Saint-Germain-des-Près square with the aim of presenting the “first Haute Couture proposition targeted for the twenty-year-old generation”

Lapidus was considered the creator and pioneer of the unisex fashion look and is credited with introducing a military and safari look into haute couture.  He is credited as the first designer to put Military style shoulder straps on both male and female clothing, and with making blue jeans part of the mainstream of fashion design.

Ted Lapidus gained prominence in the 1960s when French celebrities such as Brigitte Bardot, Twiggy and John Lennon. Lapidus was the first designer to persuade Twiggy to wear a suit and tie rather than a mini-skirt and Lapidus designed the white suit that John Lennon wore on the cover of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album.

The early 80s saw Olivier Lapidus succeeds his father and becomes the Artistic Director of the House of Lapidus. He went on to create and present his first Haute Couture collection in July 1989.

In 1995 Jacques Konckier who at the time held the license for the “Parfums Ted Lapidus”, acquired the entire Ted Lapidus operation. The Haute Couture collection autumn winter 94/95, who gave the ” 33 rd Dé d’Or ” was shown at the Musée des tissus de Lyon .

Since 1997 Olivier Lapidus has used technology and research to inject into high fashion unusual combinaitions of colours and materials, highlighted by new techniques of printing and weaving.

Lapidus died in Cannes in 2008.


 11:30 pm  Fashion
Jan 162011

viktor rolf fashion designers

Viktor & Rolf is an Amsterdam-based fashion house. The company was founded in 1993 by designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren. Their first collection ‘Hyères’ (1993) won three prizes at the Salon Europeen des Jeunes Stylistes at the Festival International de Mode et de Photographie.

 The subsequent presentation of four collections in experimental art spaces led them in 1998 to show their first Haute Couture collection (Spring/Summer 1998).

In 1998, Viktor & Rolf put on an unauthorized, underground fashion show during Paris Fashion Week designed to attract members of the press. Ready-to-wear and their menswear label “Monsieur” were to follow over the next five years.

Viktor & Rolf returned to ready-to-wear in 2000, with ‘Stars and Stripes’ (Autumn/Winter 2000-01). The menswear line ‘Monsieur’ was added in 2003 (Autumn/Winter), modelled entirely by Viktor & Rolf in a mirrored performance. The Viktor & Rolf range has since grown to include shoes, accessories and eyewear.

In 2005 and were contracted by L’Oréal to develop their first perfume, called Flowerbomb. In 2006, their first men’s perfume, Antidote, was introduced in the US.

samsonite black label viktor rolf

Samsonite Black Label by Viktor & Rolf

In addition to their own lines, Viktor & Rolf have collaborated with a number of other well known brands including Samsonite with whom they designed for the Black Label Luggage line which were inspired by the early jet years of the ‘50s and ‘60s . 

Other collaborations include  Piper Heidsieck (2007) for the iconic upside down bottle,  in 2006, the line for high street chain H&M which greatly extended their appeal to the general public and in 2009 with Swarovski crystal.

With the desire to expand, in 2008 Viktor & Rolf entered into a partnership with Italian clothing magnate Renzo Rosso, owner of Diesel, chairman of Only the Brave (OTB) allowing the company to develop new product ranges, extend distribution and open further boutiques.

In 2008 an exhibition entitled “The House of Viktor & Rolf” was presented at the Barbican Art Gallery, celebrating the duo’s 15-year anniversary. Key pieces from 1992 to 2008 were remade as detailed miniatures and presented on hand-made porcelain dolls, in a large doll house.


 5:59 pm  Fashion
Oct 232010
Anne Valérie Hash 2008 Couture Collection

Anne Valérie Hash 2008 Couture Collection

Anne Valerie Hash was born in Paris in 1971.

In 1991 she began her artistic education at The Duperré Art School.

In 1995, she received a diploma from the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne  and has designed for such labels as Nina Ricci, Chloe and Chanel.

Anne Valerie Hash Spring 2011

Anne Valerie Hash Spring 2011

In June of 2003, she received the ANDAM prize and in June 2009 Christine Albanel, Minister of Culture and Communication, personally rewarded her with the prestigious insignia of the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

Anne Valérie Hash received the Official Label of Haute Couture in January of 2008.

In March of 2008 she launched ANNE VALERIE HASH MADEMOISELLE, a line for girls from 4 to 14 years old.


 2:39 pm  Fashion
Aug 282010
Alexander McQueen British Designer

Alexander McQueen British Designer

2010 witnessed the tragic loss of this awesome talent. That such a prodigy should take his own life the day before his own mothers funeral is a sign to all of the sensitiy he felt about life and the closeness he had with his mother

Lee Alexander McQueen, one of the finest young British designers of his generation,  received a posthumous award for Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design at the British Fashion Awards 2010,

Dubbed ‘enfant terrible’, as Jean Paul Gaultier was in the 80’s, Alexander McQueen has manipulated his own fashion career to become one of the youngest fashion designers to achieve ‘British Designer of the Year’ in 1996.

He also won this prestigious fashion award in 1997, 2001 and 2003 also.

Known for his brutally sharp Tailoring, he was born in the East End of London in 1969.

Alexander McQueen graduated from Central St Martins College of Art & Design in 1991.

He won an apprenticeship with fashionable Savile Row Tailors Anderson & Sheppard and went on to work for Romeo Gigli and Koji Tatsuno before opening his own fashion studio.

With the launch of his low-cut “bumsters” on his own fashion label – McQueen attracted tabloid headlines.

In 1996 he was named successor to fashion designer John Galliano as the new chief designer at Givenchy.

In 1997 he produced four haute couture collections for Givenchy and two fashion collections for his own label.

He remained with the Givenchy fashion house until 2001 and in 2003 was awarded a CBE was also awarded British Menswear Designer of the Year in 2004.

Alexander McQueen’s collections combine an in-depth working knowledge of bespoke British tailoring, the fine workmanship of the French Haute Couture atelier and the impeccable finish of Italian manufacturing.

In December 2000 a new partnership saw the Gucci Group acquiring 51% of the company. Recent developments include the opening of flagship stores in New York, London and Milan and the launch of the first McQueen Fragrance ‘Kingdom’, the addition of the new Menswear and Eyewear collections.


 2:40 pm  Fashion
Feb 282009
Agnes B Designer

Agnes B Designer

Agnès b was born Agnès Troublé in Versailles, France in 1941.

She graduated from Versailles’s Ecole des Beaux-Arts and started her fashion career as a junior editor at French Elle. Agnes B went on to become an assistant to Dorothée Bis.

agnes b designHaving worked as a freelance fashion designer for Limitex, Pierre d’Alby, V de V and Eversbin, Agnès B opened her first boutique in Paris in 1975.

The boutique – formerly a butcher shop – housed her debut fashion collection of restyled, cut and dyed workers’ uniforms and striped rugby shirts.

Nowadays, Agnès B produces simple and chic fashion collections that are shown privately off-schedule at the Paris ready-to-wear shows.

The Agnès B signature style is usually best captured in the precise Tailoring of a crisp white shirt and the lasting luxury of a black wool jumper.

In 1980 Agnès B opened her first US boutique in Soho, New York where she showed her fashion collections for women, men and children.

In 1987, she launched her own perfume,”Le B,” a skincare and cosmetics range and a maternity fashion collection.

She now also has shops in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Tokyo and more locations opening worldwide.


 2:28 pm  Fashion