Charles Frederick Worth “Father of Haute Couture” (1826-1895)- an English designer who dominated Parisian fashion in the latter half of the nineteenth century. As a young man, Worth worked as an apprentice and clerk for two London textile merchants. In addition to gaining a thorough knowledge of fabrics and the business of supplying dressmakers during this time, he also visited the National Gallery and other collections to study historic portraits. Elements of the sitters’ dresses in these paintings would later provide inspiration for Worth’s own designs, for both fashionable ensembles and masquerade costumes.
Worth’s designs are notable for his use of lavish fabrics and trimmings, his incorporation of elements of historic dress, and his attention to fit. While the designer still created one-of-a-kind pieces for his most important clients, he is especially known for preparing a variety of designs that were shown on live models at the House of Worth. Clients made their selections and had garments tailor-made in Worth’s workshop. (source: metmuseum.org)
Paul Pioret (1879-1944)- a Parisian designer who, above all others, was able to divine and define the desires of women of the 1910s. Poiret’s exoticized tendencies were expressed through his use of vivid color coordinations and enigmatic silhouettes such as his iconic “lampshade” tunic and his “harem” trousers, or pantaloons. However, these orientalist fantasies (or, rather, fantasies of the Orient) have served to detract from Poiret’s more enduring innovations, namely his technical and marketing achievements. Poiret effectively established the canon of modern dress and developed the blueprint of the modern fashion industry. Such was his vision that Poiret not only changed the course of costume history but also steered it in the direction of modern design history. (source: metmuseum.org)
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (1883-1971)- opened her first shop in Paris in 1913, followed by another in the resort town of Deauville. Selling hats and a limited line of garments, Chanel’s shops developed a dedicated clientele who quickly made her practical sportswear a great success. Much of Chanel’s clothing was made of jersey, a choice of fabric both unusual and inspired. Until the designer began to work with it, jersey was more commonly used for men’s underwear. With her financial situation precarious in the early years of her design career, Chanel purchased jersey primarily for its low cost. The qualities of the fabric, however, ensured that the designer would continue to use it long after her business became profitable. The fabric draped well and suited Chanel’s designs, which were simple, practical, and often inspired by men’s wear, especially the uniforms prevalent when World War I broke out in 1914. (source: metmuseum.org)
Madame (Madeleine) Vionnet (1876-1975)- inventor of the bias cut, “coup en bias” – which she protected from imitations with a copyright and documents of authenticity – and the celebrated queen of draping, which she tested using long cuts of crêpe, crêpe de chine, gabardine and satin on mannequins measuring 80 centimetres – half the size of an average body – Madeleine Vionnet was a star player in that revolution which, starting from the nineteen tens, modernized women’s clothing.
She liberated the body from stays and corsets, making women’s personalities, their wellbeing and their dreams the centre of fashion. Drawing inspiration from Greek art, she created garments that clung to the shape of the body, with a fluidity that echoed its movements, in the conviction that dresses must take on the personality of the person wearing them. In fact, she would say, “when a woman smiles, then her dress should smile too”. (source: vionnet.com)
Claire McCardell (1905-1958)- chief purveyor of the “American Look” and leading force behind the development of American ready-to-wear fashion. From the 1930s to the 1950s, she revolutionized women’s wear by designing clothing that was simple, functional, and stylish, all within the constraints of mass-production. Democratic in spirit, she brought high style to everyday clothing. Her work led the way in releasing America’s fashion aesthetic from French dominance. Her ideas have influenced and pervaded contemporary fashion. (source: library.newschool.edu)
Christian Dior (1905-1957)- one of the most important couturiers of the twentieth century was launched in 1947 with his very first collection, in which he introduced the “New Look.” Featuring rounded shoulders, a cinched waist, and very full skirt, the New Look celebrated ultra-femininity and opulence in women’s fashion. After years of military and civilian uniforms, sartorial restrictions and shortages, Dior offered not merely a new look but a new outlook. (source: metmuseum.org)
Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008)- and business partner/ex-lover Pierre Bergé started the brand in 1962, after Saint Laurent was laid off from his top rank at Dior following his stint in the French Army. Going solo, it turned out, galvanized YSL’s creative output and career. The designer is credited with a great many things: the women’s tuxedo (and Le Smoking), the trench coat and peacoat as high fashion, safari-chic, the shirt dress, the iconic Mondrian dress (and the subsequent graphic print craze), “ethnic-inspired” and beatnik gear, and numerous other sartorial coups that have penetrated our collective style-unconscious. Saint Laurent was also was the first couturier to market and cultivate his prêt-a-porter line Rive Gauche, and he was among the first to feature black models. (source: nymag.com)
Check this duo out. This is unbelievable. Plus check out Amy’s great vintage style. We love her pin-up style bangs! Enjoy.
We are SO over the cut-off jean shorts, grungy t-shirts and plaid look it isn’t even funny. Of course we love paying homage to the 90′s, but this look is exhausted.
So what trend are we moving on to? Pleated skirts! We absolutely love this look; especially when paired with leggings and booties. Think this look isn’t edgy enough for your taste? Think again. By pairing leather accessories with this look, you can still accomplish an alternative look without resembling a homeless person. We also like the idea of a high waisted pleated skirt paired with a funky belt and cropped shirt or bandeau.
Ugh! As I looked into my closet tonight to pull together a dashing outfit, I realized I hate everything I own. Sound familiar? Like the old saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” In the fashion world better known as, “I want want she’s wearing!” But unfortunately, like most young entrepreneurs, I don’t have gobs of money laying around to spend on chic designer clothing. So what do I do? Surely I can’t own an online clothing store and live my life wearing sweatpants and t-shirts. Oh wait, I am. And that stops right here, right now. And it starts with a reinvention of my closet (and of course without spending a dime).
The first thing in my closet that needs up dating are my jeans, a wardrobe staple. Since I graduated college in 2010 and worked an office job right away, jeans are not something I have particularly invested in. So what jeans will you find in my closet? Hole-y flares from Hollister (bought my freshmen year of high school), purple flares from Lucky Brand, stretchy Princy boot cuts (you know, by Jessica Simpson… do they even make those anymore?), wide legs from Abercrombie & Fitch and several other washes of classic Lucky Brand flares. Oh, and we can’t forget my two pairs of fat girl jeans that got me through those chunky college years. So what do all of these jeans have in common? FLARES! So let’s get to work and turn these flares into fashionable skinnies!