The top icon of fashion design, Elsa Schiaparelli was born on September 10, 1890, in Italy. After working at a boutique in New York, Schiaparelli moved to Paris, where she began designing her own clothes. Her work and sense of style shaped the look of fashion in the 1920s and ’30s, and her clothes were worn by some of the world’s most famous women, including American actress Greta Garbo. Schiaparelli died in Paris on November 13, 1973.
Being way more than a famous shoe designer, Manolo Blahnik is the man who can single-handedly make a woman feel instantly sexy with his ultra sophisticated, wildly fun high heel shoes. Becoming a household name through shows like Sex and the City and his never ending list of celebrity endorsements, Manolo Blahnik has become one of the most influential shoe designers of our time. Unfortunately it is known in fashion circles that when Blahnik dies there will be no more Manolos. There is no protégé or heir and no desire from the great designer to have the label continue without him.
Fashion designers attempt to design clothes which are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. They consider who is likely to wear a garment and the situations in which it will be worn, and they work within a wide range of materials, colors, patterns and styles. Though most clothing worn for everyday wear falls within a narrow range of conventional styles, unusual garments are usually sought for special occasions such as evening wear or party dresses.
Klein received his education at the renowned Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. His Calvin Klein underwear line, as well as his array of successful perfumes, helped him to build his empire. His ability to choose the sexiest, hippest stars for his ad campaigns also revealed his tremendous savvy and perceptiveness: celebs such as musician/actor Mark Wahlberg and supermodel Kate Moss also benefited from his uncanny ability to read the zeitgeist.
Every collection of this talented designer is doomed for success. His works can be unhesitatingly called masterpieces: he’s never afraid of expressing himself in the wackiest, the most sophisticated, out-of-this-world shapes and colors. Pierre Cardin is the inventor of the ‘bubble dress’. His works can be easily told from the others: Cardin’s models look like they’ve come out from the SCI-FI novels :).
The Spanish fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga was born on January 21 in 1895. After studying dressmaking as a child, by age 20, Cristobal started his own brand and became Spanish’s leading couturier. In 1937, he moved to Paris due to the Spanish Civil War. Balenciaga’s designs are famous by its capes, flowing clothes without waistlines, as well as the use of plastic for rainwear. Cristobal died in 1972 in Valencia, Spain.
Yves Saint Laurent became popular in fashion circles due to his creativity in redesigning the clothes considered to be masculine into beautiful, feminine wardrobe for women. Perhaps, one of the most famous fashion designers in France, Yves was the first one to introduce power dressing for women in the form of “power suits” in the year 1966. He is also credited with designing the men’s smoking jacket. The most important fashion legacy which he has left behind is the “ready-to-wear” fashion clothing.
Intelligent and pragmatic, Chanel used her powers of seduction to gain a foothold in the competitive fashion world; in succession, she became the mistress of two powerful and wealthy men. Both of her lovers were quite happy to use their money and influence to give her a start in business. From a beginning as a milliner, she rose to prominence in 1920, when her signature fragrance, the incredibly iconic Chanel No. 5, was launched.
Ottavio Missoni started their own fashion design company with his wife Rosita. First they started with stripes, the easiest design which could be made with the ch. They use up to twenty different fabrics, including wool, cotton, linen, rayon and silk and some 40 different colours for each of their collections. Their clothes range from sweaters to skirts, dresses and jackets. Ottavio Missoni has also diversified from clothes to tapestries and carpets. Ottavio died last year leaving Rosita being the head of the business.
To get attractive design, the feel, handle and texture of fabrics is most essential. Fashion is a visual medium; so touch becomes increasingly important to express luxury looks at the fashion market. Textile technologists have made great improvements in the sensual aspects of fabric like how it feels, looking and behaves, in addition to treatments that can affect the look and feel of garments after they are made, for example, washes and abrasions.
The Italian-born Frenchman is lauded for his 20th century pieces that looked as though they were from the 25th century. As Cardin rose to fame in the age of the space race, his creations took on an air of futurism. His so-called bubble dresses had all the fixings of science fiction, combining earthly elegance with out-of-this-world colors and avant garde design. They may be wacky, sure, but Cardin’s clothes showed a freedom of expression that highlighted larger ideals, in particular the emancipation of women. The visionary designer fell out of critical favor when he attached his name to less fashionable items, from cars to umbrellas, but his futuristic, space-centric legacy will live to infinity and beyond.
After working for renowned fashion house Nino Cerruti, he branched out on his own, delivering his first women’s wear collection in 1974. Armani’s designs were always influenced by menswear, and his immaculate tailoring and cutting gave his pieces a timeless air. He is famous for his deconstructed jackets, which feature a softer shoulder and a longer line.
A super adorable blast-from-the-past fashion style, the 50s look is all about bright and pastel colors (unless you’re doing a more ‘pinup’ theme, then you’ll wear black and red very often!) in adorable fashions, usually featuring an assortment of flowers and polka dots. Women will typically either wear a high ponytail or lovely curls with this fashion, and poodle skirts are an absolute must.