Known for his stunning couture designs and his sophisticated women’s tuxedo jackets (known as le smoking), Saint Laurent was destined to carve out his own identity, but his career was not without its challenges. After a poorly received collection at Dior, which featured hobble skirts and other unusual designs, he was sent into mandatory military service. The stress of being in the army (although he lasted only 20 days) took a tremendous toll on the sensitive designer. He suffered from teasing and hazing by his fellow soldiers, and he soon plunged into a nervous breakdown; he was sent to a mental hospital for treatment.
Hubert de Givenchy was born to an aristocratic family in Beauvais, France, in the 20’s. After attending art school, he worked for several important fashion designers in Paris. He opened his own design house in 1952 and was immediately praised for his chic, feminine designs. He is known for his elegant haute couture designs and professional relationships with clients like Audrey Hepburn.
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