In the City of Light, during the years from 1927 to 1940, Schiaparelli’s reputation for daring designs grew steadily. Soon, Parisians developed a passion for her unusual dresses, sweaters, and accessories. Her signature style always encompassed some whimsical elements, such as lobster motifs or skeleton ribs and bones (made with trapunto quilting); however, the construction of the garments themselves was often quite strict and tailored…this dichotomy made for original pieces that were often “knocked off” by other designers.
Valentino is known for his flamboyant lifestyle and his love of luxury and beauty. He lives with his lover of 50 years in a series of lush villas throughout the world. His jet-set lifestyle and extensive collection of priceless art are not the only rewards he has received for his talents: France’s President Chirac also awarded him the Legion d’Honneur in 2006.
A designer with a notorious past, Christian Dior was also known for being in cahoots with the enemy during WWII, when he dressed Nazi wives and French collaborators in his designs. Despite this questionable choice, he still rose to prominence during the late-forties when the war was over…primarily due to his unparalleled mastery of line and shape. He gave women a desirable “flower silhouette” which always featured a nipped-in waist, a full, voluminous skirt, and a feminine, corseted bodice. Often, the hips of his suits and dresses were padded to balance the bust line and accentuate the wasp-waisted effect.
Son of Russian working class immigrants, Ralph Lauren has transformed himself into the sophisticated billionaire. His classic and preppy designs all draw upon an image of old world wealth and luxury, and he pioneered the concept of clothes as part of a lifestyle environment. Lauren worked in retail before developing a line of neckties. The brand he established, Polo, is now one part of an empire that includes fragrances, home furnishings and luxury clothing. Today, his five billion dollar business includes several clothing lines as well as perfumes, house ware, furniture and paint.
After working for Dior, Schiaparelli and Paquin, Pierre Cardin opened his fashion house in 1947. Initially designing costumes for stage productions, he launched his first women’s couture collection in 1953 and women’s ready-to-wear in 1959. Cardin’s company grew into an empire starting in the 1960s when he began licensing his name to a wide array of products outside of clothing.
The 70s fashion style can also easily be referred to as the ‘hippie’ look, where women leave their hair long and straight and add an adorable little flower or stem of flowers to create a natural finish. Their wardrobe will undoubtedly have the classic super-flared jeans and tons of tie-dye tops and accessories, as well as simple white tees to go with their look. Floral patterns are also common in this fashion style and makeup is minimal to maintain a simple and natural appearance.
A vibrant fashion style is reserved for the lady who wants to say “Hey, look at ME, world!” This energetic and intense fashion style typically features garments with wild patterns and exaggerated embroidery as well as asymmetrical designs and tons of colors. Most of her wardrobe will be lined with super light and pastel colors that draw the attention of everyone’s eyes, no matter where it’s worn.