Valentino Garavani, better known as Valentino, was born in northern Italy in 1932. From childhood, he was interested in fashion, and he pursued apprenticeships and training from family and local designers. By his late teens, he was ready for Paris. His parents helped him to move there, and when he arrived, he began to study art and design in preparation for his chosen career.
One of the most acclaimed fashion designers in the world, Karl Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg, Germany. As a teenager, Lagerfeld worked at Balmain for four years before moving to Jean Patou where he became artistic director at 21. His prolific portfolio now encompasses Chanel and Fendi along with his own house. Known for his bold designs and constant reinvention, he’s been hailed Vogue magazine as the “unparalleled interpreter of the mood of the moment.” King Karl, the one-man multinational fashion phenomenon.
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.
Fashion designers work in different ways. Some sketch their ideas on paper, while others drape fabric on a dress form. When a designer is completely satisfied with the fit of the toile (or muslin), he or she will consult a professional pattern maker who then makes the finished, working version of the pattern out of card or via a computerized system. Finally, a sample garment is made up and tested on a model to make sure it is an operational outfit.
In 1966 Paco Rabanne opened his own outlet at the age of 32, where he earned international repute for his metal-linked plastic-disc dresses, sun goggles and jewelry made of plastic in primary colors. Paco Rabanne’s dresses made of small plastic tiles linked together by chains, stole the show in Paris. His first collection, titled “12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials,” sums up his philosophy that “the only new frontier left in fashion is the finding of new materials.” Throughout his career, Rabanne experimented with everything from plastic and aluminum to fiberglass and paper to create futuristic, eccentric, yet highly influential garments.
"Between tonal dressing and statement knitwear, head-to-toe knits have been brought to the forefront. I appreciate the cosy yet chic approach to cold-weather dressing," says Aiken, who happens to the one of the first industry figures spotted in this trend all those months ago. "Gabriela Hearst’s knit poncho paired over a matching skirt and sweater best exemplifies this look."