Born in January of 1905, this French designer was best known for his distinctive “New Look” silhouette. First shown in 1947; his suits and dresses revolutionized the way women dressed after the Second World War. Today, talented designer John Galliano carries on the legendary designer’s legacy in Paris, where he creates dramatic couture ball gowns, chic prêt-a-porter, and luxurious accessories for Dior. Galliano’s talent and his over-the-top runway shows have ensured that the brand remains strong and viable in today’s world…
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Belgian fashion designers brought a new fashion image that mixed East and West, and brought a highly individualised, personal vision on fashion. Well known Belgian designers are the Antwerp Six: Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck and Marina Yee, as well as Maison Martin Margiela, Raf Simons, Kris Van Assche, Bruno Pieters, Anthony Vaccarello.
In fact, Schiaparelli’s designs were often all too simple to copy, unlike the work of her chief rival, Coco Chanel. After World War II, Schiaparelli, who had lived in New York during the war, returned to Paris and found a different sensibility among its people. The post-war desire for simplicity and practicality made the unique embellishments of her designs less popular, and the endless knock-offs also cut into her profits.
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Fashion designer Jimmy Choo was born in Penang, Malaysia in 1961. He used the craftsmanship he learned from his father, also a cobbler, to create some of the most coveted shoes in the world. Choo opened his first shop in Hackney in 1986 in an old hospital building. Within two years of opening his shop, Choo’s shoes were featured in an eight-page spread in Vogue magazine. Soon, Choo became the darling of the celebrity world, in particular Princess Diana, who donned Choo’s footwear seemingly everywhere she went. Jimmy Choo rose to fame for the quality and style of his handmade women’s shoes.
She is the sister of Gianni Versace, and she has proven to be no lesser sibling. After the murder of Gianni in 1997, Donatella took over and has taken the Versace name to new heights. She made sure that Versace shops would cater to the different fashion centers around the world, particularly Milan and New York. Top celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Madonna have endorsed the company’s collection of clothes, accessories, fragrances and home furnishings.
Tom Ford studied design at the before he worked for Perry Ellis andCathy Hardwick. Tom was hired in 1990 to oversee Gucci’s women’s wear collections, and had a breakthrough four years later when he was appointed creative director. The Gucci makeover masterminded by Ford was the biggest fashion success story of the late 90s. His sultry rock-star velvet hip-slung trousers, leather stilettos, and Halston-esque dresses were blockbusters. After Gucci’s buyout of Yves Saint Laurent in 1999, Ford also became creative director of YSL Rive Gauche. In 2005, Ford launched the Tom Ford brand.
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.
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Known for balancing modern designs with traditional elegance, Vera Wang is arguably the most prominent designer of bridal wear in America. Wang introduced her first bridal collection in 1990 after fifteen years editing at Vogue and a two designing for Ralph Lauren. After spending more than a decade dressing countless stars for weddings and red carpets in her ultra-elegant, custom-made gowns (even publishing a book in 2001, “Vera Wang on Weddings”), it was a natural progression for Wang to introduce ready-to-wear in 2004.
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.
Preppy girls, often named simply ‘preps’, love to rock a college-inspired wardrobe. Their hangers are lined side to side with girly blouses with matching collared tees as well as a-line skirts and tights. Her hair is almost always amped up with a cute little headband and she usually wears glasses- whether she really needs to or not! This style may appear geeky and slightly luxurious, but the look itself is really not expensive and extravagant at all.