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Capital of Luxury and Fashion

Valerie Steele

Source: Paris Fashion. A Cultural History 3rd Edition 2017

Book chapter

Je suis un grand artist, j’ai la couleur de Delacroix, et je compose. Une toilette vaut un tableau.

Chanel and Her Rivals

Valerie Steele

Source: Paris Fashion. A Cultural History 3rd Edition 2017

Book chapter

Sandwiched between two world wars, between Poiret’s harem and Dior’s New Look, two women dominated the field of haute couture—Schiaparelli and Chanel.

Fashion’s World Cities

Valerie Steele

Source: Paris Fashion. A Cultural History 3rd Edition 2017

Book chapter

Paris has changed, the system has changed, everything has been transformed. For the system to function, the participants have to be international, production has to be international. It’s clear that we no longer can or should be 100% French anymore.

Gianfranco Ferré

Giulia Bussinello

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Emanuel Ungaro

Katy Conover

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Jasper Conran

Katy Conover

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Yves Saint Laurent, Spring/Summer 1988 Haute Couture

Lorynn Divita

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Throughout his career, Yves Saint Laurent famously drew inspiration from all of the fine arts, including painting, opera, the ballet, literature, poetry, and the works of Shakespeare. The influence of various painters on Saint Laurent’s creations dates back to his famous fall/winter 1965 “Mondrian Poliakoff” collection. His spring/summer 1988 collection, a tribute to cubism and impressionism and the work of Georges Braque and Vincent Van Gogh, was a natural fit into his oeuvre, with jackets embro

Christian Dior Haute Couture by John Galliano, Fall/Winter 1997–1998

Waleria Dorogova

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Following his enthusiastically celebrated debut at Dior, for his second couture collection, John Galliano staged another highly theatricalized défilé in the notoriously gallant environment of the Jardin de Bagatelle. It was the first set design in a series commissioned from Michael Howells, who created complementing backdrops for Galliano’s garments and scenography. Aesthetical measures established in the first show for spring—traditional visual codes and the sartorial heritage of Christian Dior,

Josephus Melchior Thimister

Elizabeth Glendinning

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Haute Couture in Paris, 1990s

Tony Glenville

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

The beginnings of haute couture are generally accepted as being with Charles Frederick Worth in 1858; during the intervening decades, the rise and fall of the business of made-to-measure clothes in the salons of Paris has been a subject of endless discussion and debate. Flourishing in the early years of the twentieth century, and kept alive throughout the occupation of Paris during World War II, it was rejuvenated by Christian Dior in 1947. Haute couture was threatened by the rise of ready-to-wea

Book chapter

Using legacies left to them by their mother Emma, and with financial help from their father, Norman Hartnell and his sister Phyllis opened a couture house on a small scale at 10 Bruton Street, Mayfair in 1923. By 1934 Hartnell had become a very successful and wealthy couture fashion designer, and the firm moved to much larger premises at 26 Bruton Street, employing up to 500 staff and producing thousands of couture garments a year by 1939. A close study of reviews of his fashion collections in th

Couture Shows of the 2000s

Stephanie Edith Herold

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Haute couture’s economic feasibility remained questionable throughout the 2000s, though ateliers were supported by increased patronage from Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern and Russian clients. Hundreds of petites mains shut down their businesses, while a minority were purchased by houses. Several labels conceded their haute couture memberships; however, the Chambre Syndicale also inducted a handful of new houses and welcomed Armani Privé as a “corresponding member.” Prospective couturiers could m

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Fall/Winter 1991

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This collection is an example of what Bernadine Morris at the New York Times termed “the new age of haute couture,” where couture was about exploring directional, fashion-forward concepts instead of just creating opulent clothing. Presented at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Lagerfeld subverted stiff, prom-dressy tulle by molding it into gaucho pants, puffy parkas, and bubble dresses. Atypical fabrics like cellophane and plastic were used on classic tweed jackets. He also introduce

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Spring/Summer 1997

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This collection was shown at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, in the Windsor suite—in the mode of a traditional salon show. It drew positive reviews, with one saying it was “the height of refinement … how a couture customer wants to look.” Yet, it focused mostly on evening wear, with sheer, lightweight fabrics. Despite the raciness of the revealing dresses, they looked traditional and refined. To underscore the refinement, Chanel’s logo was absent from the garments. Picture hats and “feather-on-a-stick”

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Spring/Summer 1983

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

In 1983, twelve years after Gabrielle Chanel died, the Chanel brand was given new life by Karl Lagerfeld’s debut Chanel collection. His first couture collection was highly anticipated, but was met with mixed reviews. Some believed it was a good first effort that honored Chanel’s legacy, while others believed that the Chanel house should not have been revived because no one could replace her. Lagerfeld kept the silhouettes and classic styles that Chanel popularized in the 1920s and 1930s, but adde

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Fall/Winter 1984

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Shown at the Palais Garnier in Paris, home of the national opera, this fashion show was the most lavish and over-the-top fashion event in Paris at the time and began Karl Lagerfeld’s tradition of showmanship and set design. As with Karl’s first Chanel collection, this collection was panned for its deviation from Chanel’s trademark of easy comfort, with the classic Chanel suit made in a fitted silhouette that outlined the derrière. But it was also praised by others for updating Chanel’s image from

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Fall/Winter 1990

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

In this collection, presented in the Champs-Élysées cinema, Karl Lagerfeld introduced the “slope,” a new iteration of the Chanel jacket that featured a narrow-fitting shoulder line. The clothes were influenced by a combination of eighteenth-century robes à la française and the mod 1960s, with open panniers that revealed miniskirts and thigh-high boots. The playfulness of the collection spoke to the young and daring attitude of the new couture customer. For the finale, Lagerfeld presented three br

Chanel Haute Couture, Karl Lagerfeld, Spring/Summer 1987

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

Chanel’s spring/summer 1987 haute couture collection was shown in the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where a student demonstration outside the venue required there to be tight security. On the stage, a fake statue of the Winged Victory was clothed in Chanel and holding a quilted bag. Critics derided the bustle-inspired “parabola” line and peplum hems that “obscured the real fashion originality” and “made the models look a bit like roosters.” Despite the criticism, the empire

Bill Blass, Spring/Summer 1984

Michelle Honig

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

This collection was all about simplicity, which led Nina Hyde at the Washington Post to comment, “Blass’s clothes have never been more simple, less contrived.” The hems were short because Blass believed that his couture customers had the money to keep their body in great shape. There were bra-like tops under conservative suits for day, and evening gowns in silk charmeuse draped in silk chiffon. Because of the simplicity of the clothes, the models’ hair was more extreme. Critics commended Blass’s

Marc Jacobs

Casey Mackenzie Johnson

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Yves Saint Laurent

Casey Mackenzie Johnson

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Tomasz Starzewski

Nanna Marie Lund

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

Versace, Fall/Winter 1997 Couture

Tessa Maffucci

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Article

In July 1997, Gianni Versace presented his final couture collection at the Ritz Hotel in Paris just days before he was murdered. The theme of his final show seemed eerily prescient. Many of the models were dressed in black and several of the pieces were adorned with the motif of a Byzantine cross. Even a wedding look, worn by Naomi Campbell, hinted at feelings of the occult. Yet this final haute couture collection was a continuation of the subjects and details he had explored throughout his entir

Tristan Webber

Shonagh Marshall

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015

Designer Biography

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