Born in 1905, Christian Dior was a French designer whose destiny to be a fashion designer was in his blood. His grandfather, Louis-Jean Dior, first established the Dior fortune, although it was nothing related to fashion. The grandfather established the business of producing char from oxidized roots and then importing guano from Chile and Peru. The business was then expanded by the cousins Lucien and Maurice Dior, the latter being Christian Dior’s father (Pochna 8). His mother who was the most influential person in his life; he was never interested of his father’s work.
Madeleine, his mother, longed for beautiful things to compensate for the “less appealing nature of her husband’s profession” (Pochna 12). Eventually, Christian studied political science at Paris and created costumes for the annual carnivals back at his hometown. But his journey to success was not smooth sailing. His mother died, the family’s business went broke, and Christian developed tuberculosis. It was only in 1946 when he was given a break to be a designer (“Christian Dior’s Luck”). The name Christian Dior became one of the top-of-the-line brands in the fashion world.
Today, he is known for introducing a collection of feminine clothes with soft rounded shapes, flowing skirts, and nipped-in waists. He envisioned creations that are “luxurious, exquisite and very womanly. ” For this reason, he won the hearts of many women around the world (“Christian Dior’s Luck”). In addition, Dior is known for creating wonderful dresses called “Venus” and “Junon. ” Jeanne Lanvin The year 1867 witnessed the birth of another future couturiere. Despite poverty, Jeanne Lanvin rose to being a famous designer. At the young age of 16, she learned how to make hats.
Later on, she conducted an on-the-job training at Suzanne Talbot’s fashion house and became a young milliner. Her training taught her the right skills in dressmaking. After a few years, Lanvin set up stalls to sell her hats. Later on, she opened her very own boutique. She became famous among Parisian mothers when she made a dress for her sister and her niece. Lanvin created dresses with charming pleats and trimmed with English embroidery (Sanderson). Lanvin also became famous for the “robes de style” clothing, characterized with tight waists and full skirts. Her creations were to be the precursors of Christian Dior’s “New Look” creations.
In addition, she was also known for the “la chemise” dress. This was to become the “basic silhouette” for the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition, Lanvin was known for intriguing designs, such as her Riviera collection which featured Aztec-inspired embroidery. In 1922, her collection was added with a “Breton” suit. It consisted of a gathered skirt with a short and braided jacket. The jacket, in turn, has many tiny buttons and boasted a white organdy collar. The suit also came with a sailor hat (de Mesterton). Lanvin’s creations were in demand among actresses and royal personalities.
Many people liked the way Lanvin designed her creations with embroidery, beading, and use of exotic embellishments. Not only these, but Lanvin also made sure that her dresses were of high quality. Additionally, she believed that women should wear clothes that are colorful and feminine. She created dresses with empire-waists, sleeves that were long and flowing, billowing skirts, and tight waists. She made use of luxurious fabrics in her creations and incorporated ruffles, lace, flowers, beading, and ribbons. The Lanvin style was also known to make use of applique, parallel stitching, and embroidery (de Mesterton).
Madeleine Vionnet Madeleine Vionnet was another French designer born on 1876. Just like Lanvin, Vionnet learned from an early age the skills of dressmaking. When she was 11, she became an apprentice of a seamstress. By the age of 19, she became a premiere d’atelier. In 1902, she entered the House of Callot Soeurs and learned to make dresses through “impeovizational draping. ” A few years later, she became a designer at the House of Doucet. This was where Vionnet was inspired to make clothes for uncorsetted bodies (Bissonnette). Vionnet worked for many dressmakers in London and Paris before launching her own house in 1912.
She revolutioned the world of fashion when she developed the bias cut, characterized as sleek and graceful style. The bias cut enabled the clothing to cling to the body like a second skin. With this creation, Vionnet became famous, and many people would praise the way she combined geometry and anatomy to her dresses. Vionnet was also known to pay close attention to the medium and fabric she used. Furthermore, Vionnet took advantage of the knowledge that the body is a three-dimensional entity. Thus, she developed techniques such as pleating, twisting, cutting, tucking, wrapping and looping fabric (Bissonnette).
In addition, Vionnet made use of the bias cut by creating garments that did not use corsets and constricting undergarments. She was a popular designer in the 1930s when she introduced garments that sensually cling to the body. These creations were inspired by medieval styles including Greek and Roman. Aside from the famous bias cut, Vionnet was also the mastermind behind the creation of cowl neck, handkerchief dress, and the halter top (“Vionnet, Madeleine”). Vionnet was different from other designers in such a way that her creations were hard to copy.
This was because she was afraid that others would copy her style and sell them cheaply (Condra 124). Victor Stiebel In the fashion world, Victor Stiebel is known for creating romantic evening gowns and flawless tailoring. This was later became Stiebel’s signature as a designer. Born in 1907, Stiebel studied architecture at Cambridge where he designed the costumes for a theatrical presentation. In 1927, the Victoria & Albert had two of Stiebel’s designs. One featured a black and white evening dress in Garconne style. The other one was a black and silver gown with an appliqued snake from hem to bodice (Conekin 147).
Two years later, Stiebel trained at Reville where he learned the skills for creating evening garments. Three years was enough for Stiebel to fully learn the necessary skills for haute couture (Conekin 147). He opened his very own house in 1932. Despite the “diminishing role of the court dressmaker,” Stiebel chose to establish himself along this line. Surprisingly, his creations were acclaimed. Many considered his garments as “very striking creations. ” In addition, the simple evening gowns he made were praised as “particularly suited to the Englishwoman’s figure.
” Stiebel was also famous for cleverly using pleats and draperies that defined the body. His signature was then known to be the artful use of striped fabrics (Conekin 148). Not only were these Stiebel’s creations that garnered praises from fashion magazines. He was admired for featuring slender cut and floral printed dresses. Specifically, Stiebel created an Empire line dress made from oyster satin which featured a silver-edged train. He also proved to be a resourceful and imaginative designer. He designed clothes that were appropriate for the season (Conekin 148).
In 1942, Stiebel, along with other designers, founded the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers. The organization aimed to represent the interests of London fashion designers. During this time, some of Stiebel’s creations were gown in flowing Grecian styles made of silk jersey. He also designed and created a black gown with ostrich feathers trimmings. Many of his other designs were featured on fashion magazines (Conekin 151). Pauline Trigere Pauline Trigere is another Paris-born designer who rose to fame because of her own style in designing and creating clothes.
She migrated to the United States and became an American citizen in the 1940s. She was the daughter of a tailor, and she longed to be a professional in the fashion world. Before opening her own house in 1942, Trigere worked for other design houses in New York. Armed with the skills she learned from her father and from the design houses, she created 11 dresses which her brother sold. Her clothes were sold because the boutiques liked the way Trigere created them (Ward & Ferguson). Her clothes were famously known for being feminine-fitting.
Aside from this, the wealthy and famous personalities liked her style of exquisite tailoring. Trigere also made use of very expensive materials, thus driving the prices of her creations higher. One of her famous creations was the wardrobe of Patricia Neal in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (Ward & Ferguson). Trigere is known for many things, one of which is the creation of the first reversible coat. Coats were her most recognized garment, and she made various styles. She was also known for creating sleeveless coats and coats featuring detachable scarves. She also included her trademark turtle pins among her clothes (Ward & Ferguson).
Additionally, Trigere was known for directly turning sketches into dresses because she herself did not know how to sketch. But this was not a disadvantage for the creative designer. What Trigere did was to “cut and drape from bolts of fabric” (Nemy 1). Even after death, Trigere is praised by her peers for beingan intellectual designer and creator of timeless fashion (Nemy 1). Works Cited Bissonnette, Anne. 2001. Vionnet. Kent State University Museum. 27 April 2009 <http://dept. kent. edu/museum/exhibit/vionnet/main. htm>. “Christian Dior’s Luck. ” 2007. Articlesbase. 27 April 2009 <http://www. articlesbase.
com/art-and-entertainment-articles/christian-diors-luck-254390. html>. Condra, Jill. The Greenwood encyclopedia of clothing through world history. United States: Greenwood Publishing group, 2008. Conekin, Becky. The Englishness of English Dress. England: Berg Publishers, 2002. De Mesterton, M-J. 2008. History of the House of Lanvin. Elegant Survival. 27 April 2009 <http://www. elegantsurvival. net/elegantcultureandtravel. htm>. Nemy, Enid. 2002. Pauline Trigere, 93, Exemplar of American Styles, Dies. The New York Times. 27 April 2009 <http://www. nytimes. com/2002/02/15/nyregion/pauline-trigere-93-exemplar-of-american-style-dies. html>.
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