Born in an aristocrat family, Elsa was a child when the first publication of Vogue USA Magazine appeared and Gabriel Chanel opened her first boutique in Paris. At 1927 present her first collection inventing an special clothes that nowadays are known like “Easy Wear”. In addition, in 1939, she introduced the first zipper in haute couture and jupe-culotte in 1931. Since then, she designed clothes showing a surrealistic and avant-garde influence. She worked with Salvador Dalí and Jean Cocteau. It’s important to mention that was the main adversary with Coco Chanel.
Lobster, tears and skeleton dresses are one of her most famous piece of clothing. Of course we can’t forget the shoe-shaped hat, this make an impact on the society of that time. Moreover, she was the inventor of the shocking pink (fucsia) and created the Schocking fragrance in 1937.
To sum up, it’s important to emphasize that Schiap, known in this way by her friends, was a totally visionary and decided to break with all the rules from their times. She created so much items really important in nowadays fashion industry and despite this, hardly someone knows her.
Christian Dior was French fashion designer that was born in 1905 in Granville. He was the founder of one of the most known maisons. His family was bourgeois and they hope he will become a diplomat someday, that’s why they sent him to study to École des Sciences Politiques in Paris, despite that he was interested in art. He opened a gallery of art but, because of the Great Depression, his family business was ruined so he had to close the gallery.
In 1937 Robert Piguet, a great Parisian designer from the moment, hired him and gave him the great chance to draw sketches for his collections, where in 1938 showed for the first time hounds tooth check. At the same time he was working for Pierre Balmain but, but he left them due to military service. In 1942 he left the army and started working for Lucien Lelong, a French designer, during the Second World War and designed for the wives of the Nazis Officers, as others maisons did, like Jeanne Lanvin or Nina Ricci.
Finally, Christian Dior founded his own fashion house on 8 December of 1946 and on 12 February of the next year in an atelier of Avenue Montaige he presented his first collection called Corolle as a reference to the petal’s whorl of the flowers; at the same time he launched a line of floral perfumes. Florence Müller, a fashion historian, said: “Christian Dior was considered as much as a designer a perfumer. He had the conviction that a dress was finished just if it was accompanied by the appropriate perfume”. His first collection was the one that gave name to the New Look, a term coined by Carmel Snow, the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar.
The New Look embodied the glamour, the classical elegance and the femininity that were suppressed due to the tough fabrics and the predominance of the grey colour of military uniforms during the Second World War. It was characterized by wasp waist shapes and tight bodice jackets, flared and voluminous mid-length skirts with tulle linings, hats worn at an angle, chokers and stilettos. The perfect example of the New Look was the Bar Suit. All of his dresses and suits fitted the feminine figure, exaggerating it. American and British governments disapproved New Look because, according to them, it was a waste of fabric. That was because Christian Dior used a lot of it to create his amazing ball gowns and skirts. The New Look lasted until 1955, when he presented the “A-line”, were waists were undefined and the silhouette widened over the hips and legs, reminding a Capital “A”.
The economic recovery after the Second World War brought an era of consumerism that helped to develop creativity and glamour, bringing back luxury and excess that represented the needs of recovery and optimism of society.
Christian Dior died in 1957 in Italy and now the causes of his death still being a mystery. After his death, Yves Saint Laurent took charge of the maison with just only 21 years; he maintained the elegance of his mentor but removed weight of the garments. The sixties were a decade of change and revolution, which didn’t like to the wealthy people who followed the brand. That leaded to Saint Laurent to present his last collection for Dior in 1961 that was a tribute to the Rive Gauche students, the most bohemian and revolutionary Paris. This last collection introduced leather jackets and miniskirts. Saint Laurent was replaced by Marc Bohan that was much more conservative. He was taken over by Gianfranco Ferré, an Italian designer who leaved his own brand to lead the French maison.
In 1997, John Galliano was in charge of Dior. To him it can be attributed a change of style that stood out for the sumptuous ball gowns and mixture of cultures. The work of Galliano is also known because of Kate Moss, who walked up for him with only sixteen years old, and his Fall/Winter collection of 2011. He was fired due to anti-Semitic declarations in a bar.
The maison was in charge of Raf Simons, who came from Jil Sander, since 2012 until 2015. He doesn’t want to renew the contract because he wants to focus on other interests, like his own brand.
It has to be said that Dior forms part of LVMH (Luis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), a multinational luxury good conglomerate, which includes as well Céline, Fendi, Givenchy, Loewe, Marc Jacobs, Ruinart or Dom Perignon.
The maison has been the one that dresses influential women as Eva Perón (who had a lot of affinity with Christian Dior, as he said on an interview in 1953), princess Diane of Wales or Ava Gardner. Nowadays some of the women that choose Dior to wear on the red carpets are Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Marion Cotillard, Diane Kruger and Jennifer Lawrence.
Long hair has always been a sign of femininity and a weapon of seduction. Since the very beginning women were convinced of the attractive of her long and shiny hair.
That’s why upon in the past they used to cut the hair of those women who had been unfaithful to their husbands so they could be humiliated on public.
Fortunately, nowadays it isn’t that way. In the twenties, women started to wear short hair as a sign of emancipation and freedom; the reflection of a new era. Long hair still remains as an icon of femininity but short hair has found its way to be feminine too.
Mario Prada created in 1913 a leather industry called Fratelli Prada (brothers Prada). He converts the industry into the main supplier of the Italian royal family. He had two shops in Milan where you could find articles
like trunks, handbags, bags and shoes; everything made with walrus leather. In 1919 the brand becomes popular among the European elite. Later, they realized that this kind of leather wasn’t useful so they decided to opt for accessories and bags and handbags made with waterproof leather. The granddaughter of the shopkeeper obtain the degree of Political Science and entered into the Communist Party in 1970. Eight years later, Miuccia Prada (María Bianchi) will pick up the reins of the artistic direction in the brand. Afterwards, she gets married with Patrizio Bertelli, who will manage the business. The new business director provided a novel and certain style, the clear example was the presentation in 1985 of one classic and simple handbag made with black nylon.
Gucci was the competitor number one, some of the losses of the brand where for the competition with it. But Miuccia knew how to react and in 1989 introduce the prêt-à-porter in the luxury sector. She presented elegant and temperate clothes. Garment with lines, basic colours and luxury and high quality fabrics where the new tendency. This made de brand be the most recognized in the world.
At 1993 the designer created a second economic informal and youthful brand called MiuMiu, the name was conceived from Miucca Prada’s family nickname. Earthy tones and prints where different from the principal brand that used to be more elegant with classic colours like black and white. In the nineties the brand acquires Fendi but later, in a period of economic difficulties, had to been sold to LVHM multinational. In 2003 started to commercialise perfumes with Puig. And finally enter in the stock market in 2007.
Miucca has been always a revolution in fashion industry, she has always defend that fashion has to focus on freedom of definition rather than sex appeal. She was the first to choose actresses to be the image of the season, and has always linked the world of fashion with the architecture and the design. A Prada miniboutique in a remote stretch in US is the clear example. Finally, she decided to resign and let Carlo Mazzi be the new president of the brand and she the executive director of the group. As a curiosity, one Spanish company has the patent of the name Prada and has created a web (www.prada.mx) where they sell all kind of items under that name, some people buy without knowing that it’s not the real fashion brand from Miuccia Prada.
In 1935 W. Carthers invented what would be the new revolution, Nylon. A new silk made with synthetic fiber that was made by a material more durable and soft than the previous tights. The vice chairman of the company Dupont, Charles Stire, in 1939 show up a sample of nylon tights in the New York World’s fair announcing the day of its sale, that day would gone down in history like the N Day (May 15, 1940). Five million pairs were sold in U.S just in four days and sixty-four million in the first year. When the Second World War breaks out, the Nylon was rationed by the government of the U.S for parachutes, ropes and nets. In difficult times for everybody, women began to look for alternatives until they decided to paint their legs to look like they were wearing ones. They painted their legs with a special make-up for legs with a flesh tone brighter than their natural color and they use a black pencil to paint what should be the steam. Later, when several women used to do it, a company started to manufacture and sell a gadget that which made it easier to draw the line of the steam and make it more straight and credible. In addition, Helena de Rubinstein opened a store in 1942 called Bare-leg Bar located in the 5th Avenue where women could go and someone would paint their legs. Besides this, when the war was finished, Macy’s return to sell the nylon tights, in just six hours 50.000 pairs where sold. Over the years, when everything was back to normal, appeared on the market the lycra. A material that could be stretch seven times more than nylon and was more resistible. Nowadays, celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Beyonce and Rihanna, sometimes wear a pair of nylon tights in some parties just to show up to the world a piece of clothing that will always be considered a luxury.
Chanel was founded in 1910 by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, who was born in 1883 in Saumur, France. Her father left her in a nun’s orphanage when her mother died, where she learned how to sew. When she became an adult she started working as a saleswoman in a lingerie store and at the same time she was working as a showgirl at a café-concert. That was the moment when she adopted her famous nickname: Coco. This name comes from a song she sang called Qui qu’a vu Coco?, that was about a lost dog named Coco.
In 1910 she created the brand and in 1918 opened her first shop at Rue Cambon 31, Paris. Firstly it was a hat shop, but then it became her fashion boutique. Furthermore it was where she lives. Nowadays is the current Karl Lagerfeld’s office, creative director of the maison since 1983.
She was a rebel and a visionary and in 1920 she was considered the image of the new woman: independent, sociable and individualist. She broke with the Belle Époque elegance and during the First World War established a new one based on functionality, comfort and simplicity, demanding the equality and freedom of women. This way she removed from fashion the use of corsets and hobble skirts and introduced a new garment and habit for womenswear: the use of trousers, being she the first woman to use them. Besides, she made popular sunbathing, a practice that was considered of commoners, and short hair. However, that wasn’t the only thing she cut, also the length of the skirts revealing the ankle. She boost, putting herself as an example, the small and slim body almost without breast following the garçonne style.
However, her love for the masculine style didn’t stop there. She looked for inspiration in the closet of her male lovers. This way she popularized the canotier hat (made of straw, with a short, flat and rigid brim and usually with a color ribbon), tweed sweaters and jackets without lapels and black and white for womenswear when black was only used by men and widows. One of her creations -she created the concept, too- was the Little Black Dress and the firts one was made of crepé, silk and long sleeves. Moreover, she introduced the knitwear in haute couture. For example one of his most famous designs was the charming chemise dress, a garment in between a dress and a shirt without waist and adornments that enhanced the bust and required to wear pearls.
As it was said before, she made popular the tweed female suit with jewelry and in 1925 launched a suit composed by a matching skirt and jacket without lapels and trimmed; both of them accompanied by a low heel beige shoe with round black toe in order to lengthen the leg and shorten the foot. They were the favorites of the expensive womenswear. Furthermore, she boosts pleated skirts and shirts with sailor stripes.
As accessories is concerned, there are two basics in the maison: pearls and the bags. One of mademoiselle Coco’s innovations was to strand the pearl necklace. Furthermore, Chanel partnered with Duke Fulco di Verdura and created a Chanel jewelry line. An iconic piece is the white enameled cuff with a jeweled Maltesse cross.
In 1955 Chanel offered a handbag with a thin shoulder strap made of chain in order to free the hands. The chain was inspired by her orphanage days, where the caretakers wore Chatelaines (belt hook to household keys, scissors, etc…) whilst the burgundy lining in the orphanage uniform. Due to her love of the sporting world decided to make a quilted exterior in honor to the jackets worn by jockeys. In 1980’s Karl Lagerfeld updated the classic version of the flap bag and redesigned the lock to incorporate the maison’s logo. In 2005, the brand released and exact replica to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its creation.
We can’t forget to mention one of the most iconic products of the brand, the Chanel nº.5, created by Ernest Beaux in 1921. The fragrance was innovative for her time and the recipient, too. It was called like that because it was the fifth sample the one that Ernest Beaux and Coco liked. Some of the faces to promote the perfume have been Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Tautou, Nicole Kidman and recently Michelle Bundchen (click in the names to see the advertise). The only male face to promote the perfume has been Brad Pitt.
Since 1983 Chanel is run by Karl Lagerfeld, creative director of the Haute Couture line and of the prêt-à-porter design. He has reinterpreted the language and has made a mixture between the past and the present. The maison, now, doesn’t want to have a bourgeois image, so it has associated the pearls, the chains and the camellias (a pattern inspired by Alexandre Dumas’ novel The Lady of the Camellias and the first time it appeared was in a black suit in 1933) to sportswear and juvenile trends. Karl said on an interview that of the things he does, there are some Coco would hate because his job is to actualize Chanel’s image and he has to find his identity.
Walking around Harlem, after having gone to a great gospel, I saw the Gap Factory in front of Banana Republic factory Store. Both of them are the same American multinational corporation. The original tourist-oriented items from Banana republic were replaced with more luxurious items when Gap Inc. acquired the brand in 1983.
In the shop, talking about woman’s clothes, most of the collection was work clothes and formal wear. Cotton shirts in almost every color, sober dresses and plain jackets are the common pattern of the brand.
The brand is clearly focused for workers with a good standard of living.
Gap is a brand for younger people, clothes are made with durable material and less fragile, clothes in general have more flashy colors and patterns. Luckily, I went one of the days of the clearance sale so I could buy things at a low price. One coat was worth 90$ as original price and I buy it for 32$. It was a completely bargain.
Here I add some pictures from the shops of both brands and also photographs of what I bough. Hope you like it!
She’s one of the most influential it-girls of the moment. Her style, even though she’s 22 years old, is very mature. In the NYFW we have seen her wearing different kind of looks but always following a similar pattern. She bets for culotte trousers or jumpsuits combined with high heels, like Senso or Balenciaga, or wedges, as the ones she wore from Chanel.
Her basics are black and white, but sometimes she adds a stroke of colour to her looks wearing red. Also we have seen her in mustard, ocher or Bordeaux (in her total look of Topshop); all of them fall colours.
In most of her looks she wore a belt; she has proved the versatility of this accessory to all of us, so let’s get them out of the drawers and start using them! This way we are going to emphasize the waist as the same time we add a stylish touch to our outfit.
To finish, as bags are concerned, she chose comfortable and small ones, like the Louis Vuitton or the Tyler Alexander.
As we have seen, Moschino has released three items from the Moschino Spring 2016.
It consistis in a Fresh Couture Eau de Toilette short dress, $415, a Fresh Couture backpack, $795 and a Fresh Couture phone case, $95. Beside being too expensive for what is it, we can see a pure advertising intention that reflects the consumerist society where we live; purely capitalist, in the worst senseof the word.
It has not taken even a second that famous people from this word have posted on social networks photos with the new trend. An example can be Chiara Ferragni with the phone case and the model Soo Joo.
By the moment this Eau de Toilette doesn’t exist, but who knows what happens at Jeremy’s Scott head. Nobody knows if this would be the new Eau de Toilet from Moschino or will be another joke from the flamboyant designer.
Chiara Ferragni, the Italian it-girl, it’s faithful to her style as we could saw in the NYFW. She wears perfectly rocker clothes but also knows how to wear a lady like look. Leather and denim, long sleeve dresses or sneakers with skirts are some of her bets. As shoes is concerned, her musts are high heel sandals, ballerinas for a lady like casual look and boots, like the Alexander McQueen high platform boots with military inspiration or the cowboy vintage boots. She accessorizes her looks with sunglasses or bags, some of his favorites are the Kelly mini bag from Hérmes, the Chanel fannypack or the Louis Vuitton clutch. Must be added that she incorporate to her outfits pieces of her collection, like the iPhone case or sandals, or customized by herself, like the denim jacket.