Who Are You Wearing?

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14453621clutchmag729200790816pm.jpgSure. You’ve heard the names before. Usually out of entertainers, artists, or fashion stylists mouths, but do you really know who they are? Would you be able to recognize the person behind the name or be able to spot a piece from their collection? Most of us probably can’t and never will be able to own a piece from the featured designers. Mainly due to us not being able to afford them or having a lack of interest in purchasing material things that are ridiculously overpriced. Lots of us are label obsessed and would go broke in order to say “Oh…these are my Chanel Sunglasses”. We just thought you might want to see who’s behind the brands that so many people aspire to wear.

Yves Saint Laurent. The fashion world was aghast when Yves Saint Laurent (pronounced “eves saint Luh-rauuhhh”) announced his retirement in early 2002. His fashion career began as a seventeen year-old boy, when he worked for design legend Christian Dior. Four years, he wound up talking over and by 1961, he branched out and launched his own label, which focused on haute couture (for socialites and starlets) and a RTW collection that blurred the gender lines by bringing pants suits into the mainstream and introducing the smoking jacket. He was also a staple in Studio 54 party club scene and famous for his oversized glasses, which he was almost never seen without.

Emilio Pucci. Born to nobility in 1914, Pucci was a bon vivant – an Olympic skier, a fighter pilot, a designer, and a politician. He became popular in the 60s and known as the mod genius, the purveyor of ultra-graphic, boldly designed swirling prints that burst of florescent color. The jet set loved his clothes – all groovy dresses, little pants, and eventually, his label grew to an empire that included leather goods, stationary, accessories, linens, and lingerie. His vintage originals are collectibles and recently, his line was reborn under the creative control of Emilio’s daughter, who has given new life to his signature art. Did we mention he was also a wine maker?

Coco Chanel. She revolutionized fashion. She began as millinery in the early 1900s (her shop was financed by her lover) and by the 20’s, grew to become one of the most important couturiers. She is responsible for introducing jersey to high fashion and is the one gave birth to the little black dress sportswear, including short skirts, relaxed silhouettes, boyish flapper dresses, pants for women. She was the originator of the Chanel look – quilted bags, lots of pearls and chains, the twin set, the wool suits with highly embellished details, gardenia pins, sling backs pumps. Chanel No. 5 was the first perfume to assume a designers name. She was ahead of her time, though she closed shop during World War I and re-launched her business during WWII. She became a very controversial figure due to her high profile relations with a Nazi officer. She hated all forms of establishment, however. One of five children whose mother died at a young age, Chanel grew up improvised and made a living at a young age as a cabaret singer before designing clothing, which she did because she couldn’t find anything that she really wanted to wear. She was also the mistress of many wealthy men. A true Renaissance woman, she died in her chi chi quarters at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. The only way to go.

Another Fashion Founder: Bonnie Cashin. Her causal designs helped popularize sportswear and the layered look. Her designers included the “dog leash” skirt, ponchos, and roomy turtlenecks. One of the original designers for Coach, she created the oversized “pocketbooks” that have been knocked off by everyone from Marc Jacobs to Prada to Nine West.

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  • ESmackum

    Thanks for giving some history. Its funny how some of us are obsessed with fashion and don’t know where it comes from. I hope to see more articles like this one. :)