Yves Saint Laurent is regarded as a visionary and his influence is evident in the designs of many other fashion designers.
As a youngster, Saint Laurent was creating intricate paperdolls and as a teenager, he was designing clothing for his mother and sisters while living in Oran, French Algeria where he was born in 1936. Saint Laurents professional career began in 1957 when he was chosen by Christian Dior to succeed him as the head designer of the Fashion House of Christian Dior. Amazing that at the age of 21 he was designing the couture collection of a major fashion house. Saint Laurent is also credited with saving the Dior enterprise from financial ruin. His first collections catapulted him to rock star status.
Saint Laurent began his own fashion house in the early 60’s. Some of the looks and trends he created are the trapeze dress, safari jackets, tight pants, thigh high boots and his most notable look, the tuxedo suit for women.
In 1983 Saint Laurent became the first living designer to be honored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a solo exhibition.
Tom Ford was named creative director of the fashion house in 2000 and Saint Laurent retired in 2002 and died of brain cancer in 2008.
In 2012, Hedi Slimane took over the house and was pushing for a more modern and youthful era. She accomplished that with a new name, “Saint Laurent Paris”. The iconic YSL logo remains and the new name applies only to women’s ready-to-wear.
What do you think, new name or original name?
Ralph Lauren—-an American Icon that seems to have been on the fashion scene forever, but hard as it is to believe his brand is less than fifty years old! His work began at Brooks Bros. in New York and then he later went to work at Brummel Neckwear and that is where the Polo brand was created in 1967. Menswear and women’s wear followed in 1971. In 1972 the Ralph Lauren label featuring updated classic items was created.
With over 100 stores worldwide, along with a new flagship store opening very soon at 711 Fifth Avenue has helped make the Polo Pony one of the world’s most recognized brands!
Tory’s hard work, determination, savvy business sense and good demeanor helped build her fashion empire to more than 120 stores across North America.
Her design team specifically targets women who want finely crafted clothing that doesn’t cost a fortune – helping to create a wardrobe that incorporates Tory Burch pieces with elements of their own wardrobe.
Tory recently launched her global effort with a flagship store in Munich and Paris. Be sure to watch her as she continues to follow, evolve, and offer us her unique fashion statements.
David’s latest “go to” gem is the tsavana tourmaline, which he incorporates into his color rich Confetti Collection. This gem whose color ranges from black to watermelon, is October’s birthstone. Tsavana tourmalines are found in the riverbeds of Tanzania. Besides being this multi-talented jeweler, David and his wife Sybil provide support to Make-A-Wish Foundation and others through the David and Sybil Yurman Humanitarian & Arts Foundation, which they founded in 2001.
Did you know that Manolo Blahnik is a self-taught shoe designer? Manolo originally studied law and literature in Switzerland and then moved to France where he studied art at the Ecole du Louvre. One of his first employments was a set designer. He dabbled in shoe design (during the 70’s) and then was encouraged by Diana Vreeland, editor of Vogue and Harpers Bazaar, to begin shoe design on a full-time basis. Blahnik opened his first store in London in 1973. He quickly developed a “signature style”—–witty and whimsical opulence!
In my opinion, Manolo Blahnik is the most famous and sought after shoe designer of our time. What do you think?
As a young person, Guccio Gucci moved from Italy to Paris. He worked his way up to the job of maître d’ at the Savoy Hotel. It was here that he became fascinated with the upper class guests of the hotel. At the time of the turn of the century, he returned to Italy and opened a workshop which specialized in producing travelware and accessories. His first travel cases and trunks bore the inscription : G. Gucci Articles for Travel, Florence. Right from the start, the Gucci brand was aimed at the international market. In 1921, Guccio opened his first store in Florence, Italy. In the fifties, Gucci’s son, Aldo, expanded the family business to include footwear. The horsebit loafer made its debut in 1953. It too was aimed at the international jet set. It was in the early 1960’s,when Gucci’s initials first showed up on the clasps of his bags. The double G logo in the diamond pattern became the most recognizable monogram in Italy!
You know how we fall in love with a particular fashion designer but we don’t know anything about them, we just know we love what they create. Sweet Repeats first blog is an introduction to a famous pocketbook designer — the illustrious, Judith Leiber!
The year was 1953 and the First Lady, Mamie Eisenhower sparkled under the party lights of the Inaguaral Ball. She was dressed in a pale pink peau de soie gown studded with rhinestones and wearing matching gloves, however, the most remarkable part of her outfit was the small, round pink silk lace pouch that was reembroidered with pearls and rhinestones. The purse was designed by Judith Leiber.
The pairing of First Lady and bag was especially meaningful because the bags creator might not have survived the second world war if it had not been for soldiers like General Eisenhower. Mrs. Leiber was quoted as saying “while he was trying to save Europe and the world my family and I were trying to survive”. She and her family were Jews living in Budapest at the time when Jews were being deported to concentration camps.
During these times, employment was very difficult for Jews however, artisan guilds were one of the avenues available to them. With a strong eye for color , Judith applied and was accepted into the handbag-makers guild in Budapest. She was the first woman in the guild. Her first assignments were sweeping the floor and cooking the glue. Judith completed the three stages of guild training—apprentice, journeyman and master.
After the war, Judith began making handbags from her home, doing all the work herself; everything from cutting to sewing. She founded her company in 1963 almost ten years after she had designed Mrs. Eisenhower’s inaguaral ball bag. At that time she was employed by Nettie Rosenstein.
In 1964, Judith married an American G.I.–Gerson Leiber. They came to the U.S. together in 1965.
Mrs. Leibers signature pieces are known as minaudieres. They are small and whimsical. She estimates that she has designed over 3,ooo bags—everything from roses, pigs, polar bears t0 watermelon slices.
The original bag designed for The First Lady is now on display in the First Ladies Hall of the National Museum of American History.