A.LEWTER - art of fine living
art of fine living
Style ~ Design ~ Living
Alexander McQueen                                                 
1969    Born on March 17 in London, Great Britain
1992   An assistant to Romeo Gigli in Milan
1994    Found his own label
1995    Establishes his reputation as creative bad boy by presenting first wild collections, including Spring/ Summer collection “Highland Rape, " invents rave pants known as Hipsters
1996      Receives much attention in the fashion  media for his Autumn/Winter “Gothic"   collection
1997     Succeeds John Galliano as head designer for French haute Couture house, Givenchy; first collection in Greek Style, featuring a headdress of golden ram horns
2010    Took his life nine days after the death of his mother
Vivienne Westwood 
 “In the sea of banality (dullness), distinction, and elegance of dress is more value today than it ever was before." -Vivienne Westwood  
Westwood's fashion is theatrical and unpredictable, often playing on the edge of bad taste. Her designs skillfully and intentially push the boundaries between traditional, vulgar, and middle-class taste. Anyone aspiring to wear the Fashion Queen's label must be prepared to stand out.
 1941        Born Vivienne Isabel Swire on April 8 in Glossop, Derbyshire, Great Britain
1971-80  Opens Let it Rock boutique, Kings Road,     London, together with partner  Malcolm McLaren, founder of the punk rock group, the Sex Pistols; name of boutique changes periodically; Too Fast Too Live, Too Young Too Die
1981      Presents first collection, “Pirates," inspired by   the seventieth century; introduces the Gold Label line for demi-couture  
1982      Shows collection in Paris for the first time; “Buffalo Girls" collection in muddy colors and camouflage anticipates the “Grudge" look of the 1990s
1983    Starts her solo career with the "Witches" collection   
1984     “Mini Crini" collection: hopped skirts inspired by Victorian crinolines, tailored jackets, platformed shoes
1990     Receives CFDA Designer of the Year Award; first menswear collection during Florentine fashion fair Pitti Uomo
1992     Awarded Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth
1993    "Anglomania" collection in the English style; multicolored tartan evening gowns; platform shoes with 25cm- high heels; introduces Red Label pret-a-porter line
1995     Costumes for the film Leaving Las Vegas
1997     Has her “Five Centuries Ago" collection photographed in the style of famous paintings
1998    Introduces Anglomania line for jeans and casual wear
2008     Creates a one-of- a- kind wedding dress for Sarah Jessica Parker's character, Carrie Bradshaw, in the Sex and the City movie
“Fashion is at once both caterpillar and butterfly. Be a caterpillar by day and a butterfly at night... There must be dresses that crawl and dresses that fly."
- Coco Chanel
1883     Born on August 19 in Saumur, France
1909    Establishes hat workshop in House of Etienne Balsan
1910     Opens first shop at Rue Cambon 21, Paris; from 1920, also at   Rue Cambon 31
1913       Opens boutique in Deauville
1914-15  Sweaters, pea jackets, calf-length pleated skirts, straight frocks, and shirtwaists made from inexpensive cotton-knit fabric.
1915       Boutique in Biarritz (with Boy Capel)
1918       Pajamas for women
1920-21    Russian- influenced work: furs, ornaments, and peasant blouses; costumes for Jean Cocteau's Antigone
1924    Shows first costume jewelry collection; founds perfume company under the management of the Wertheimer brothers
1926     Creates the “little black dress"
1926-31   Designs “English" style clothing and jewelry in collaboration with Fulco di Verdura
1928     Haute couture on the first floor at Rue Cambon 31
1931      " Unisex" style; trousers for women
1938     Dresses in “Gypsy"
1939     Closes shop and studio
1953     Reopens shop at old address
1954      Makes a comeback with the tweed suit and two-tone pump with ankle straps
1957     The Chanel bag- shoulder bag of quilted leather, Neiman Marcus Award; first and only visit to the United States
1971     Dies on January 10 in Paris; business placed under artistic direction of Yvonne Dudel and Jean Cazubon; from 1978 prêt-a-porter under Philippe Guibourg
From 1983   Karl Lagerfeld responsible for haute couture and prêt-a-porter from 1984
Cristobal Balenciaga
“Almost every woman, directly or indirectly, has worn a Balenciaga." - Harper's Bazaar
1885       Born on January 21 in Guetaria, Spain
1915       Opens a couture salon in San Sebastian
1937       Moves to France, opens an haute couture house in Paris
1947       Makes women's suits in a new "Barrel" style
1954      Develops a narrow, straight "I- Shaped" line, which influenced other designers; Balenciaga models are sold only to exclusive private clientele
1957      Invents Trapeze line of dresses
1958      Introduces the Empire line; designs the "Pillbox" hat
1963      Shows his legendary cape- jackets for the first time
1968      Closes his salon and retires to Spain; manufacture of Balenciaga scarves, purses, and perfume continues
1972      Dies on March 24 in Valencia, Spain
1978      Balenciaga retrospective, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
1987      Michel Goma designs a new ready-to-wear line under the name Balenciaga
1991-97 Melchoir Thimister designs the Balenciaga collection
1996     Balenciaga- Hommage-Collection with trademark styles
Since 1997   Nicole Ghesquiere designs the Balenciaga collections
Yves Saint Laurent      
“It was Saint Laurent's Achievement to make fashion unfashionable. He transformed the fashion diktat into a fashion yearning." 
1936    Born August 1 in Oran, Algeria
1955    Begins as assistant to Christian Dior
1957    Becomes chief designer for the house of Dior
1958    First collection; Trapeze line attains international recognition
1960    Creates the "Beat" look for Dior
1962    Presents first collection under his own name
1963    "Mondrian" and minidress
1966    Opens first Rive Qauche boutique for ready-to-wear fashions; creates smoking jackets and tuxedos for women; first "Pop Art" dress; "Zhivago" and “See- Through" looks
1967    Spring/ Summer "African" collection
1968   "Safari" and "Carmen" looks; transparent evening dresses made from black chiffon
1971     Poses nude for an advertisement of his YSL pour Homme perfume; Autumn/Winter. "Nostalgic" look
1976     "Russian" collection: “Peasant" look with babushka
1979     " Hommage a Picasso" collection; "Scottish" look; clothes inspired by the Ballet Russes
1983     Yves Saint Laurent: 25 Years of Design, exhibition, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
1987     Mini-length balloon skirt
1988     "Homage to Cubism" collection
1996      Made Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
1998     Fashion show with 300 models at Soccer World Cup; Alber Elbaz becomes artisitic director of Women's Fashions and Heidi Slimane of Men's Fashion
2008     Died of Brain Cancer at his home in Paris      
Christian Dior
“They starved for luxury. He gave them plenty"- Diana Vreeland
1905          Born January 21 in Granville, France
1920-25    Studies at the Ecole des Sciences Politiques, Paris
1928        Opens a small gallery in Paris
1931         Produces hat sketches for the milliner Agnes and fashion illustrations for Le f  Figaro Illustre
 1938         Designs with Robert Piquet
 1942         Joins Lucien Lelong's design team
 1945         Designs for Marcel Boussac's fashion house
 1947         Presents first collection, Corolle line, which U.S journalists hail as the "New Look"
 1949         Founds Christian Dior New York Inc.; first license for nylon stockings
 1950         Presents Vertical and Oblique lines
 1951         Sets up diffusion department to market the Dior label internationally; presents "Oval" and "Longue" collections
 1953         Founds Dior Delman for custom-made shoes after designs by Roger Vivier
 1954         Lily-of-the-Valley line (with white as the preferred color)
 1955         Founds Christian Dior London Ltd; Bijoux Dior fashion jewelry; A-line and Y-line designs
 1956         Arrow, Aimant, and H lines
 1957         Libre line based on the vareuses (fishermen type smocks); dies on October 23 in Montecatini Terme, Italy; Yves Saint Laurent takes over as artistic director
 1961         Marc Bohan made artisitic director
 1970-80    Christian Dior Monsieur line
 1989         Gianfranco Ferre made artistic director
 From 1997 John Galliano chief designer
Emilio Pucci
“I did color variations, mixed colors together, and imagined colors together. The first scarf was a map of Capri." - Emilio Pucci
February 12, 1957, is the official birth date of Italian haute couture. However, this date is not significant unless it is seen within the historical and social context of Italy at that time and during the period immediately preceding it.
1914     Born Marchese Emilio Pucci di Barsento on November 20 in Naples, Italy
Studies political science; serves as pilot in World War II, afterwards flies passenger aircraft
 1947     A fashion photographer for Harper's Bazaar discovers Pucci skiing in a self-made ski suit; the ski suit with new tapered pants is produced in the United States
1949     Presents women's wear summer collection on Capri and opens a studio in Florence
1950     Presents a collection with ski, tennis, and golf wear
1954     "Capri" pants become an international success; also designs matching loose shirt-blouses and silk scarves in bright colors and new patterns, which quickly become known as "Pucci Patterns"
1958     Works on improving stretch- weaves for sporty pants; discovers elastic Shantung silk for tight pants and bodysuits
1985     Experiences a major comeback through a renewed interest in his style, colors and patterns, leggings and bodysuits
1992     Dies on November 30 in Florence; daughter Laudomia carries on the company
Carolina Herrera
(born María Carolina Josefina Pacanins y Niño (born January 8, 1939) is a Venezuelan and naturalized American fashion designer and entrepreneurwho founded her eponymous company in 1980.
Herrera was born in Caracas, Venezuela, a daughter of Guillermo Pacanins Acevedo, an air-force officer who later became Governor of Caracas, and his wife, the former María Cristina Niño Passios. Based in New York City since 1980, throughout the 1970s and 1980s she was named one of the best dressed women in the world. Her clients have included Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Renee Zellweger.
In 1957, Herrera married Guillermo Behrens Tello, a Venezuelan landowner, with whom she had two daughters, Mercedes and Ana Luisa. They divorced in 1964.
In 1968, in Caracas, she married Reinaldo Herrera Guevara, the host of "Buenos Dias", a Venezuelan morning-television news program and the elder son of a prominent Venezuelan landowner and art collector; he is now a special-projects editor of Vanity Fair magazine. Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera have two daughters, Carolina Adriana and Patricia Cristina.
Missoni is an Italian fashion house based in Varese. It is famous for its unique knitwear, made from a variety of fabrics in colourful patterns. The company was founded by Ottavio ("Tai") and Rosita Missoni in 1953.
Ottavio "Tai" Missoni was born in 1921 in Dubrovnik (Ragusa in Italian). His father, Vittorio Missoni, was an Italian sea captain (and son of a Friulano magistrate transferred in the then Austrian- ruled Dalmatia) and his mother, Teresa de' Vidovich Countess di Capocesto e Ragosniza, was a dalmatian-Italian noblewoman. Before WWII he was an international athlete, but spent most of the war as a POW in Egypt. After the war he set up a workshop with his friend Giorgio Oberweger, making wool track-suits. His "Venjulia" tracksuits were adopted by the Italian team at the 1948 Olympics in London, and Tai himself qualified for the final of the 400m hurdle race. At Wembley he met Rosita Jelmini, daughter of a family of shawl makers in Golasecca in the province of Varese.
They married in April 1953, and set up a small knitwear workshop in Gallarate, not far from Rosita's home village. In 1958 they presented in Milan their first collection, called Milano-Simpathy, which was the first to bear the Missoni label. The business prospered, with the support of legendary editor Anna Piaggi, then at Arianna. On a trip to New York, Rosita met the French stylist Emmanuelle Khanh in 1965, which led to a collaboration and a radical new collection the following year. Their fame was assured in April 1967, when they were invited to show at the Pitti Palace in Florence. Rosita told the models to remove their bras, supposedly because they were the wrong colour and showed through the thin lamé blouses. The material became transparent under the lights and caused a sensation. The Missonis were not invited back the following year, but the business went from strength to strength, building a new factory in Sumirago in 1969. With their designs being championed in the US by Diana Vreeland, editor of Vogue magazine, they opened their first boutique there, inside Bloomingdales.
The early 1970s saw Missoni reach the peak of their influence in the fashion world. Tai Missoni then became more interested in other projects, everything from designing costumes for La Scala, to designing carpets and tapestries. Rosita has admitted that in the 1990s she lost interest in fashion, before handing over to her daughter Angela in 1998. Rosita now is responsible for overseeing the design of all home projects.
Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani (born 11 May 1932), best known as Valentino, is an Italian fashion designer and founder of the Valentino SpA brand and company. His main lines were Valentino, Valentino Garavani, Valentino Roma, and R.E.D. Valentino.
1959 Having completed his fashion studies and an apprenticeship with Jean Desses and Guy Laroche, Valentino starts up his first studio in Rome
1960 Begins his collaboration with Giancarlo Giammetti, who manages the commercial development of the House of Valentino
1962  His first collection at the international fashion Gotha in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence, is a triumphant success
1964  Jacqueline Kennedy becomes a client.
1965  Valentino is recognized as the top name in Italian Haute Couture
1967  He is awarded the Neiman Marcus Prize in Dallas
1968  Valentino's reputation is secured with the enormous success of his "Collezione Bianca", the first clothes and accessories to have the magic "V" label. Designs the wedding dress worn by Jacqueline Kennedy for her marriage to Aristotle Onassis.
1969Begins his Boutique line of clothes and opens the first Valentino shop in Milan
1970  Launch of his first ready-to-wear collections Opening of Valentino boutiques in Rome and New York
1971 Opening of the first menswear shop in Via Condotti
1971 Valentino creates a new uniform collection for Trans World Airlines (TWA)stewardesses.
1975 First fashion show of his Ready-to-Wear collection in Paris
1976  Opens a boutique in Tokyo
1978  Launch of the Valentino perfume at a gala evening in Paris, at the Theater des Champs Elysees
1982  Publication of the book Valentino, edited by Franco Maria Ricci 20 September, Valentino presents his Autumn/Winter collection at the Metropolitan Museum in New York
1983  Valentino lends his talents to the Lincoln Continental, an automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. His contribution includes unique color combinations for the 1983, 1984, and 1985 model years of the car.
1984  Valentino celebrates his twenty-fifth year in the business and receives an official award from the Minister for Industry
1985  He is awarded the Grand'Ufficiale dell'Ordine al Merito by the President of Italy
1986  Receives the highest decoration possible in Italy, the Cavaliere di Gran Croce, from the President
1989  First show of the haute couture collection in Paris
1990  In February, Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti found L.I.F.E. (acronym in Italian for "Fighting, Informing, Building, Teaching"), an association working for the fight against Aids. The Accademia Valentino is also officially opened to the public with an exhibition of painters of the Roman School Exhibition of "The Art of Cartier" at the Accademia Valentino Publication of the book "Valentino: Trent'Anni de Magia", by Leonardo arte.
1991  To celebrate his 30th year in the fashion business, an exhibition entitled "Valentino: Thirty Years of Magic" is organized in Valentino's honour by the Mayor of Rome at the Capitole Museum, while the Accademia Valentino presents a retrospective of his designs. Creation of the perfume Vendetta for men and women.
1992  Exhibition at the Accademia Valentino entitled: "La seduzione da Boucher a Warhol" The "Valentino: Thirty Years of Magic"' exhibition is invited to go to New York to coincide with the fifth centenary celebrations of the discovery of America. Valentino is invited by the Chinese government to stage a show in Beijing* 1994 – In January, Valentino presents his first ever costume designs at the Eisenhower Theatre in the Kennedy Center Washington, D.C., for an opera entitled The Dream of Valentino, based on the life of the movie star Rudolf Valentino
1995 Valentino's return to Italy is celebrated on 14 January in Florence with a fashion show at the Stazione Leopolda, over thirty years his first show at the Palazzo Pitti. The Mayor of Florence awards him the "Premio speciale dell'arte nella moda"
1996 Valentino is named Cavaliere del Lavoro
2004  launch of V perfume which will be followed by V for men
2006 President Chirac awards Valentino of the Légion d'honneur
2007  4 September: Valentino announces his retirement
2008 23 January, Valentino shows his last Haute-Couture show, and retires fully from the world stage
2010  1 January, Dancers of the Vienna State Opera Ballet wear his special designed costumes for the world wide broadcoasted New Years Concert played by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
2010  15 December, Valentino's early works will be exhibited at Valentino, Retrospective: Past, Present and Future
Very cool in its own right, Mr. Redford's style really comes alive when he's in character, and never more so than when he was dressed by Mr. Ralph Lauren for 1974's The Great Gatsby. Between the sumptuous suits and Mr. Redford's aristocratic bearing, the film is a masterclass in how to dress up; the fully accessorised look is back in vogue this season.
The star of Gone With The Wind is remembered as an impeccably groomed smoothie, which conceals the fact that his studio, MGM, initially promoted his unpolished masculinity. Despite these origins few men have ever worn clothes as well as Mr Gable, whose appearance in his publicity photographs probably explains why the co-stars he enjoyed romantic success with included Ms Grace Kelly and Ms Joan Crawford.
Sartorial chameleon Mr Bowie could easily be five different style icons, but to our eyes his best-dressed era was the late 1970s and early 1980s, when he mined a seam of fashionable tailoring that demonstrates that it's possible to wear the traditional elements of menswear but make them entirely your own. Although few other men could carry off this sage-green suit, many could take a leaf out of his book with regards to the bow tie and plaid shirt combination.
Admittedly, it shouldn't be too hard for a skinny, long-haired rock star to figure out how to work a look. Especially in the 1960s. But this Rolling Stone, along with drummer Mr Charlie Watts, nailed it immediately. And Sir Jagger has continued to do so ever since. Admirably, he has happily shown that colour, pattern and a good fit can work for even the most red-blooded of us.
Mr. Basquiat was a graffiti artist on the 1980s New York art scene, legendary for wearing high-priced designer suits to paint in. In his short 27-year-life he modelled for Comme des Garçons, starred in a Blondie music video, dated Madonna and collaborated with Mr Andy Warhol.
Mr Elkann, the manager of brand promotion at Fiat - a company once led by his highly stylish grandfather, Mr Agnelli - is by no means your typical Italian scion. His personal life has been as playful as his dress sense. A regular at all the best parties - as well as on Vanity Fair's annual Best-Dressed List - we love the way he takes all the menswear rules and throws them artfully in the air.
Mr. Giovanni "Gianni" Agnelli was an Italian industrialist, president of Fiat and, according to many at the time, the true "king of Italy". While he ruled over the Italian economy and European high society during the 1960s, 70s and 80s, he was admired as much for his dress sense as his business one. He mastered the art of sprezzatura - making the difficult look easy. His style trademarks included wearing a watch over his shirt sleeve (saves time) and leaving his tie slightly askew, or hanging over his sweater. It may have looked accidental, but Mr Agnelli wasn't a man to leave anything to chance.
His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. In fact, his full title was: His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and Elect of God. He was also, at the time of his reign, the most bemedalled ruler in the world. Befitting for someone who could trace his ancestry back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Selassie could certainly rock up a regal look or two.
Colin Tennant, 3rd Baron Glenconner, was famous for having fun. And who can criticise a guy for that? He bought the West Indian island of Mustique - most of us make do with just booking a hotel - and transformed it into a multimillionaires' playground in the late 1960s. A gregarious host, and close friend of Princess Margaret, Lord Glenconner dressed like the quintessential tropical patriarch, peppering his wardrobe with bright colours, tunics and wide-brimmed hats. And it somehow worked.
More to follow...
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