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The Magicians of French Fashion

The main heros of exhibition “The MAGICIANS of FRENCH FASHION” from Alexandre Vassiliev foundation collection became nine masters couture who established their own fashion houses.

JEANNE LANVIN (1 January 1867 – 6 July 1946) was a French haute couture fashion designer. She founded the Lanvin fashion house and the beauty and perfume company Lanvin Parfums.
Originally a milliner, Jeanne Lanvin started designing fashion in 1909, devoted to her ultimate muse, her daughter. Continually stimulated for her subtle designs, by her travels and art, it is in Florence that she discovered a precious and profound blue on a Fra Angelico painting. Before the Klein Blue, she would give birth to a signature tone: the Lanvin Blue.

COCO CHANEL – Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel (19 August 1883 – 10 January 1971)was a French fashion designer and a businesswoman. She was the founder and namesake of the Chanel brand. Chanel was credited in the post-World War I era with liberating women from the constraints of the “corseted silhouette” and popularizing a sporty, casual chic as the feminine standard of style. A prolific fashion creator, Chanel extended her influence beyond couture clothing, realizing her design aesthetic in jewellery, handbags, and fragrance. Her signature scent, Chanel No. 5, has become an iconic product. She is the only fashion designer listed on TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Chanel designed her famed interlocked-CC monogram, meaning Coco Chanel, using it since the 1920s.
After several years in Switzerland after the war, she returned to Paris and revived her fashion house.

JACQUES HEIM (8 May 1899 – 8 January 1967) was a French fashion designer and costume designer for theater and film, and was a manufacturer of women’s furs. From 1930 to his death in 1967, he ran the fashion house (maison de couture) Jacques Heim, which closed in 1969. He was president of the Paris Chambre Syndicale de la haute couture from 1958 to 1962, a period of transition from haute couture to ready-to-wear clothing.

MAGGY ROUFF (1896– August 7, 1971) was a French fashion designer of Belgian origin.
An advocate for subtle elegance, the French designer created refined evening gowns addressing the 30s vocabulary that appreciated drapes, tight waists and plunging backs. She also imagined modern sportswear that she mastered thanks to her technical virtuosity and the taste she had for asymmetry. She designed costumes for French films and drew gowns for Hollywood stars such as Greta Garbo. Along with Frederick Worth, she belongs to these traditional couture designers that made Paris the capital of fashion.

CHRISTIAN DIOR (21 January 1905 – 24 October 1957) was a French fashion designer, best known as the founder of one of the world’s top fashion houses, also called Christian Dior, which is now owned by Groupe Arnault. His fashion houses are now all around the world. All the aspiring architect wanted, was to work in the arts and he did so by opening an avant-garde gallery in Paris that closed in the 1930s. Turned into a couturier, Christina Dior broke into fashion after WWII with his voluptuous New Look silhouette. His traditional approach of femininity seduced the “flower women” in need of fantasy after the dark hours of wartime.

HUBERT DE GIVENCHY. Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy (20 February 1927 – 10 March 2018). The statuesque French designer established his couture house in the 1950s in Paris and was one of the very first to launch a ready-to-wear collection. A precursor of the 1960s look, he raised hemlines to show off more legs and invented the sack dress. Inspired by his iconic muse, Audrey Hepburn, he imagined easy to wear and elegant garments, perfectly illustrated by the little black dress. He was famous for having designed much of the personal and professional wardrobe of Audrey Hepburn and clothing for Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. He was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1970.

PIERRE CARDIN (born Pietro Cardin; 2 July 1922) is a French fashion designer. Cardin is known for his avant-garde style and his Space Age designs. He prefers geometric shapes and motifs, often ignoring the female form. He advanced into unisex fashions, sometimes experimental, and not always practical. He founded his fashion house in 1950 and introduced the “bubble dress” in 1954. The French designer introduced unusual and contemporary garments for which he privileged the use of vinyl, plastic and metal. His “bubble dress”, geometrical silhouettes and unisex collection set his fame. A true businessman, he developed numerous licenses and vigorously continues to promote his fashion and design creations.

ANDRE COURREGES (9 March 1923 – 7 January 2016) was a French fashion designer. He was particularly known for his streamlined 1960s designs influenced by modernism and futurism, exploiting modern technology and new fabrics. Courrèges defined the go-go boot and along with Mary Quant, is one of the designers credited with inventing the miniskirt.
In 1965, the French designer stimulated Paris’ fashion with his innovative Couture Future collection. Shortly after, the market was flooded with plastic boots, vinyl jackets and A-line dresses. He privileged geometric forms and primary colors that became emblematic of the “space age” aesthetic of the 1960s.

YVES SAINT LAURENT. Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent (1 August 1936 – 1 June 2008) professionally known as Yves Saint-Laurent, was a French fashion designer who, in 1961, founded his eponymous fashion label. He is regarded as being among the foremost fashion designers in the twentieth century. In 1985, Caroline Rennolds Milbank wrote, “The most consistently celebrated and influential designer of the past twenty-five years, Yves Saint Laurent can be credited with both spurring the couture’s rise from its 1960s ashes and with finally rendering ready-to-wear reputable.” He was able to adapt his style to accommodate the changes in fashion during that period. He approached fashion in a different perspective by wanting women to look comfortable yet elegant at the same time. He is also credited with having introduced the tuxedo suit for women and was known for his use of non-European cultural references, and non-white models.
He was designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1991.
On 16 October 2009, Cardin was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

The exhibition will be held till 2019 August.

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