My Favorite Designers

Here is a list of my top 5 designers, why I love them and what they have done for the fashion world:

1. Coco Chanel

Born in August of 1883, Gabrielle Chanel was a French native who was destined to liberate women from the constraints of corsets and other uncomfortable garments. A true rebel and visionary, Chanel, who changed her name to Coco after a brief career as a singer, preferred to wear clothes she could move freely in; often, her style were imbued with a mannish aesthetic. Indeed, Coco Chanel, who designed her first cardigan to avoid pulling any garment over her head, was really the originator of modern women’s sportswear. Her desire for freedom and self-expression gave women style without sacrifice

The first true “Chanel suit” was produced in 1925; Coco used chains to weigh down the fabric, so that it hung “just so”. She favored ornamentation such as ribbons, pretty buttons, and ropes of pearls. Her feminine touches added style and impact to her wearable designs; in fact, even vintage Chanel designs remain remarkably timeless and easy to wear.

Chanel is a timeless brand that I honestly don’t believe will ever go out of style.

2. Christian Dior

Born in January of 1905, this French designer was best known for his distinctive “New Look” silhouette. First shown in 1947; his suits and dresses revolutionized the way women dressed after the Second World War.

A designer with a notorious past, Christian Dior was also known for being in cahoots with the enemy during WWII, when he dressed Nazi wives and French collaborators in his designs. Despite this questionable choice, he still rose to prominence during the late-forties when the war was over…primarily due to his unparalleled mastery of line and shape. He gave women a desirable “flower silhouette” which always featured a nipped-in waist, a full, voluminous skirt, and a feminine, corseted bodice. Often, the hips of his suits and dresses were padded to balance the bust line and accentuate the wasp-waisted effect.

Dior died in 1957 under mysterious circumstances. It was rumored that he succumbed to a heart attack during a sexual encounter; others have reported that choking on a fish bone spurred his cardiac arrest.

Today, gifted designer John Galliano carries on the legendary designer’s legacy in Paris, where he creates dramatic couture ball gowns, chic prêt-a-porter, and luxurious accessories for Dior. Galliano’s talent and his over-the-top runway shows have ensured that the brand remains strong and viable in today’s world.


3. Gianni Versace

Flamboyant and so very Italian, Gianni Versace was born in December of 1946 in Reggio di Calabria, Italy. Gianni’s mother owned a tiny tailoring shop, and she supported her children through her sewing. The young Versace watched and learned as a boy, adopting techniques that he would put to exemplary use later on.

Talented and charismatic, he soon drew the attention of VIP’s in the fashion world; they appreciated his chic knitwear and his creativity. Always influenced by art, Gianni Versace drew inspiration from ancient Roman and Greek paintings and sculpture, as well as modern abstracts and Pop Art – producing bold, current designs using color, prints, and careful fitting that accentuated the lines of the body,

A steady ascent through the ranks of the fashion world led to Versace’s creative independence, by the mid-Seventies he was producing lines under his own name. He began with women’s wear, but soon starting designing for men as well.


4. Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs was born in New York City on April 9, 1963. After graduating from the High School of Art and Design in 1981 he entered Parson’s School of Design. As a design student at Parson’s, Jacobs was the recipient of some of the schools highest honors. He was awarded the Perry Ellis Gold Thimble Award, the Chester Weinberg Gold Thimble Award, and the Design Student of the Year Award all in 1984. While still at Parson’s Jacobs also designed and sold his first collection of hand-knitsweaters. The collection was designed for Ruben Thomas, Inc., which is still in tact today. In 1986, backed by Kashiyama USA, Inc., Jacobs designed his first collection bearing the Marc Jacobs label.

The following year, Jacobs received the distinct honor of being the youngest designer ever to be awarded the fashion industry’s highest tribute: The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CDFA) Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent. In 1989 Jacobs and Duffy joined Perry Ellis. Duffy was named President and Jacobs was named Vice-President of Women’s Design. While at Perry Ellis, Jacobs oversaw the design of various women’s licensees as well as creting the designer collection. In 1992, the CFDA once again bestowed Jacobs with a distinct honor: the Women’s Designer of the Year Award. In the fall of 1993, Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc. launched their own licensing and design company: Marc Jacobs International Company, LP.


5. Calvin Klein

Like Halston, Calvin Klein epitomized disco glamour in the freewheeling late Seventies. His tightdesigner jeans, which clung to the sleek bodies of the greatest beauties of the day, including the young Brooke Shields, cemented his fame and made him millions of dollars. However, Calvin Klein’s reign continued well into the 80’s and 90’s – his spare, stripped-down designs offered a minimalist perspective that carried a very modern message. The use of sexuality in his ads was often a keystone of his success; his campaigns were designed to send overt messages and perhaps to shock. Today, his empire is still strong, despite some turbulence in the late nineties: his suits, dresses, and couture still offer a unique viewpoint.

Klein received his education at the renowned Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. His Calvin Klein underwear line, as well as his array of successful perfumes, helped him to build his empire. His ability to choose the sexiest, hippest stars for his ad campaigns also revealed his tremendous savvy and perceptiveness: celebs such as musician/actor Mark Wahlberg and supermodel Kate Moss also benefited from his uncanny ability to read the zeitgeist.

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