Successful Collaborations between Fashion & Art

28 Jun

Yves Saint Laurent & Piet Mondrian

Yves Saint Laurent & Piet Mondriaan

No art and fashion collaboration list would be complete without the classic and iconic Yves Saint Laurent dress inspired by artist Piet Mondrian. Saint Laurent released the 1965 dress for the Autumn season; its simple A-line, and tidy shift silhouette was typical of the mid-sixties. What was perhaps less typical was the clear allusion Saint Laurent was making to Mondrian in his uses of graphic black lines (running both horizontally and vertically) and white and primary color blocks. Its seamlessness is deceiving—the dress is made up of many of individual pieces of wool jersey and was hand-assembled to hide obvious seaming. This dress is not only an icon for Western fashion but also records the importance of Mondrian’s work during the period of the 1960s.

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Yves Saint Laurent & Andy Warhol

Yves Saint Laurent & Andy Warhol

Yves Saint Laurent and Andy Warhol (two men who need no introduction) collaborated in 1974, Saint Laurent is the subject, and the product is a silkscreen image of a youthful Yves by Warhol himself. The work is done in a style similar to Warhol’s other works-an even square divided into four equal quadrants. The portraits are paired diagonally, but the paired images are painted in decidedly different and fanciful ways. The painting stands today as a commemorative gesture to the great fashion designer. Although the painting itself is not a garment or accessory per se, the object stands a reflection of the intimate ties between the culture of fashion and art.

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Comme Des Garçons & Cindy Sherman

Comme Des Garçons & Cindy Sherman

Comme Des Garçons & Cindy Sherman

Comme Des Garçons & Cindy Sherman

Comme Des Garçons & Cindy Sherman

This 1994 collaboration with internationally acclaimed photographer, Cindy Sherman, and Rei Kawakubo, still holds an edge over a lot of the more recent fashion photography campaigns. Sherman is best known for her self-portrait series Untitled Film Stills that feature a number of typified feminine characters. Sherman, inspired by Kawakubo’s already pointedly unconventional fashion sense is driven to create a campaign equally unique. The coquettish personalities of her Film Stills are replaced by the slumped, unhappy and imperfect female persona. These photographs confront the consumer with a model that isn’t particularly ideal at all; she floats in isolated contemplation, caught forever pensive in the frame of Sherman’s photograph. Cindy Sherman would go on to a number of other fashion-related collaborations moving forward with names like Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga.

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Comme Des Garçons & Merce Cunningham

Comme Des Garçons & Merce Cunningham

Rei Kawakubo first started designing under the name Comme des Garçons in 1969, and since then she has been making her name known as one of the foremost avant-garde fashion designers in the world. Merce Cunningham was making himself known under similar terms, but within the dance context. Kawakubo had always “shared similar creative philosophies with Merce Cunningham, including interests in engaging multiple artistic disciplines and aggressively pushing the boundaries of the unknown.” After Cunningham’s initial offer to give her complete freedom in designing the costumes and the set, Kawakubo declined. As myth has it, while working on her notorious spring collection of 1997, titled “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body,” she changed her mind. The collection was an aggressive response to her feelings of boredom with fashion. She padded the dresses in a way to reshape the body under new circumstances—her own circumstances. Similarly to the “Body Meets Dress” collection, the costumes Kawakubo designed for her collaborative work with Cunningham (tilted Scenario) featured the same “irregular bulges on the dancers’ hips, shoulders, chests, and backs.” Wearing these costumes altered the dancers’ proportions, their balance, sense of space, and even their fundamental extent of movement. 

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Marc Jacobs & Juergen Teller

Marc Jacobs & Juergen Teller

Marc Jacobs & Juergen Teller

Marc Jacobs & Juergen Teller

It all began in 1998, and many of us can’t even remember what Marc Jacobs (the brand) looked like before Juergen Teller. Teller’s overexposed and slightly rosy tint make his photographs feel more like adventurous polaroids between friends than esoteric fashion photography. His imagery is playful but always with a little tinge of deflation, grunge or raunchiness—like Jacobs’ clothing. Since the auspicious beginnings of the Teller-Jacobs collaboration in 1998, Marc Jacobs’ ads have become a celebrity fashion yearbook with notable subjects like Winona Ryder, Sofia Coppola, Helen Bonham Carter, Dakota Fanning and photographer Cindy Sherman.

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Alexander McQueen & Björk

Alexander McQueen & Björk

Alexander McQueen & Björk

This epic relationship began when Icelandic native Björk released her fourth record, Homogenic in 1997 – and the image that held the album cover got nearly as much press as the music. The “elfin chanteuse” her fans had come to love had transformed into a different almost unrecognizable creature; a creature that, today we know was borne from her collaborative conversations with then, 26-year old Alexander McQueen. “When I went to Alexander McQueen, I explained to him the person who wrote these songs—someone who was put into an impossible situation, so impossible that she had to become a warrior…a warrior who had to fight not with weapons but with love.” The respective work of these two creative geniuses seemed to discuss similar themes of man, nature and machine. The two went on to collaborate several times: McQueen directed Björk’s video for “Alarm Call,” and in 2003, the pair reunited for a Fashion Rocks! performance, where she sported a McQueen gown and crystal mask for the finale of her performance. McQueen was also responsible for Björk’s fantastical bell-covered dress worn in the 2004 video “Who Is It?” And in a 2003 conversation between Björk and McQueen with Index magazine, he said of his own designs that sound like it could have come from either virtuoso, “my work is always in some way directed by nature. It needs to connect with the earth. Things that are processed and reprocessed lose their substance.”

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Marni & Rop van Mierlo

Marni & Rop van Mierlo

 

Marni & Rop van Mierlo

Italian-based brand, Marni, continues its playful collaborations with artist and illustrators from around the globe. Perhaps one of the most successful choices has been with Dutch artist, Rop van Mierlo. Mierlo, based out of Amsterdam, is best known for his children’s book Wild Animals, which won the Best Dutch Design Award in 2011. The book features pages of blotchy, watery-diffused animals: a snake, a rabbit, a lion, a pig, and a squirrel to name a few. He describes his process as interested in “creating animals he could not control”—how romantic. Though the entirety of Mierlo’s aqueous menagerie is not featured in Marni’s collection—released in mid-January of 2013—his donkey, parrot, ostrich and tiger don the tops, purses, and scarves of many of the most popular looks. In a recent interview with SSENSE Mierlo was asked, “Your animals seem soft, gentle and sweet. In the world of the wild animals you paint, would a tiger ever eat a pig? Would a dog ever bite an ear?” In response he said, “I sure hope so. Otherwise the pig bites the tiger in the rear.”

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Louis Vuitton & Takashi Murakami

Louis Vuitton & Takashi Murakami'

Louis Vuitton & Takashi Murakami'

Louis Vuitton & Takashi Murakami'

Louis Vuitton & Takashi Murakami'

Amidst the millions of anime eyes and smiling flowers of Tokyo-born pop-artist Takashi Murakami’s 2007 exhibition “Superflat,” was the world’s most indulgent museum shop. Monographs, posters, and key chains were reserved for MOCA’sactual in-house store, a Louis Vuitton pop-up establishment with thousand-dollar totes. The monogrammed merchandise featured familiar characters and motifs of Murakami’s and was specially designed for the in-situ boutique. The gesture was an unprecedented one for any American art museum, and in an interview at the opening of the exhibition, supermodel Linda Evangelista was asked by a reporter, “What do you think of this synergy of art and fashion?” Her response, “Well, it certainly makes fashion more interesting.” The collaboration that began in 2003 as multicolored L’s and V’s had evolved into so much more. 

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Louis Vuitton & Yayoi Kusama

Louis Vuitton & Yayoi Kusama

Louis Vuitton & Yayoi Kusama

Louis Vuitton & Yayoi Kusama

2012 was a good year for Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. She is best known for her use of polka dots, and a retrospective exhibition of her artwork was shown at two major international museums over the course of one year. If you don’t recognize her name, you may have seen the dotted flower sculpture of Beverly Hills or theYellow Trees that enveloped the Whitney Museum development in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan. Kusama told Women’s Wear Daily, “Marc Jacobs came to see me in Tokyo in 2006, and he asked me if I wanted to come to the States and do fashion. That sort of encouraged me because…Fashion has always attracted me.” From this 2006 encounter, blossomed a series of garments, window fronts and shop designs that—thanks to Jacobs’ collaboration—made Kusama’s artistic visions come alive across the globe. Unfortunately, the clothes paled in comparison to the graphic and hypnotic storefronts. Most notable was London’s Selfridge department store that featured Kusama’s favored giant pumpkins—and subsequently, a completely sold out collection. Printemps in Paris donned mirrored window fronts with polka dotted mannequins and silver baubles reminiscent of Kusama’s 1966 Narcissus Garden work.

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Raf Simons & Sterling Ruby

Raf Simons & Sterling Ruby

Kate Moss wearing Raf Simons & Sterling Ruby

Raf Simons & Sterling Ruby

Raf Simons & Sterling Ruby

Belgian fashion designer, Raf Simons, invited German-born, Los Angeles-based artist, Sterling Ruby, in 2008 to use his “Tokyo boutique as a canvas.” Sterling’s intervention transformed the store’s interior from a clinical white space into something that in some ways is hard to describe. The walls were left white by Ruby, and in his typical style, appears to have haphazardly thrown paint everywhere and ended up with something beautiful, simultaneously minimal, and chaotically expressive. The plinths used to display the clothing are black with bleach splashed across them (a technique favored by Ruby in his textile manipulation work), which creates a seductive and unifying tension between the architecture holding the clothes, and the greater structure holding the entirety of the shop. Simons brought on Ruby to create a unique capsule collection following the same aesthetic theme of Tokyo boutique installation the following year. Simons and Ruby have continued their collaborative relationship as recently as 2012, when Simons created fabric with images of four of Ruby’s recent works. The textiles debuted as a part of Simon’s premiere haute couture collection with design house Christian Dior.

Dior Haute Couture, Raf Simons & Sterling Ruby

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Info: http://www.complex.com/style/2013/04/the-50-best-artist-collaborations-in-fashion/

Issey Miyake, Pleats Please & A-POC

22 Jun

Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake was born on April 22, 1938, in Hiroshima, Japan. In the 1960s, he designed for Givenchy in Paris, after which he designed for Geoffrey Bean in Manhattan. In 1970, Miyake started his own design studio. During the 1970s, he toyed with avant-garde Eastern designs. In the 1980s, he began using technology new East meets West textiles. He started Pleats Please in 1993 and A Piece Of Cloth in 1999. 

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Short Biography

Issey Miyake, original name Miyake Kazumaru, is a Japanese fashion designer best known for combining Eastern and Western elements in his work.

Miyake studied graphic design at Tokyo’s Tama Art University, and after graduation he moved in 1965 to Paris, where he enrolled at the renowned tailoring and dressmaking school École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. He began his career in 1966, working behind the scenes for four years in ateliers operated by a trio of 20th-century fashion legends—French couturiers Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy as well as the meticulous American designer Geoffrey Beene. In 1973, three years after he established a Tokyo studio, Miyake displayed his own independent collection in a Paris group fashion show and developed the layered and wrapped look that became his trademark.

Tokyo Design Studio

Issey Miyake Design House Miyake Design Studio   spring summer 19771977
Issey Miyake FW 1997 Met Collection. To me, this collection is reminiscent of Sonia Delaunay.1997

Soon the New York department store Bloomingdale’s devoted a section to selling Miyake’s “East meets West” look—mostly T-shirts dyed with Japanese tattoodesigns as well as coats featuring the sashiko technique, a Japanese embroidery that strengthens fabric and was typically incorporated into labourers’ clothing. Miyake became an internationally recognized name in the 1980s together with Japanese designers Rei Kawakuba and Yohji Yamamoto, who presented their avant-garde creations alongside his fresh, boldly coloured work during the Paris ready-to-wear collections.

East Meets West1978  Issey Miyake East Meets West, by Tatsuo Masubuchi

Issey-Miyake-East-Meets-West-spread

Issey Miyake

In the late 1980s, he began to experiment with new methods of pleating that would allow both flexibility of movement for the wearer as well as ease of care and production. In which the garments are cut and sewn first, then sandwiched between layers of paper and fed into a heat press, where they are pleated. The fabric’s ‘memory’ holds the pleats and when the garments are liberated from their paper cocoon, they are ready-to wear.

Pleating

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19911991
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He also developed a friendship with Apple’s Steve Jobs and produced the black turtlenecks which would become a part of Jobs’ signature attire. Jobs said, “So I asked Issey to make me some of his black turtlenecks that I liked, and he made me like a hundred of them.”

A-POC

a-poc

A-POC

In 2005 the Japan Arts Association awarded Miyake a Praemium Imperiale for outstanding achievement in the arts. In 2006 he became the first fashion designer to receive the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy for lifetime achievement, awarded by the Inamori Foundation in Japan; the prize included a diploma, a 20-karat-gold prize medal, and 50 million yen (about $446,000). The organization singled out as seminal the clothing line Miyake developed in 1993 called Pleats Please, which “allows unrestricted body movement while enabling the fabric to maintain its form,” and A-POC (“A Piece of Cloth”), which was made from a single thread with the aid of an industrial knitting or weaving machine programmed by a computer. Miyake had begun experimenting on A-POC more than 10 years earlier with textile expert Dai Fujiwara before launching it commercially in 1999. Insisting that A-POC was an ensemble piece, he refused to imprint his name on that collection. He sold it simply as a long tube of jersey, and it was then up to the customer to cut and shape it.

IRVING PENN

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Issey Miyake

In 1994 and 1999, Miyake turned over the design of the men’s and women’s collections respectively, to his associate, Naoki Takizawa, so that he could return to research full-time. In 2007, Naoki Takizawa opened his own brand, supported by the Issey Miyake Group and was replaced, as a Creative Director of the House of Issey Miyake, by Dai Fujiwara.

As of 2012, he is one of the co-Directors of 21 21 DESIGN SIGHT, Japan’s first design museum.


Issey Miyake

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Books

East Meets West by Issey Miyake

East Meets West by Issey Miyake

ISSEY MIYAKE East Meets West
[Heibonsha Limited, Publishers, Tokyo]
ISBN 4-582-62001-9

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Pleats Please

Book cover

 

PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE

Taschen

ISBN 978-3-8365-2575-6

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Origami


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Issey Miyake.

info: http://www.britannica.com/biography/Issey-Miyake

Famous Fashion Quotes

14 Jun

Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent

“I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity—all I hope for in my clothes. 

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.” 

“We must never confuse elegance with snobbery.” 

‘Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.’ 

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Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” 

“I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.” 

“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” 

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” 

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Diana Vreeland

Diana Vreeland

“A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste—it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I’m against.” 

“I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity.”

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Christian Dior

Christian Dior

“You can never take too much care over the choice of your shoes. Too many women think that they are unimportant, but the real proof of an elegant woman is what is on her feet.”

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Elsa Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli

“In difficult times, fashion is always outrageous.” 

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Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld

“I lost 200lb to wear suits by Hedi Slimane”

“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”

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Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

“Fashion should be a form of escapism, and not a form of imprisonment.”

“I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.”
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Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta

“Walk like you have three men walking behind you.” 

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Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs

“Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.”

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MARY QUANT

Mary Quant

“The fashionable woman wears clothes. The clothes don’t wear her.”.

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Lauren Hutton

Lauren Hutton

“Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.”

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Manolo Blahnik

Manolo Blahnik

“Men tell me that I’ve saved their marriages. It costs them a fortune in shoes, but it’s cheaper than a divorce. So I’m still useful, you see”

“About half my designs are controlled fantasy, 15 percent are total madness and the rest are bread-and-butter designs.”

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Edith Head

Edith Head

“Your dresses should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to show you’re a lady.” 

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Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

“Anyone can get dressed up and glamorous, but it is how people dress in their days off that are the most intriguing.” 

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Elisabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor

“Big girls need big diamonds.” .

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Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” 

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Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel

“More is more and less is a bore.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thierry Mugler, Multi Talent

7 Jun

Thierry Mugler (born in 1948), French top designer, on August 26, 1976.

Thierry Mugler, born 1948 in Strasbourg, France, is more than a fashion designer, he is also a known photographer and had some early training as a ballet dancer. In 1970 he moved to Paris and worked as a window dresser, and designed clothes on the side. In 1973 he debuted his first collection, Cafe de Paris, and founded his own label for women two years later, and in 1978 he launched a collection for men.

Mugler, over the next two decades created a style that was very much of its time: it was strong, malicent and sometimes almost cruel. Shoulders were wide and padded; waists were wasp like. Prints were banished: Mugler”s clothes came in solid, dominating colors. Collars had exaggerated points, or flame like cutouts. The insect kingdom was a constant influence, as were the ladies and gentlemen of film noir. PVC was often used as his material for his runway pieces, used to create space and robot themes. 1984 marked the 10th anniversary of the creation of the house. The Fall/Winter of 1984 85 collection was presented in a mega show before 6,000 people at the Zenith in Paris. It was the first fashion show in France ever opened to the general public.

Ready to Wear

1981 Thierry Mugler

Thierry Mugler

1988 The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

1979 2

1979 3

1997 Mugler developed a partnership with the French cosmetics and skincare company Clarins, the most renowned Thierry Mugler fragrances being Angel, which became the most popular perfume in France. A Men, his first men”s fragrance was launched in 1997, and has also received much popularity. The Thierry Mugler company is now known best for its perfume division: the couture division was closed in 2003, and all Thierry Mugler ready to wear is now produced under license agreements, as is a line of eyewear. After seven years of fruitful partnership, confirmed in the success of the fragrances, the CLARINS group acquired a larger majority in Thierry Mugler Couture..

In 1978, Thierry Mugler reworked the classic masculine style and came up with a resolutely modern look, as excessive as his talent : functional, slender, anatomical.

In 1992, he created his first haute couture collection upon an invitation by the Haute Couture trade union. Each piece of clothing was conceived as a work of art. His fashion shows were put together to be like real theatrical shows; he was the designer and director. Everything was original, stupefying, phenomenal, never before seen. Models and artists mingled with celebrities and unexpected characters in a multiple universe, each show more extraordinary than the last : Le Zenith (1984 : 6000 spectators came to celebrate the brand”s 10 year anniversary), le Cirque d”Hiver (1995) He became one of those Creators of the 90ties who placed fashion on the same level as visual arts, as show business.

Haute Couture

Thierry Mugler

chimera-dress-thierry-mugler-haute-couture-fall-winter-1997

Thierry Mugler

Thierry Mugler

Butterfly Thierry Mugler

1999 Thierry Mugler

An extraordinary director, he also produced short films, ads, and video clips. He created costumes for musicals, concerts, operas and the theatre (Macbeth for the Comedie Francaise). He”s worked with artists Robert Altman and George Michael.

1992, begins a new territory of expression with the birth of Angel, Thierry Mugler”s first fragrance. He became the exclusive photographer for Thierry Mugler Perfumes and shot all of the brand”s model visuals. This was the beginning of a series of high quality fragrances and after Angel came A

 2002, Thierry Mugler moves away from fashion for other universes and leaves the creation of his ready to wear collections and accessories to his creative studio where young talented designers work for the Brand.

Theirry_Mugler_MotorbikeMr Pearl’s Metal ‘Biker’ Corsets for Thierry Mugler

More about Mr. Pearl: http://agnautacouture.com/2012/08/05/mr-pearl-ethel-granger-and-stella-tennant-what-a-waist/

 

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Books

book cover

Thierry Mugler: Fashion Fetish Fantasy

For over 20 years, Thierry Mugler has stretched the boundaries of style and imagination. FashionFetishFantasy is a celebration of his extraordinary vision.

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Book cover 2

Thierry Mugler: Photographer

Amazing book of Mugler’s saturated and geometric photographs, which contrast classic Mugler with some phenomenal architecture and landscapes. “As the pictures in this album reveal, Thierry Mugler has a vision of dress based on simple yet powerful lines, bold silhouettes, and pure colors. The models she seeks out are majestic in bearing and stature, conveying a sense of strength and vitality. Juxtaposing his free-flowing creations with the angularity of architecture and the cold surfaces of stone and steel, Mugler gives new life to fashion as well as photography.”

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book cover 3

Thierry Mugler: Galaxy Glamour

The designs of the iconic French couturier Thierry Mugler convey a powerful and seductive image of womanhood. His architectural, ultra-stylized silhouettes, his exploration of new materials, his passion for staging and spectacle, and his futuristic fantasies have left an indelible impression on the world of fashion. This lavish anthology is packed with his classic work, from outrageous catwalk shows to extravagant accessories. Celebrities, supermodels and muses shine out from original sketches and photographs by Thierry Mugler himself, alongside images from some of the great names of fashion photography, including Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin and Jean- Paul Goude. As a designer and artist, Mugler is always seeking new outlets for his inexhaustible energy, and brings his unmistakable style to everything he touches.

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thierry-muglerThierry Mugler nowadays goes by the name Manfred

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info: http://fashion.infomat.com/thierry-mugler-designer.html

Claude Montana, a Lost Legend & a Big Tradegy

31 May

Claude Montana

This post is a tribute to my mother, who always inspired me to be myself. I gave her some hard times, dressing fashionably at a very young age, fashion she didn’t understand or like. But even when I walked around with three shoulder pads on top of each other (ultimate power dressing, ahum) and people were staring at me, she proudly walked next to me. Thanks mam for letting me find out who I am!

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Claude Montana is a French fashion designer. His company, The House of Montana, founded in 1979, went bankrupt in 1997.

Born in Paris in 1949 to a Catalonian father and German mother, Montana began his career by designing papier-mâché jewelry covered with rhinestones. Later, he discovered leather and the complex techniques associated with it, eventually becoming a leading force in leather. His first fashion show took place in 1976. He was an avid colorist and favored blue, red, metallic, and neutral tones, in luxurious materials such as cashmere, leather and silk. He started his own company in 1979, and quickly became a darling of 1980s high fashion along with Thierry Mugler, who also favored aggressive shapes and strong colours.

Claude Montana

Claude Montana

Claude Montana

Mise en page 1

Claude Montana

In 1981, Montana designed his first collection for men, called Montana Hommes, in which he focused on the color and material of each garment rather than trivial details. From 1990 to 1992 he designed haute couture collections for the House of Lanvin, for which he received two consecutive Golden Thimble awards. Despite critical acclaim, Montana’s bold designs were financially disastrous for the house, created at a total estimated loss of $50 million, and he was ultimately replaced by Dominique Morlotti. In 1999, he designed an affordable line of clothing for women, Montana BLU. It was inspired by his favorite themes but modified to fit the style of sportswear and citywear.

Claude Montana for Lanvin, ph. Paolo Roversi

Paolo Roversi

Paolo Roversi

Paolo Roversi

Montana’s fashion shows excelled in styling as well as in presentation. Because of their vibrations, modelling for Montana became prestigious and invitations to his shows the hottest tickets in town. With fashion’s return to harder lines in 2007 Montana has become an inspiration for many designers. Alexander McQueen praised and honored Montana many times in his collections. Both designers shared a love for construction and high quality.

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On July 21, 1993, Montana married model Wallis Franken. It was a marriage of convenience and friendship, as Montana was openly homosexual. They were the same age, had been friends for 18 years, and she had served as his muse for many of his fashion innovations. Wallis already had two daughters and a granddaughter by a previous marriage. In June 1996, Wallis died after falling three stories from their Paris apartment. The death was ruled a suicide.

Power Dressing

claude montana

Claude Montana

1982,Claude Montana

In October 2010 it was announced that Claude Montana and Marielle Cro have been working on a coffee-table book documenting Montana’s career. The book includes photos and interviews with insiders who witnessed Montana’s career firsthand.

Currently, Montana lives in Spain.

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Death of Wallis Franken

Wallis Franken Vogue cover

 

In the three years since she had married the hard-partying and openly gay Montana in a wedding that stunned even the normally blasé fashion world, Wallis Franken had endured terrible physical and emotional abuse from her complicated and unconventional husband. Friends had begged her to leave him, but she told them that she was “obsessed” with Montana. She had been his muse and his ally since he started out in the mid-70s, and she thought of him not only as a genius but also as her alter ego.
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“He’s was sort of like her fate, her dark angel,” says Wallis’s friend Maxime de la Falaise. “She’d been in love with Claude for years.” Yet after decades of putting up with all the men and the nocturnal comings and goings in Montana’s life—not to mention his jealousy and possessiveness of her—the addition of the young fitting model, at a time when Wallis told friends Montana was ridiculing her as “old and ugly,” seemed particularly rattling. “Isn’t that weird?” she asked her friend Carolyn Schultz about the photographer’s request a few days before she returned to Paris from New York last May. But nobody, not even her family, seemed to have the slightest inkling of the depth of her despair. As usual, Wallis managed to fool everybody.
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With her Louise Brooks bob, her lithe, androgynous body, and her raucous laugh, Wallis Franken was celebrated for her taste and style, but even more for her sparkling, care-free nature. To the sophisticates of Paris’s couture world, who knew her so well, she was never in a bad mood, but always warm, full of ideas, and ready for a good time. “She did not have the personality of a model but of a woman,” says designer Hervé Léger. “We do not find what she had in girls now. She became a real Parisienne. Even though we all know she didn’t have an easy time, I never saw her anxious or depressed. Wallis projected crème fraîche.
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Her heyday on the runway was in the 70s, before the era of the supermodel, when lucrative product-endorsement contracts were rare. But at 48 she remained a fixture on the fashion scene, still able to wow them last March at Montana’s show at the Institute of the Arab World on the Left Bank. “You could see her person—there was a vulnerability in those eyes. How many models actually reveal that?” says Mark Van Amringe of Details magazine’s Paris office. “Wallis was the first mannequin to give the impression that the image belonged to her, not to the couturier,” says Christian Lacroix’s business partner, Jean-Jacques Picart. “She became an international figure.”
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In late April and early May, Wallis spent a wonderful two weeks in New York, tending to her aging mother, seeing old friends, buying gifts for Montana, and visiting a Chinese herbalist, to whom she recited a litany of menopausal symptoms. She told him, for example, that unstoppable tears would sometimes flow from her eyes, but she never mentioned the possibility of depression. She said she was excited that her daughter, Rhea, 26, who had two small daughters, was about to give birth to a grandson. “She left in very high spirits,” says Sanchez. Wallis made a date to meet Sanchez three weeks later at his house in Marrakech. Then she flew home, arriving on Monday morning, May 6.1993 - Claude Montana & Wallis Franken fitting 4 the weddingClaude Montana & Wallis Franken fitting for the wedding, 1993
She spent Tuesday at Montana’s boutique on Avenue Marceau, playing host to a German TV crew, choosing outfits for the young fitting model to pose in, treating the visitors to jokes and champagne. Her younger daughter, Celia, 24, who worked at the boutique, was also on hand to help out. “She smiled a lot and talked to everybody,” says the TV producer, Alexandra von Schledorn. She and Montana were polite and careful with each other.
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Nobody saw her on Wednesday, yet it was not unusual for her to take to her bed for 24 hours at a time. Neighbors who had previously complained to the police of loud music and rows emanating from Montana’s apartment on the Rue de Lille in the chic Seventh Arrondissement didn’t bother to look out to the back courtyard in the early morning hours when they heard a kind of thump. It wasn’t until seven hours later, on Thursday, May 9, that Wallis Franken’s bloodied body was discovered splattered on the cobblestones. She was wearing black leggings, socks, and a white shirt that was torn—a detail reportedly of interest to the Paris police.
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The concierge could not even tell who she was. She had apparently taken a swan dive out the second-story kitchen window, a drop of 25 feet. The police, who woke Montana to make the identification, questioned him for hours. They found her jewelry lined up neatly on the kitchen table. Montana apparently told the police as well as Wallis’s family that he had felt a draft during the night and had closed the kitchen window, but had not looked outside. He said the last time he saw Wallis alive was in the wee hours of Wednesday, May 8, when she fell asleep on the living-room sofa. By the time he left for work that day, she had moved to her own room, or so he assumed. He did not check. Nor did he bother to look in on her Wednesday night when he returned.
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The body was not removed from the courtyard until midafternoon. After an autopsy, which showed no marks or signs of self-defense on her body but which did show that she had ingested alcohol and cocaine, the French authorities have officially ruled Wallis Franken’s death a suicide by defenestration. Her family accepts that verdict. Nevertheless, her older brother Randy, who lives in Germany, and her mother, who lives in New York, both gave statements to the French police. They also engaged a lawyer who, according to Randy Franken, “made clear to authorities that there was a history of abuse.”wallis franken
What convinced Randy that his sister took her own life, however, was the height of the kitchen window. “I’m six foot three, and the sill hits me at my chest. If you wanted to push someone out, it would be a real job.” But these facts have not stopped the distraught and incredulous friends of Wallis Franken from blaming the diminutive Claude Montana for contributing to her death. (He, in turn, has made no public statement of any kind about his wife or her death. Neither has his press office. He declined to speak to Vanity Fair.)
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‘I feel that no matter what Claude did, whether his hands were on her or not, the lifestyle he gave her, the way he abused her mentally, emotionally, physically, pushed her over the edge,” says Wallis’s closest friend, former model turned painter Tracey Weed. “I have no doubt that he was a contributing factor to my sister’s demise, perhaps a major contributing factor,” says Randy Franken. “We all have the same idea,” echoes painter Vincent Scali, Wallis’s witness at her marriage to Montana. “Everybody knew that his part in her death was enormous.” How did Montana contribute? “By treating her like shit, saying, ‘You’re no one, you’re nobody, you’re a weight on my life.’ … He knew Wallis was weak.… We did everything in our power to keep her away from him, and she went back. She was a masochist.”

 

Book

Book cover

Displays and revels in the rich inventiveness of a designer who played a key role in the fashions of the 1980s and 1990s, and who has become an inspiration for many contemporary designers.

The Montana woman embodied an extraordinary new image: razor- sharp tailoring and strong silhouettes with dramatic proportions and masculine lines, enlivened by an astonishing mix of detail and bold hues. Materials, colors, and cut were all vehicles for Claude Montana’s effervescent genius, and it was the Lanvin period in the early 1990s that marked the absolute high point of his creativity.

This book looks at the principles and practices that underpin Montana’s work. It records numerous conversations with Montana himself that help us to understand the essential forces that have shaped his work, while scores of catwalk images and reproductions of his sketches reveal the energy and singularity of his vision. It is a journey punctuated with intimate comments and observations by those who have accompanied the designer at different points along the way—among others, the photographers Dominique Issermann, Tyen, and Paolo Roversi; the embroiderer François Lesage; the designer Alain Mikli; and the makeup artist Olivier Echaudemaison. Their moving testimonies are scattered throughout these pages. 124 color and 22 black-and-white illustrations.

ISBN 9780500515396

Claude Montana

 

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Info: Wikipedia, http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/1996/09/montana199609

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