… once said “Haute couture is like an orchestra, whose conductor is him. We, other couturiers, are the musicians and we follow the directions he gives.” Even the sharp tongue of Coco Chanel softened in deference to his skills: “He is a couturier in the truest sense of the word. Only he is capable of cutting material, assembling a creation, and sewing it by hand.”
“The clothes fascinate me not just because of how they look and are made but because of the women who wore them, the really extraordinary women who inspired their couturiers.” (Hamish Bowles, Vogue Editor)
“He can tell you not only how a Chanel dress was made, but also who wore it and possibly even who the lady was romancing at the time,” wrote The New York Times in 2001.
Jagger – who is currently the face of Rimmel and the ‘Just Cavalli’ fragrance – first appeared on the British Vogue cover in November 2009, before becoming one of Britain’s most sought-after young models. The model, who first came to the attention of most as the daughter of Rolling Stones frontman Mick and model Jerry Hall, has steadily built a successful career as a catwalk model – with appearances for Chanel, Balmain, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton last season (2013) – and campaign face, appearing for H&M, Miu Miu and Vivienne Westwood among others.
The trainers that Karl Lagerfeld sent out with every look of this week’s Chanel couture show are only available as part of each couture look, meaning the pricetag is likely to be pretty eye-watering. “However, we always have similar versions in our commercial and ready-to-wear collections,” a spokesperson for Chanel assured everybody.
Vivienne Westwood outfitted the very first English punks and then gave birth to successive waves of music fuelled, street-influenced trends. In “Portrait of a Former Punk,” Marion Hume writes in Vogue (1994) that she “is probably England’s greatest fashion designer of this century.”
“She’s the Coco Chanel of our day,” Alexander McQueen told Vogue in 2006. “Vivienne Westwood is an unbelievable influence,” Anna Wintour, Vogue’s Editor in Chief, told The New York Times in 1987. “Designer for the nineties” is how Vogue contributor Joan Juliet Buck describes her in an article on British style.
“I started with Chanel in 1982 with the first haute couture collection. When I took on Chanel, it was a sleeping beauty. Not even a beautiful one. She snored. But he owners knew that. That’s why they called me. They saw that respect doesn’t sell. Respect never works. So I was to revive a dead woman who most people believed to be definitively dead.” (Karl Lagerfeld in the “Lagerfeld Confidential” documentary, 2004)
This week, Karl Lagerfeld opened a new exhibition in Germany.
In the world of postwar Parisian fashion, Cristobal Balenciaga was very influential. Christian Dior once said “Haute couture is like an orchestra, whose conductor is Balenciaga. We, other couturiers are the musicians and we follow the directions he gives.” Even the sharp tongue of Coco Chanel softened in deference to his skills: “He is a couturier in the truest sense of the word. Only he is capable of cutting material, assembling a creation, and sewing it by hand.”
Nicolas Ghesquière was totally unknown when he was handed the helm of Balenciaga at the age of 25, so he had a lot to prove when he was appointed to lead the house in 1997. Quite masterfully, however, he delivered. He successfully melded his own innovations with those of the founding designer, and vastly expanded the brand’s commercial reach. His work soon turned Balenciaga into a critically acclaimed fashion house in the 2000s. The Gucci Group bought Balenciaga in 2001. On November 5, 2012, it was announced that Ghesquière was to leave his role as creative director of Balenciaga after 15 years in the role, being replaced by Alexander Wang.
Kristen Stewart is new face of Chanel. She first met Karl Lagerfeld in January 2012 during a photo shoot in Paris, when she was photographed in Chanel Couture. Kristen Stewart also appears in Balenciaga’s Florabotanica campaign. The star follows in the footsteps of Keira Knightley and Diane Kruger, who have also fronted adverts for the brand. [More about Fashion names and facts at Haute Couture Mind]