Tuesday, January 7, 2014

British Designers

Alexander McQueen

McQueen was born on March 17th 1969 in London, England. He left school at the age of 16 and was immediately offered an apprenticeship at the traditional Saville Row tailors Anderson and Shephard and then at neighbouring Gieves and Hawkes, both masters in the technical construction of clothing. From there he moved to the theatrical costumiers Angels and Bermans where he mastered six methods of pattern cutting from the melodramatic 16th Century to the brutally sharp tailoring which has become a McQueen signature. McQueen was the creative director for Givenchy in Paris from 1996 to 2001."Alexander McQueen" brand was founded by McQueen in 1992 he was the creative director of his fashion house till his death.He was named British designer of the Year four times in 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003. Alexander McQueen's is well known for his skull-print chiffon scarf and his avant-garde 10 inch stilettos. His collections are known for both the emotional power and raw energy of his shows as well as the romantic but determinedly contemporary nature of this clothes. It is typical of McQueen to use the juxtaposition between contrasting elements; fragility and strength, tradition and modernity and fluidity and severity. An openly emotional and even passionate viewpoint is realised with a profound respect and influence for the arts and crafts tradition. Alexander McQueen's collections combine an in-depth working knowledge of bespoke British tailoring, the fine workmanship of the French Haute Couture atelier and the impeccable finish of Italian manufacturing.
Alexander McQueen's collections for Givenchy have included golden eagles embroidered by Lesage, rose petals pressed into sheer organdie, pure gold material woven for a bolero jacket, feathers painstakingly layered like a bird's wing onto a catsuit and other unique weird styles. But he has not forgotten that he must play the Givenchy game, if he is to succeed. He has managed to continue to design in his funky, youthful modern manner at his own house of McQueen while also producting the elegant, expensive, beautiful creations at Givenchy. This takes a real effort, but so far he is succeeding.McQueen also made a mark in his Haute Couture collection and many of his collections are in museums and art galleries .Mc Queen is probably one of the best designer of modern time and probably the best designer in the history of Britain.

Alexander McQueen ,one of fashion's rare geniuses

Alaxender McQueen's Collection

Paul Smith

Sir Paul Smith is an icon in menswear fashion.His designs have a classy gentleman look with a twist and his colour selection is very exclusive.Inspired by the traditional British menswear he admired as young boy - such as his brother's Post Office shirts and the tweeds of the Nottinghamshire country set - Smith's greatest attribute is simplicity. He has described his designs as "well-made, good quality, simple cut, interesting fabric, easy to wear" and often adds a splash of vibrant colour, a floral print or his signature multi-coloured stripes.Paul uses superbright stripes, loud prints, contrasting colors, and extra-sharp tailoring to create his classy and quirky collection.  He caputured the menswear market in 1980s and since then never went down and nowadys he is a world famous fashion designer who makes "Classy British" clothes.Smith was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, after nearly three decades as a menswear icon. His collections of clothing and accessories for both men and women are usually identified by the presence of Smith's multistripe signature somewhere on each item.

Paul Smith

Paul Smith's Collection

Christopher Bailey

Responsible for the design of all Burberry collections and product lines including Burberry Prorsum, Burberry London and Thomas Burberry, Yorkshire-born Bailey is also responsible for the company's overall image including all advertising, corporate art direction and store design.

    Prior to his appointment at Burberry, Bailey was the senior designer of womenswear at Gucci from 1996 to 2001.From 1994 to 1996 he was the womenswear designer at Donna Karan. He won Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2005 - the same year that Angela Ahrendts took over as chief executive officer. The pair went on to become one of the most celebrated business partnerships in global fashion.In 2006, Bailey was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Westminster, from where he graduated in 1990.

He was named Menswear Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2007 and, the same year, also received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Huddersfield, Yorkshire. In 2008 he scooped Menswear Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. In 2009 Burberry began showing at London Fashion Week having previously always shown as part of Milan Fashion Week. The label's return to London is credited with having reignited the city's global fashion status and elevated the reputation of London Fashion Week as a whole.

 Burberry is labelled "British Ralph Lauren" the simplicity and comfort of clothes make it the choice of many around the globe.In October 2013 it was announced that Bailey would take over from Ahrendts as chief executive officer of the business, while maintaining his chief creative director role - as she moved to take up a senior role at Apple.It is no surprise that today Burberry is the most followed designer brand  in the world.

Christopher Bailey, Burberry's Golden boy

                                                              Bailey's Collection


Erdem Moralioglu was born in Montreal Canada in 1977. The British Turkish fashion designer works under the more familiar moniker Erdem.
Born to a Turkish father and British mother, Moralioglu grew up moving between Montreal and Birmingham. After gaining a B.A in fashion design form Ryerson University in Toronto, he worked for a brief spell as an intern at Vivienne Westwood where he embraced archive duty and the opportunity to examine Westwood’s collection of corsetry by Mr. Pearl. He moved to London in 2000 to study fashion at the Royal College of Art and in 2003 graduated with an M.A, his graduate collection closed the RCA show. Following this he moved to New York to work alongside Diane von Furstenberg before returning to London to launch his own label.
Erdem is well known in the industry for his well-mannered nature and boyish good looks. He has dressed some of the worlds most influential political women including Michelle Obama, Sarah Brown and Samantha Cameron as well some of Hollywood's brightest stars.
Famously not interested in trends, Erdem’s goal is to make women look resplendent. “I never think about what's sexy, I don't agonise over whether her bum will look big in something. I focus on the silhouettes and the proportions and hope that takes care of everything.”
Since then Tilda Swinton, Nicole Ritchie and Claudia Schiffer have been spotted in his elegant creations.A contemporary of London’s new vanguard of fresh blood, including Christopher Kane and Gareth Pugh, Moralioglu’s quieter and more beautiful approach, compared to the sex appeal that features heavily on the other designers’ runways, has given him a much broader appeal and as such more commercial viability and success.
Added to his love of period Britishness courtesy of Merchant Ivory et al, Moralioglu names Mainbocher, the American couturier behind many of Wallis Simpson’s ensembles, as one of his main design inspirations.  Moralioglu’s Turkish father and the family’s summer trips to Istanbul offered an alluring counterpoint to his English rose of a mother. Hence with the softness and fluffy frills comes a touch of subversion embodied mainly in his strong colours and atmospheric prints. Other noted inspirations are Yves Saint Laurent for his skill at making women elegant and his masterful use of colour and Charles James, the little known but astounding couturier.

Moralioglu has engaged a range of sponsors and collaborators to date, including Scottish raincoat firm Mackintosh, Swarovski who helped produce the range of Erdem purse clutches and belts, Taroni the famous silk producer and French lace doyenne Sophie Hallet whose filigree was shown in symbiosis with two beautiful Mackintosh Erdem coats for AW08.

“Erdem is as much about the indispensable as the divine.”

In a remarkably short space of time, Erdem has become famous for its use of lively and unique colour combinations, statuesque silhouettes and complex prints, which are often spiced with the whimsical or macabre. He is loved for his ability to make grown-up clothes that look pretty and feminine without being overly sugary sweet. Aside from his ‘first ladies fan club’, the young designer’s gowns are increasingly seen gracing red carpet events internationally.

While Erdem’s contemporaries set catwalks ablaze with their controversial collections and trend led designs, he blithely trod his own feminine path of attractive dresses uninterested in trends and fanfare fashion.Although Erdem is not interested in setting trends, his blurry floral print and feminine silhouettes frequently filter down onto the high street. His designs are both opulent and expensive; his long silk dresses can cost upwards of £3000. They are clothes both of a pre-Raphaelite past and a sleek modern future.



                                                                  Erdem's Collection

Stella McCartney

 Stella Nina McCartney was born on 13th September 1971, the daughter of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and the late photographer Linda McCartney. As a child Stella travelled the world with her parents and their pop group Wings. Despite their fame, the McCartneys wanted their children to lead as normal lives as possible so the children attended state schools.

Stella became interested in designing clothes aged 13 when she created her first jacket. Three years later she interned for Christian Lacroix and she later worked with her father’s tailor Edward Sexton on Savile Row. She studied her foundation art at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication and then completed a fashion design degree at Central Saint Martins in the early 1990s.

Stella’s signature style of sharp tailoring, flirtatious femininity and natural confidence was immediately apparent from her breakthrough degree collection and has become her trademark. Although she has never overtly used her famous background there is no doubt that her throng of celebrity friends helped propel her into the limelight. Her graduate collection was modelled by her friends Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Yasmin Le Bon and the music was written by her father.When McCartney joined Chloé in the mid 1990s, her predecessor Karl Lagerfeld was less than impressed with the house's choice, famously stating, “Chloé should have taken a big name. They did, but in music, not fashion. Let's hope she's as gifted as her father”. Despite some initial scepticism, McCartney's designs proved a great success and reinvigorated the atelier.

When she had joined Chloé, the brand was seen to be out-dated and was producing unsuccessful collections. Out went the grey carpets and 1980s décor in its Rue du Faubourg St Honoré headquarters and in came boho Notting Hill style. McCartney brought with her the softly feminine floaty look which her mother had loved in the 1970s and injected it with a nineties sense of casual cool. When McCartney, a strict vegetarian, joined Chloé her contract stipulated that she need never work with fur or leather. All Chloé and subsequent Stella McCartney shoes were made from vinyl, plant derivatives or plastics, bags and belts were made from similar or variations of fabric and raffia.

Since starting her own label, McCartney has also collaborated on projects with various artists including Gary Hume, R.Crumb, Jeff Koons, David Remfry and Ed Ruscha. Under her eponymous label, Stella McCartney collections include women’s ready-to-wear, accessories, lingerie, eyewear, fragrance and a line of organic skincare.
McCartney has never been a fashion revolutionary. She has always designed clothing that she personally likes and would wear and therein lays her broad appeal. Her success lies in not only the appeal of her clothes to her celebrity friends such as Liv Tyler, Cameron Diaz and Madonna, but also in its appeal to the many women who want to buy into her particular brand of ‘Portobello Road meets les Champs-Élysées’. As Milan Vukmirovic, artistic director of Colette, Paris’ trendiest clothes store, said of McCartney’s time at Chloé, “Her airbrushed T-shirts were like freshly baked baguettes. Less than 24 hours after we put them in the window, every single one had gone”.

The basis of the McCartney look is slim fitting trousers and jeans, ethereal blouses and dresses made from the lightest materials. These are mixed with a hint of elegant sportswear, the occasional strong graphic print and the odd playful shape. She is also famous for her exquisitely cut trouser suits and jackets, a remnant of her early Savile Row training. McCartney has marked out a territory that is all about sexy ease and discreet luxury. “We’ve done the feminist thing and beaten men down, and now we want to lure them back. I think there's a danger in being too girly though.”

                                                              Stella's Collection

John Galliano

 British fashion designer John Galliano's intricate and provocative clothes, which sometimes teeter on the edge of absurd, have made him one of the leading names in an industry where very few succeed to the top echelon. Usually referred to as fashion's enfant terrible, the designer's quixotic vision, exuberant sense of style, and iconoclastic personality have earned him a devoted following among the fashionista set, especially after he took over at the  House of Dior in 1996. More than any other designer working today, Galliano is responsible for the sheer and sexually frank clothing so many women wear."

Galliano emerged from a new generation of daring British designers whose visionary styles began stirring up the somewhat-moribund realm of international haute couture in the 1990s. Along with Alexander McQueen, creative director of Gucci, and Stella McCartney of Chloe, Galliano was tapped to take over one of France's more venerable design houses, Dior, in the 1990s. Before this generation, few British names had ever had any lasting impact on the French- and Italian-centric world of fashion. But Galliano has continental roots that helped shape his fabulously eccentric vision: his mother was Spanish, and he was born in Gibraltar, an overseas territory of Britain located on the coast of Spain, in 1960. The family moved to London six years later, but Galliano grew up in a household where his mother taught him to flamenco dance and regularly dressed his two sisters and him in formal outfits for Sundays and special occasions.

Galliano was originally drawn to languages, but at school he discovered he had a talent for drawing. His teachers suggested he apply to a fashion college, and he won a slot at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London's top design school. While there, he worked as a dresser at Britain's National Theatre, the eminent theater company in London. As a dresser, it was his job to make sure that the wardrobe worn by some of Britain's most famous thespians was perfect, but Galliano also gained a wealth of experience in the art of spectacle. "That changed my life," he said of the job in the interview with Specter. "I was a good dresser. It helped shape my view of drama, of clothing, of costume--the way people dress."
As a design student, Galliano was often seized by fanciful ideas and schemes. While still in school, he began sketching images of bizarrely modern clothing based on the ideals of the French Revolution. True to form, he sketched them on period-style parchment paper and only by candlelight. When one of his teachers saw them, it was suggested that Galliano turn the sketches of quasi-androgynous gear into his graduation collection at St. Martins. He staged an elaborate spectacle that caused a London fashion-world sensation in 1984. Harper's Bazaar writer Colin McDowell was an instructor at the school at the time, and recalled "there was hysteria behind the scenes, with students in tears begging to model for him, and members of the audience, who had already heard the buzz, becoming increasingly excited in anticipation."

In 1990, Galliano took a leap of faith and moved to Paris. He struggled financially there, too, especially after Aguecheek severed its ties with him. After presenting collections only intermittently for a few years, he was living in reduced circumstances at his tiny atelier. He was known among the fashion-editrix and stylesetter set for his gorgeous and eccentric designs, but was thought to be too outré for the commercial world. That changed when Galliano was befriended by the creative director for the American edition of Vogue, Andre Leon Talley. After Talley convinced Vogue editor Anna Wintour to give Galliano's newest designs a look, it was decided that Galliano needed to stage a show for the fall 1994 Paris collections to secure some serious financial backing. He had no money to put on a show, but Talley asked Paris socialite Saõ Schlumberger to lend her house, and Galliano filled it with thousands of dead leaves and pumped in dry ice. A roster of top models of the day worked for free, and wore Galliano items cut from the sole bolt of fabric he could afford to buy: black satin-backed crepe, which had a shiny side and matte one.

The show was a sensation, and brought Galliano another British Designer of Year award. He showed an expanded line at Bergdorf Goodman that same year for his American retail debut, but the true turning point was around the corner: in July of 1995, he was announced as the next haute couture and ready-to-wear designer for Givenchy. The classic French house dated back to 1952 and was indelibly associated with actress Audrey Hepburn, the muse of designer Hubert de Givenchy, but in recent years the clothes had lacked excitement and de Givenchy announced he would retire. The parent company, French luxury-goods conglomerate Louis Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy (LVMH), launched a search to replace de Givenchy, and stunned the fashion world by installing Galliano in the post. He became the first British designer to head a French design house since Charles Frederick Worth dressed the Empress Eugenie and France's wealthiest women in the 1850s.

Some media sources made much of Galliano's startling rise, and often invoked the "son of a plumber" phrase. Adding to that, Galliano was known as exuberantly, famously eccentric, often sporting long dreadlocks, a pencil mustache, and a roster of ever-changing get-ups that usually featured somewhat of a pirate theme. After a year on the job, Galliano's star rose even further at LVMH when he was named head of Christian Dior, assuredly the most prestigious and vital property in the LVMH stable. Now Galliano had the financial wherewithal to give his creative vision free rein, and LVMH chair Bernard Arnault seemed to let him do as he pleased. His Dior debut at the Paris haute-couture shows was famous for its train-station setting and the models alighting off an antique steam engine that came thundering down the track.
Other Dior shows under Galliano featured models dressed as nuns but also sporting fetish wear, or a theme centered around the idea of Russian aristocrats escaping the 1917 revolution. Critics seemed flummoxed at times to translate Galliano's ideas onto the page and distill what was important and new, but the clothes won their own fans and the Dior name enjoyed an impressive renaissance. The line was suddenly new, sexy, and hip, with its clothes fitting much closer to the body, which Galliano has said he worked diligently to convince its esteemed stable of fitters and seamstresses to do when he took over. Though his runway ideas were sometimes outrageous, in the end they trickled down to the mainstream, and Galliano is credited with bringing dirty denim, camouflage, and even the slip dress to the masses.

 His dresses became the favorite of trendsetting celebrities, from singer Gwen Stefani to actress Nicole Kidman, and between 1997 and 2001, Dior sales doubled to $312 million. In 2004, he was named to Time magazine's 100 list of world trendsetters and visionaries, and while writer Kate Betts hailed him as an immense creative force, she claimed the larger significance of what he introduced was nothing less than "the very proportions of our clothes, cutting dresses and jackets on the bias—against the grain of the fabric—so that they spiral around the body and give women a sinuous, sexier shape."

Galliano still makes his own John Galliano line, and opened an expectedly grandiose retail space in Paris on the Rue Saint-Honore in 2003. He lives in the Marais district of Paris, and adheres to a strenuous fitness regime to keep him toned for the sometimes shirtless catwalk struts he likes to take after presenting his collections. His outrageous costumes are a drastic departure from the well-cut suits of Monsieur Dior, who died in 1957 after revolutionizing women's fashion in a mere decade of innovation. "I don't think if Mr. Dior were here today he'd still be doing what he did back then, redoing things from yesteryear," Galliano told W 's Miles Socha in 2002. "Don't forget, he was the first designer to set the standard for the modern fashion show. 

John Galliano

                                                         Galliano's Collection

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