August 22 2014

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3 posts tagged "Claire McCardell"

In Memoriam: Remembering Those Who Passed in 2013


The new year is just around the corner, but before we move on to 2014, we pause to celebrate a few of the innovators who passed away this year. Below are some of the legends to whom we say good-bye.

In Memoriam: Remembering those who passed in 2013

Ottavio and Vittorio Missoni
There’s no denying the colorful imprint that Missoni has had, and continues to leave, on Italian fashion since it was first created by Italian impresario Ottavio Missoni and his wife, Rosita, in 1958. Having contributed to the rise of Italian ready-to-wear, Ottavio, ever the patriarch, peacefully passed this May at 92, having bequeathed the reigns of the family empire to his children, Angela, Luca, and the late Vittorio, in the nineties. Vittorio, formerly the CEO of Missoni, who was credited with bringing the brand and its signature zigzag knits global, tragically disappeared, at age 58, with his partner in a plane crash off the coast of Venezuela in January of this year.
Related: Ottavio Missoni R.I.P. and Vittorio Missoni Missing Off Coast Of Venezuela

Lou Reed Lou Reed, the dark horse of rock ‘n’ roll whose artistry and lyricism profoundly influenced various generations of musicians, came into the limelight in the sixties with the Velvet Underground. Reed’s prolific work, which extended into a solo career up until the point of his death (this October, in Long Island, of liver disease at 71), grasped the attention of artists and politicians, like Andy Warhol and Czech leader Václav Havel, as well as his contemporaries, from Bob Dylan to Metallica.

Peter Kaplan
As’s editor in chief, Dirk Standen, wrote, Peter Kaplan was inimitable. Kaplan was best recognized for his editorial prowess as the single longest-standing editor (fifteen years) of The New York Observer, and he set the tone for the media industry to follow by covering the cultish intrigue of New York City’s elite, politicians, and power brokers. His extensive career, which included working at Time magazine, The New York Times, and Charlie Rose, prior to his tenure at the Observer, last saw him as the editorial director of Condé Nast’s Fairchild Fashion Group, of which is a part. Kaplan, age 59, passed of lymphoma.
Related: Peter Kaplan, R.I.P.

Lilly Pulitzer
At 81, Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau, known simply as Lilly Pulitzer, which was also the name for her fashion line of chintzy, preppy print looks prevalent in Palm Beach, Florida (her base), and abroad, passed this April. The socialite-cum-designer began creating her tropical-inspired looks in the sixties and was oft quoted as saying, “It’s always summer somewhere.”
Related: Lilly Pulitzer Dies at 81

Deborah Turbeville
Deborah Turbeville, who passed in Manhattan at 81, in October of lung cancer, was one of fashion’s great photographic legends. Having assisted the late great lensman Richard Avedon, Turbeville worked as a fit model for Claire McCardell and saw a brief editorial stint at Harper’s Bazaar, before building her creative oeuvre on a commanding yet soft aesthetic with a dark and feminine mystique. Appearing everywhere from Vogue to W to The New York Times, her work radically defined imagery in the seventies.
Related: R.I.P. Deborah Turbeville and The Image Makers: Deborah Turbeville Continue Reading “In Memoriam: Remembering Those Who Passed in 2013″ »

The Original Minimalist? A Paris Exhibition Reintroduces Couture Pioneer Madame Grès


Madame Grès: Couture at Work, curated by Olivier Saillard, the new director of Paris’ Musée Galliera, sheds light on one of the most enigmatic designers in twentieth-century fashion. The designer (born Germaine Krebs) originally wanted to be a sculptor, but her family had other ideas; she trained instead in haute couture. Described by French Vogue‘s editor Edmonde Charles-Roux as “a dictator disguised as a mouse,” Grès (left, in 1946) went on to revolutionize couture by refining her unique draping techniques over six decades—as she said, “like someone who didn’t know how.” The show, held at the Bourdelle museum (the former studio of the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle) while the Musée Galliera is under construction, makes a case for the timelessness of Grès’ designs. spoke with Saillard about Grès’ prescient minimalism, her timeless style, and her modern-day successors (Azzedine Alaïa and Rei Kawakubo among them).

Madame Grès: Couture at Work runs through July 24 at the Musée Bourdelle, 18 rue Antoine Bourdelle, Paris, 33-01-49-54-73-73.

Why did you decide to do your first Galliera exhibition on Madame Grès?
While doing part one of “The Ideal History of Contemporary Fashion,” covering the seventies and eighties at the [Musée des] Arts Décoratifs, I wanted to show Madame Grès’ work from the 1970′s. She was a very old woman by then, with 50 years’ experience, but her dresses from that period were astounding. Many designers’ work plunges a bit by the end of their career, but Grès had a nervous quality one associates with breakthroughs. The problem was we had very few pieces of hers in the collection, so I wasn’t able to do anything. When I arrived at Galliera I found that the museum has 250 pieces of Grès, so I said, let’s do it right away.

What interests you about Grès?
Her work is very classic and elegant, but it’s also a precursor. She is a bit minimal, before fashion used the word—a bit Belgian, a bit Japanese. For me, doing the show was like becoming immersed in a biography. I began looking at Guy Bourdin’s photos of Grès in the seventies for French Vogue, which heralded a comeback. That’s what I personally adored. This was fashion that wasn’t fashionable. Madame Grès is like an outlaw, she’s beyond fashion, or as the Americans say, she is a “designer’s designer.” Continue Reading “The Original Minimalist? A Paris Exhibition Reintroduces Couture Pioneer Madame Grès” »

Red, White, And Beautiful


Come tomorrow, the Museum at FIT will become a construction site of sorts when American Beauty—an exhibition that focuses on technical innovation and composition as benchmarks of sartorial greatness—opens. “Our best designers have been and continue to be those who utilize construction as a vehicle to achieve their aesthetic vision,” says Patricia Mears, deputy director of the Museum at FIT and curator. She’s out to show that modern American fashion is far more sophisticated than blue jeans and sportswear, and mixed among the work of hall of famers like Claire McCardell (above right), Halston, and Pauline Trigère will be that of some new recruits to the art of dressmaking, like Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy (above left) and Jean Yu. “Anyone, and I mean anyone, can call himself or herself a designer,” Mears remarks. “I wanted to challenge that term and make a point that the best and most innovative fashion comes from those who have a strong technical knowledge of clothing construction.”

Photos: William Palmer (Rodarte); Irving Solero (Claire McCardell) / Courtesy of The Museum at FIT