Chloe is a French fashion house founded in 1952 by the Jewish Egyptian immigrant Gaby Aghion, who had a vision to offer luxury ready-to-wear. Karl Lagerfeld began designing for Chloe in 1966, and his creations from the 1970s were extremely influential.
Lagerfeld returned as creative director of Chloe in 1992, and was followed in due course by Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, and Natacha Ramsey-Levi.
This Black and Gold embroidered Tulle and Silk Chiffon Evening Ensemble was part of Karl Lagerfeld for Chloe’s Fall/Winter 1993 – 1994 Collection. Photographed as part of the exhibit, Paris: Capital of Fashion at the Museum art FIT in Manhattan.
Christian Dior’s “New Look” was central to the postwar revival of the Paris couture system. In addition to selling individual couture dresses to private clients, Dior also sold licensed copies, like this one of his Columbine dress, which was produced in the US for American department stores. The number of such high-end reproductions was limited, but there were also mass-produced garments that catered to the desire for at least “a copy of a copy of a Dior.”
The Dress Pictured Here is a Licensed Copy of Dior’s Columbine Dress by I. Magnin and Lord & Taylor circa 1947. Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Paris, Capital of Fashion at the Museum at FIT in Manhattan.
Oh, man, this sure does inspire sweet nostalgia for the happy days of the Record Listening Party! Why not sing along to 25 of your favorite horrendously inappropriate songs while rocking this awesome T-shirt design by Steven Rhodes! Devil’s Music Sing-Along T-Shirt is on sale now for just $21.95 at This Link!
The spring 1991 collection by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel was clearly inspired by surfing wet-suits. The Blue and Black Sequined Grosgrain Jacket was one of several brightly-colored versions covered in shimmering sequins that glistened like wet neoprene, and the lines of black, grosgrain trim are similar to the seams of a wet-suit. Lagerfeld called this jacket “the city surfer” look and noted that it was “perfect for diving into the nightlife from Paris to Rome to London to New York.”
Photographed as part of the Exhibit Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme which Runs Through at January 6, 2018 the Museum at FIT In Manhattan.
Above and Below, New Shots Added February 9, 2019 from The Current Exhibit, Exhbitionism: 50 Years of the Museum at FIT.
Paco Rabanne presented his first fashion collection in 1966. It was entitled 12 Dresses in Unwearable Materials and included garments made from links of plastic fastened with metal hoops. Rabanne had proven that fabric, needle and thread were not altogether necessary to clothing design, and he quickly gained fame for his defiance of tradition.
Ready-to-wear Dress Circa 1966: Silver and Black Plastic Discs, Metal Hoops. Photographed in the Museum at FIT in Manhattan.
With its petal-like stole, this evening gown, The Tree (1955), transforms the wearer into a flower, giving her a sensual elegance. Couturier Charles James (1906 – 1978) often envisioned his clients as exotic flowers and he believed that fashion should arouse the mating instinct. Ooh!
Psychologist Nancy Etcoff writes, “Flowers are alluring landing strips for pollinating insects: They are the plant worlds sex objects.” Think about that next time you see a flower.
Charles James, Photographed in 1946, By Irving Penn
Photographed as part of the Force of Nature Exhibit, on Through November 18th, 2017 at at The Museum at FIT, Located at the Southwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 27th Street, in NYC.
Update, September 9, 2018:
This outfit is currently part of the latest exhibit at the Museum at FIT, The History of Pink. Here are three additional photo of the dress that I took just yesterday!
Yves Saint Laurent’s fall 1965 collection was inspired by the paintings of Piet Mondrian. While it became one of Saint Laurent’s most famous collections, other designers had introduced similar designs before him. The Montreal Gazette claimed that color-blocked dresses by Michele Roiser had inspired Saint Laurent to “add a few black lines” to his own creations.
YSL dress seen here with a color block design by Lousi Feraud (circa 1967) on the left.
For reasons that take too long to talk about, I’m late to the game with my post on the exhibit Paris Refashioned: 1957-1968, which closed on April 15th, 2017. But why waste a collection of lovely photos when I could still post them here, in hope that they will entice you to attend the museum’s next exhibit, while you learn more about the history of French fashion!
I was fortunate to visit the exhibit one frigid Saturday afternoon in February, when there were very few other attendees and the feelings of nostalgia were great, as it reminded me of shopping with my mother when I was a little girl back in the 1960s.
Installation View with Pantsuits
Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968 highlighted one of the most groundbreaking time periods in fashion history. While many books and exhibitions about this era position London as the center of innovative, youth-oriented design, this limited perspective overlooks the significant role that Paris continued to play in the fashion industry. Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968 examined the combined influence of French haute couture, ready-to-wear, and popular culture during this era, with particular emphasis on how fashion was perceived and promoted by the American fashion press. All objects on view were selected from The Museum at FIT’s permanent collection of more than 50,000 objects.
Please enjoy some of our favorite designs from the show!
Evening Suit By Coco Chanel in Gold Silk Satin Brocade, 1960
Christian Dior Ready-to-Wear Hostess Gown, Printed Ivory Silk Satin, 1957
Emanuel Ungaro Couture Dress, Red Double-knit Wool, Polyurethane and PVC, 1967
Left Foreground: Emanuel Ungaro Couture Coat. Blue and Grey Printed Wool Fabric By Sonia Knapp, 1968
Far Left: Jeanne Lanvin (aka Jules-Francois Crahay) Couture Evening Ensemble Dress and Hood in Fuschia Silk Chifon and Rhinestones, 1964-65
Left: Pierre Cardin Ready-to-Wear Coat and Pinafore Dress and Belt in Burgundy Leather, 1967
Arlette Nastat Ready-to-Wear Dress in Black and Pink Linen, 1966
Look for more individual pieces from the exhibit to be featured in Wednesday’s weekly Eye On Design column in upcoming weeks!
André Courrèges Couture Dress in Black Chiffon, Tan Silk and Black Vinyl, 1968