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.
Paco Rabanne was first known as an accessories designer and his work was regularly featured in the pages of magazines such as Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. This bag was likely made after the designer has started his clothing line. It shows how his idea of “futuristic armor” was translated into an eye-catching accessory
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.
French fashion journalist and designer Michèle Rosier (1930-2017), the daughter of Elle Magazine editor Hélène Gordon-Lazareff, ran her own popular ready-to-wear label, V de V was short for Vêtements de Vacance or Vacation Clothes.
She specialized in stylish skiwear, exemplified by this boldly-printed nylon Ski Jacket (1966), and was nicknamed Queen of Vinyl for her pioneering use of that material
Photographed at the Exhibit Paris Refashioned: 1957-1968, Which Closed at the Museum at FIT on April 15th, 2017.
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