Sunday, 2 November 2014

French Women In Fashion: Six Names To Know

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Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel

Here are six French women who have influenced fashion, some more well known that others, courtesy of Zara Wong for Vogue Australia online... 

Louise Boulanger
Boulanger's signature silhouette was the drop-waisted dress with the pouf at the bottom made out of luxurious fabrics like fur or feathers or techniques like pleating. For her, fashion was about drama.  Her house closed in 1939.

Madeleine Vionnet
Vionnet's greatest innovation to fashion was the bias-cut; fabric was cut against its weave to create a figure-hugging, sinewy effect which was at the height of fashion in the 20s.

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Madeleine Vionnet

Gaby Aghion
The founder of the house of ChloĆ©, she rejected the stiff, formal dresses of the 50s and designed pieces that were easy, youthful and modern. Her house started pret-a-porter in France, as previously high fashion was only available to be custom-made for clients. She later hired Karl Lagerfeld to take her place – and the rest is history.

Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel
Chanel was a woman of very particular tastes but whose style revolutionised womenswear. Her lifestyle reflected her designs; she liked mixing fine jewellery with outlandish costume pieces, and preferred a more androgynous style of dressing which heralded a sportswear aesthetic in women's fashion.

Jeanne Touissant
As director of high jewellery at Cartier from 1918, Touissant shaped the aesthetic of the house. Renowned for her natural elegance and charm, her personality and style ushered in a new aesthetic for the house. Like Chanel her aesthetic was ground-breaking for its time and conveyed the era's sense of growing functionality in fashion and the mobility of women.
Jeeanne Tourussant

Elsa Schiaparelli
Although Italian in heritage, Schiaparelli was based in Paris, where she died. Her designs embraced surrealism, whimsy and quirk.  Starting in knitwear, she was most well known for her collaborations with artists, including Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau. 

To read Zara's article in full click here

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