Yves Saint Laurent started his brand in 1962 after working at the house of Dior, where he was famously appointed head designer at young age 21. Many of fashion’s most iconic creations can be attributed to YSL, including the women’s tuxedo jacket, the high-fashion peacoat, and the shirt dress. In addition to iconic clothing, he was also among the first designers to feature non-white models. Yves stayed at the brand until his retirement in 2002. He died in June 2008.
London has long been the capital of the United Kingdom fashion industry and has a wide range of foreign designs which have integrated with modern British styles. Typical, British design is smart but innovative yet recently has become more and more unconventional, fusing traditional styles with modern techniques. Vintage styles play an important role in the British fashion and styling industry. Stylists regularly 'mix and match' the old with the new, which gives British style that unique, bohemian aesthetic that many of the other fashion capitals try to imitate. Irish fashion (both design and styling) is also heavily influenced by fashion trends from Britain.
Born in Rome in 1890 to an aristocratic mother and an intellectual father, Schiaparelli soon rebelled against the conventional life of the upper classes. Her desire for exploration and experimentation landed her in hot water as a teen, when she published a book of poems with decidedly sensual overtones. Her work deeply offended her parents, who punished her by placing her in a convent. Schiaparelli was so determined to escape from the nunnery that she initiated a hunger strike which resulted in her release. By her early twenties she had fled to London, where she could live under less scrutiny. Later, during a foray in New York, she joined with artist friends and they all made their way to Paris…
To get attractive design, the feel, handle and texture of fabrics is most essential. Fashion is a visual medium; so touch becomes increasingly important to express luxury looks at the fashion market. Textile technologists have made great improvements in the sensual aspects of fabric like how it feels, looking and behaves, in addition to treatments that can affect the look and feel of garments after they are made, for example, washes and abrasions.
Known for his stunning couture designs and his sophisticated women’s tuxedo jackets (known as le smoking), Saint Laurent was destined to carve out his own identity, but his career was not without its challenges. After a poorly received collection at Dior, which featured hobble skirts and other unusual designs, he was sent into mandatory military service. The stress of being in the army (although he lasted only 20 days) took a tremendous toll on the sensitive designer. He suffered from teasing and hazing by his fellow soldiers, and he soon plunged into a nervous breakdown; he was sent to a mental hospital for treatment.
"Last year was all about the midi dress, but for A/W 19, it's all about the minidress," says Laura Larbalestier, Group Fashion Buying Director at Harvey Nichols. "We have exciting new launches at Harvey Nichols from Retrofete, Rotate and Giuseppe di Morabito, which all involve impactful looks with mini hemlines." Newbie labels are clearly backing shorter hemlines, but the trend also has the strong support coming in from the industry's sassiest established fashion houses, such as Saint Laurent: Anthony Vaccarello's vision for the French brand was nothing if not a total lesson in getting your legs out.
Over in London, things were distinctly more aggressive: Punk and themes of dissonance could be felt strongly (Brexit, much?), with plenty of tartan, more safety pins than even Johnny Rotten could handle and Vivienne Westwood staging an entire protest about climate change for her show. The strong mood could clearly be felt over the Channel, too, as British designer Sarah Burton's vision for Alexander McQueen this coming season established the poshest and most brilliantly executed iteration on punk we've seen in a long, long time. And talking of being combative, if you don't pick up on the "army" theme of many of the season's biggest shows (Bottega Veneta, Chloé, Miu Miu) and end up buying a pair of combat boots, I'll eat my bucket hat.