Geoffrey Beene (1927 – 2004) was an American fashion designer; born Haynesville, Louisiana. He was a premed student at Tulane University when he found himself sketching gowns when he became bored during his lectures. Along with Bill Blass, he was regarded as the Godfather of American sportswear.
The house he occupied until 1945 at Ashcombe, Wiltshire, near friend Edith Olivier was decorated with limited funds using exaggerated baroque furniture. The walls of the ‘Circus Bedroom’ were painted by visiting artist friends, including Rex Whistler and Oliver Messel, in a kind of Surrealistic overstatement.
Zandra Rhodes is known for her creativity and talent worldwide, and it is images and impressions from all around the world that has so often inspired her art. Images have met her eye and been interpreted through her own very personal vision, boldly pushing their way into the highest levels of fashion, from an aerial view of a Mexican sombrero to the wiggle of the Great Wall of China.
Zandra Rhodes studied lithography and printing at Medway College before going on to the Royal College of Art to study textiles, graduating in 1964 during the height of the pop movement. She made a paper wedding dress that cost less than two shillings, motivated by this trend and the work of painter Roy Lichtenstein in particular (about 7 new pence). In 1967, paper clothing was all the rage: it was the ultimate representation of disposable apparel.
New York Fashion has been a seminal book on the story of American fashion since its hardcover debut in 1989. Caroline Rennolds Milbank chronicles the enormous changes in the fashion world from the early nineteenth century to the late twentieth century and the rise of prominent American designers such as Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and others.
Judith Leiber (1921 – 2018) was a prolific designer whose fanciful minaudières had accessorised royalties, first ladies, and film stars, and entered the collections of art the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While her couture handbags—carried by celebrities such as Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, Claudette Colbert, Björk, and Barbara Walters—are widely regarded as works of art, Leiber preferred the word “artisan” to “artist.”
American Fashion is the definitive book on the country’s fashion culture, spanning eight decades and featuring the work of more than 100 designers. American Fashion is a visual journey through classic and fresh photographs by the century’s most outstanding photographers and illustrators, followed by essays defining nearly a century of fascinating culture, commissioned by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).
Mary Quant, a pivotal figure in British fashion design, studied art and design at Goldsmiths College of Art from 1952 to 1955 while also taking evening classes in clothing construction and cutting. In 1955, in Knightsbridge, London, she established her first shop Bazaar on King’s Road, followed by the second shop Terence Conran designed in Knightsbridge.
Marimekko, one of the most well-known Finnish textile companies, was founded by Armi and Viljö Ratia in Helsinki in 1951 as the trendy and innovative arm of their parent business, Printex, which they also formed two years earlier. At Printex, Armi Ratia created bold, experimental printed cotton textiles. Still, after this failed to catch the popular imagination, she founded Marimekko.