Архів категорії: American Fashion

Charles James

Charles James

James, who was born in England in 1906. At the age of nineteen, James opened his first milliner shop in Chicago, using the name of “Charles Boucheron”, as his father forbade him to use that of James.

“Charles Boucheron”

 In 1936, he established the company Charles James (London) Ltd., using his own name officially for the first time. He showed his first collection in the French capital in 1937. That same year, he created a one-of-a-kind white satin quilted jacket described by Salvador Dalí as “the first soft sculpture”.

James moved permanently to New York in 1939 where he established Charles James, Inc. Later Charles James becomes best known for his ballgowns and highly structured aesthetic. James describes fashion as “what is rare, correctly proportioned and, though utterly discrete, libidinous.” James is in the details as well as in the larger shapes. He grants every aspect of his garments — seams, draping, fabric, color — a distinct autonomy, and you see them for themselves and as part of a whole. 

James retired in 1958. He died in 1978 of bronchial pneumonia. James inspired many designers, including Christian Dior, who said he was “the greatest talent of my generation”. Since 1982, Charles’ works have been exhibited in the best museums in the world.

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Charles James

OSCAR DE LA RENTA

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta was born in the Dominican Republic in 1932. However, the country of Spain was his earliest style muse.  At the age of 18, he moved to Madrid to attend the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. As a student, de la Renta immersed himself in the culture of
Spain and, to make extra money, took up fashion sketching.

It was also in Madrid where he first became a fashion illustrator for the couture house of Cristobal Balenziaga in 1957.

Oscar de la Renta

Arriving in Manhattan in 1963, he worked for Elizabeth Arden and Jane Derby before going it alone, quickly became part of the fabric of the city’s fashion and social scenes.

Oscar de la Renta

De la Renta began his own signature ready-to-wear label in 1965. His designs were ladylike without being stiff, and he could whip up an airy summer dress with the same facility as he could a red carpet gown.

Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta

The label ” Oscar de la Renta” was an immediate hit thanks to De la Renta’s use of colour, his vibrant prints and romantic rendering of Spanish and Caribbean silhouettes. He said: “I fell madly for Spain, its people, its landscape and life in Madrid. The sights, sounds and drama of Spanish culture — bullfights, flamenco and the most festive celebrations such as the traditional ferias of Seville and fallas of Valencia — were burned forever in my imagination, defining my own aesthetic.”

Oscar de la Renta

Highly respected by his contemporaries, de la Renta served as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America from 1973 to 1976, and from 1986 to 1988. In 1990 the CFDA gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award. He also won the CFDA Womanswear Designer of the Year Award in 2000.

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta became the creative director of Balmain Haute Couture in 1992. Between 1993 and 2002 he designed the haute couture collections, becoming the first Dominican to design for a French couture house.

By the late ’90s and early 2000s, his work became the preferred wear of American first ladies. He dressed first lady Nancy Reagan in the 1980s, and then provided the gowns for inaugural events for both Hillary Clinton in 1997 and Laura Bush in 2005.

Nancy Reagan in the Oscar de la Renta red dress

De la Renta had been diagnosed with cancer during the first decade of the 2000s. He died on October 20, 2014, at the age of 82. His brand continues to function, and his creations are displayed in the best museums in the world.

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