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  1. 1. C O N T E M P O R A R YFASHION
  2. 2. OTHER ART TITLES FROM ST. JAMES PRESSContemporary ArchitectsContemporary ArtistsContemporary DesignersContemporary MasterworksContemporary PhotographersContemporary Women ArtistsInternational Dictionary of Architects and ArchitectureInternational Dictionary of Art and ArtistsSt. James Guide to Black ArtistsSt. James Guide to Hispanic ArtistsSt. James Guide to Native North American ArtistsSt. James Modern Masterpieces
  3. 3. C O N T E M P O R A R YFASHIONSECOND EDITION Editor: Taryn Benbow-Pfalzgraf
  4. 4. STAFF Taryn Benbow-Pfalzgraf, Editor Kristin Hart, Project CoordinatorErin Bealmear, Joann Cerrito, Jim Craddock, Stephen Cusack, Miranda H. Ferrara, Melissa Hill, Margaret Mazurkiewicz, Carol A. Schwartz, Christine Tomassini, Michael J. Tyrkus, St. James Press Staff Peter M. Gareffa, Managing Editor, St. James Press Mary Beth Trimper, Manager, Composition and Electronic Prepress Evi Seoud, Assistant Manager, Composition Purchasing and Electronic Prepress Dorothy Maki, Manufacturing Manager Rhonda Williams, Print Buyer Barbara J. Yarrow, Manager, Imaging and Multimedia Content Dean Dauphinais, Senior Editor, Imaging and Multimedia Content Leitha Etheridge-Sims, Mary K. Grimes, David G. Oblender, Image Catalogers Lezlie Light, Imaging Coordinator Randy Bassett, Imaging Supervisor Dan Newell, Imaging Specialist Mike Logusz, Graphic Artist Maria L. Franklin, Manager, Rights & Permissions Shalice Shah-Caldwell, Permissions Associate While every effort has been made to ensure the reliability of the information presented in this publication, St. James Press does not guarantee the accuracy of the data contained herein. St. James Press accepts no payment for listing; and inclusion of any organization, agency, institution, publication, service, or individual does not imply endorsement of the editors or publisher. Errors brought to the attention of the publisher and verified to the satisfaction of the publisher will be corrected in future editions. This publication is a creative work fully protected by all applicable copyright laws, as well as by misappropriation, trade secret, unfair competition, and other applicable laws. The authors and editors of this work have added value to the underlying factual material herein through one or more of the following: unique and original selection, coordination, expression, arrangement, and classification of the information. All rights to this publication will be vigorously defended. Copyright © 2002 St. James Press 27500 Drake Rd. Farmington Hills, MI 48331-3535 All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.Cover photo: Design by Roberto Capucci, ca. 1980-97 © Massimo Listri/CORBIS. Library of Congress Catalog Cataloging-in-Publication Data Contemporary fashion / editor, Taryn Benbow-Pfalzgraf.—2nd ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-55862-348-5 1. Fashion designers—Biographical—Encyclopedias. 2. Costume design—History—20th century—Encyclopedias. 3. Fashion—History—20th century—Encyclopedias. I. Benbow-Pfalzgraf, Taryn. TT505.A1 C66 2002 746.9’2’0922—dc21 2002017801 Printed in the United States of America St. James Press is an imprint of Gale Gale and Design is a trademark used herein under license 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  6. 6. EDITOR’S NOTE FROM THE FIRST EDITIONThis volume is dedicated to Colin Naylor (1944–92), who initiated its publication and was editor until his early death. Colin’sdistinguished contributions to the arts—as editor of Art & Artists and as editor of indispensable reference volumes published by St.James Press and the Gale Group—resonate with his lively sense of the role of contemporary arts. I had the privilege of writing forhim at Art & Artists decades ago and began on this volume in order to be involved again with an old friend and an inspiring editor.While he is not present for its outcome, Contemporary Fashion will always bear Colin’s sense of adventure, scope of interest, andunceasing imagination. Contemporary Fashion is, I hope, no less Colin’s book and dream for his absence upon its fulfillment.Contemporary Fashion seeks to provide information on and assessment of fashion designers active during the period from 1945 tothe present. International in scope in accordance with fashion’s wide resourcing and dissemination, this volume attempts to providedependable information and substantive critical appraisal in a field often prone to excessive praise and hyperbolic language. Eachentry consists of a personal and professional biography; bibliographic citations by and about the designer; when possible, astatement by the designer on his or her work and/or design philosophy; and a concise, informative essay. The book’s emphasis is ondesign creativity and distinction; in instances of a corporation, family business, design house, or other collective enterprise, we haveattempted to hone in on the distinguishing attributes of the design tradition. Much literature from specialized periodicals isassimilated in the critical essays and listed in the bibliographies, offering the reader access to a wide variety and deep concentrationof specialized literature.Special appreciation is owed to the designers and design houses who generously supplied statements, information, and visualdocumentation. Virtually everyone in the civilized world talks about fashion. It is an area in which most of us consider ourselvesknowledgeable, if only as a function of making our own clothing decisions on a daily basis. Contemporary Fashion gives value tothe data and ideas of fashion discussion; it is intended to aid the discourse about apparel and edify the lively fashion conversation.Contemporary Fashion is to stand as a solid reference where no other comparable volumes exist and to make a contribution tofashion study and its allied expressions. —Richard Martin (1947–99) vii
  7. 7. EDITOR’S NOTE FROM THE CURRENT EDITIONI have been happy to perpetuate a project beloved by both Colin Naylor (1944–92) and Richard Martin (1947–99), and believe eachwould be pleased with Contemporary Fashion, 2nd Edition. Unique to the second volume is an advisory board of industryprofessionals, who helped select the new designers and companies added to the previous edition’s international mix. Additionally,the number of photographs is more than double the original, so readers and researchers may experience both a written and visualrecord of this evolving field.Contemporary Fashion, 2nd Edition, like its predecessor, is filled with informative essays mirroring the many facets of the fashionworld, including extended biographical headers with website addresses whenever available, and extensive bibliographic listings.Those involved with this book have striven to be as current as possible, and developments were added up to the moment the bookwent into publication.This edition would not have been possible without Kristin Hart, who offered advice and unflinching support; Barbara Coster, whotackles whatever is thrown her way; Karen Raugust, who always comes through, with good results; Jocelyn Prucha, for divingrepeatedly into murky waters for up-to-the-second information; Peter Gareffa, for offering me another opportunity; and to thebeloveds, who made working this hard worthwhile: John, Jordyn, Wylie, Foley, and Hadley.Lastly, a technical note: to save space and the mindless repetition of periodicals used throughout the publications sections,abbreviations were used for the Daily News Record (as DNR) and Women’s Wear Daily (WWD). Discerning readers may also notein most cases when Vogue is listed, it is accompanied by the city of its publication (Paris, Milan, etc.), except when issued fromNew York. —Taryn Benbow-Pfalzgraf ix
  8. 8. INTRODUCTIONFashion is often perceived as frivolous, irrational, and dictatorial. Changes in fashion strike many people as mysterious, arbitrary,and senseless—except as part of a conspiracy to trick “fashion victims” into buying unnecessary new clothes. In 19th-centuryAmerica, dress reformers argued that contemporary fashion was created by a cabal of male couturiers and Parisian courtesans, whosought to become rich by promoting immoral styles. Although courtesans are no longer significant trendsetters, designers are stillwidely regarded as dictators devoted to the planned obsolescence of successive absurd and expensive clothing styles. Conversely,the fashion press tends to characterize favored designers as “geniuses” whose creations arise independently of socioeconomic forcesor cultural trends. Although more flattering, this latter view of the design process is no more accurate than the antifashion critique.Years ago, when Richard Martin edited the first edition of Contemporary Fashion, he was one of a very few scholars who tookfashion seriously. Throughout his career as an author and curator, Richard argued that fashion should be acknowledged as one of thevisual arts. He was well aware that fashion’s association with the female body and with the ephemeral, as well as its reputation as acommercial enterprise, had contributed to its lesser reputation in comparison with the arts identified with men. But he insisted that,on the contrary, fashion played a singularly important role in modern culture. With the publication of Contemporary Fashion, hesought to provide substantial documentation on the work of a wide range of fashion designers, believing this would empowerreaders to recognize how fashion provides insight into issues such as self-expression, body image, gender, sexuality, class, and themanifold relationships between high art and popular culture.Richard was a friend and mentor, and I am honored to provide an introduction to this latest edition of Contemporary Fashion, whichincludes a number of new and revised essays. Like the first edition, it seeks to provide reliable information on the most importantfashion designers active from 1945 to the present. Since contemporary fashion is very much a global phenomenon, the book isinternational in scope. Organized alphabetically, it consists of essays on individual designers (from Armani, Balenciaga, and Chanelthrough Westwood, Yamamoto, and Zoran) written by scholars or critics in the field of fashion history. Each entry includesbiographical information, as well as a critical assessment of the designer’s contributions to fashion, and a bibliography to facilitatefurther research. Thanks in part to Richard’s work, fashion is now increasingly regarded as a legitimate area of research, and fashiondesigners receive greater recognition as creative individuals working within a complex and valuable tradition. —Dr. Valerie Steele, Chief Curator and Acting Director, The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology xi
  9. 9. ADVISERS Dr. Leslie Davis Burns Bobbin Educator of the Year, 2001 Author & Professor Apparel, Interiors, Housing & Merchandising Oregon State University Christina Lindholm Chair, Fashion Design & Merchandising Virginia Commonwealth University Cindy Marek Offshore Manager HMX Tailored (a division of Hartmarx) Susan Reitman Professor of Textiles Fashion Institute of Technology Dr. Valerie Steele Chief Curator and Acting DirectorThe Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology xiii
  10. 10. CONTRIBUTORSKevin Almond Mary Ellen Gordon Kathleen PatonRebecca Arnold Lisa Groshong Angela PattisonAndrea Arsenault Roberta Hochberger Gruber Karen RaugustTherese Duzinkiewicz Baker Yoko Hamada Donna W. ReamySydonie Benét Chris Hill Jessica ReismanWhitney Blausen Nancy House Nelly RhodesSarah Bodine Alan E. RosenbergCarol Mary Brown Diana IdzelisKim Brown Susan SalterJane Burns Sandra Schroeder Owen James Margo SeamanMarianne T. Carlano Molly Severson Betty KirkeBarbara Cavaliere Dennita SewellHazel Clark Darcy Lewis Madelyn ShawDebra Regan Cleveland Christina Lindholm Gillion SkellengerLinda Coleing Brian Louwers Mary Ellen SnodgrassElizabeth A. Coleman Carrie SnyderArlene C. Cooper Daryl F. Mallett Megan StacyCaroline Cox Janet Markarian Montse StanleyAndrew Cunningham Lisa Marsh Valerie SteeleFred Dennis Kathleen Bonann MarshallJanette Goff Dixon Richard Martin Teal TriggsJean L. Druesedow Elian McCready Kimbally A. Medeiros Vicki VasilopoulosDoreen Ehrlich Sally Ann Melia Gregory VotolatoMary C. Elliott Christine Miner MinderovicJodi Essey-Stapleton Sally A. Myers Myra J. Walker Melinda L. WattAlan J. Flux Janet Ozzard Catherine Woram xv
  11. 11. C O N T E M P O R A R YFASHION
  12. 12. LIST OF ENTRANTSJoseph Abboud Bruno Magli Christian DiorAbercrombie & Fitch Company Burberry Dolce & GabbanaAdolfo Stephen Burrows Adolfo DomínguezAdri Byblos Dorothée BisGilbert Adrian Randolph DukeMiguel Adrover Jean CacharelAgnés B. Calugi e Giannelli Eddie BauerAkira Roberto Capucci Mark EisenAzzedine Alaïa Pierre Cardin Alber ElbazWalter Albini Hattie Carnegie Perry EllisVictor Alfaro Carven David and Elizabeth EmanuelLinda Allard Joe Casely-Hayford English EccentricsAlly Capellino Bonnie Cashin Ermenegildo Zegna GroupSir Hardy Amies Oleg Cassini Erreuno SCM SpAJohn Anthony Jean-Charles de Castelbajac EscadaAquascutum, Ltd. Catalina Sportswear Esprit Holdings, Inc.Junichi Arai Jean Baptiste Caumont Jacques EsterelGiorgio Armani Nino Cerruti Luis EstévezLaura Ashley Sal Cesarani Joseph EttedguiChristian Aujard Hussein ChalayanSylvia Ayton Champion Products Inc. Alberto FabianiJacques Azagury Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel FabriceMax Azria Caroline Charles Nicole Farhi Chloé Kaffe FassettBadgley Mischka Jimmy Choo Jacques FathCristobal Balenciaga Liz Claiborne FendiPierre Balmain Ossie Clark Han FengBanana Republic Robert Clergerie Fenn Wright MansonJeff Banks Kenneth Cole Louis FéraudJeffrey Banks Cole Haan Salvatore FerragamoJhane Barnes Cole of California Gianfranco FerréSheridan Barnett Nick Coleman Alberta FerrettiRocco Barocco Sybil Connolly Andrew FezzaScott Barrie Jasper Conran David FieldenJohn Bartlett Corneliani SpA Elio FiorucciFranck Joseph Bastille Giorgio Correggiari John FlettGeoffrey Beene Victor Costa Alan FlusserBellville Sassoon-Lorcan Mullany Paul Costelloe Anne FogartyBenetton SpA André Courrèges Brigid FoleyPatirizio Bertelli Enrico Coveri FontanaLaura Biagiotti Patrick Cox Tom FordBianchini-Férier C.P. Company Mariano FortunyDirk Bikkembergs Jules-François Crahay Diane FreisSandy Black Angela Cummings French ConnectionManolo Blahnik Bella FreudAlistair Blair Lilly Daché Giuliano FujiwaraBill Blass Wendy DagworthyBlumarine Sarah Dallas James GalanosBodymap Danskin Irene GalitzineWilly Bogner Oscar de la Renta John GallianoMarc Bohan Louis Dell’Olio The GapTom Brigance Ann Demeulemeester Sandra GarrattBrioni Myrène de Prémonville Jean-Paul GaultierDonald Brooks Jacqueline de Ribes Genny Holding SpABrooks Brothers Elisabeth de Senneville Georges RechLiza Bruce Jean Dessès Rudi Gernreich xix
  13. 13. LIST OF ENTRANTS CONTEMPORARY FASHION, 2nd EDITION Ghost Donna Karan Vera Maxwell Bill Gibb Herbert Kasper Claire McCardell Romeo Gigli Rei Kawakubo Stella McCartney Marithé & François Girbaud Patrick Kelly Jessica McClintock Hubert de Givenchy Kenzo Mary McFadden Georgina Godley Emmanuelle Khanh Alexander McQueen Madame Grès Barry Kieselstein-Cord David Meister Jacques Griffe Anne Klein Nicole Miller Gruppo GFT Calvin Klein Missoni Gucci John Kloss Issey Miyake Guess, Inc. Gabriele Knecht Isaac Mizrahi Olivier Guillemin Yukio Kobayashi Edward H. Molyneux Yoshiyuki Konishi Mondi Textile GmbH Halston Michael Kors Claude Montana Katharine Hamnett Hiroko Koshino Popy Moreni Cathy Hardwick Junko Koshino Hanae Mori Holly Harp Michiko Koshino Robert Lee Morris Norman Hartnell Lamine Kouyaté Digby Morton Elizabeth Hawes Franco Moschino Edith Head Lachasse Rebecca Moses Daniel Hechter Lacoste Sportswear Thierry Mugler Jacques Heim Christian Lacroix Jean Muir Sylvia Heisel Karl Lagerfeld Muji Gordon Henderson Ragence Lam Mulberry Company Hermès Kenneth Jay Lane Carolina Herrera Helmut Lang Josie Cruz Natori Tommy Hilfiger Lanvin Sara Navarro Hobbs Ltd. Guy Laroche Neiman Marcus Pam Hogg Byron Lars New Republic Emma Hope André Laug Next PLC Carol Horn Ralph Lauren Nikos Margaret Howell Mickey Lee Nina Ricci Hugo Boss AG Hervé Léger Nordstrom Barbara Hulanicki Jürgen Lehl Norman Norell Judith Leiber I. Magnin Lucien Lelong Bruce Oldfield Sueo Irié Lolita Lempicka Todd Oldham Isani Tina Leser Benny Ong Levi-Strauss & Co. Rifat Ozbek Betty Jackson Liberty of London Marc Jacobs Stephen Linard Jenny Packham Jaeger L.L. Bean Mollie Parnis Charles James Louis Vuitton Guy Paulin Jan Jansen Sylvia Pedlar Jantzen, Inc. Walter Ma Pepe Eric Javits Bob Mackie Elsa Peretti Jean Patou Mad Carpentier Bernard Perris Joan & David Mainbocher Peter Hoggard John P. John Malden Mills Industries, Inc. Andrea Pfister Betsey Johnson Mariuccia Mandelli Paloma Picasso Stephen Jones Judy Mann Robert Piguet Jones New York Andrew Marc Gérard Pipart Wolfgang Joop Mary Jane Marcasiano Arabella Pollen Charles Jourdan Martin Margiela Carmelo Pomodoro Alexander Julian Marimekko Thea Porter Marina Rinaldi SrL Prada Gemma Kahng Marcel Marongiu Anthony Price Bill Kaiserman Mitsuhiro Matsuda Pringle of Scotland Norma Kamali Max Mara SpA Emilio Pucci Jacques Kaplan Maxfield Parrish Lilly Pulitzerxx
  14. 14. CONTEMPORARY FASHION, 2nd EDITION LIST OF ENTRANTS Mary Quant Hedi Slimane Patricia Underwood Graham Smith Emanuel Ungaro Paco Rabanne Paul Smith Kay Unger Sir Edward Rayne Willi Smith Red or Dead Per Spook Valentina Tracy Reese Stephen Sprouse Valentino René Lezard George Peter Stavropoulos Koos van den Akker Maurice Rentner Stefanel SpA Joan Vass Mary Ann Restivo Cynthia Steffe Philippe Venet Zandra Rhodes Robert Stock Gian Marco Venturi John Richmond Helen Storey Joaquim Verdù Patricia Roberts Strenesse Group Roberto Verino Bill Robinson Jill Stuart Marcel Rochas Donatella Versace Anna Sui Gianni Versace Rodier Alfred Sung Carolyne Roehm Sally Victor Sybilla Christian Francis Roth Victoria’s Secret Maggy Rouf Victorio y Lucchino Vivienne Tam Viktor & Rolf Cynthia Rowley Tamotsu Madeleine Vionnet Cinzia Ruggeri William Tang Adrienne Vittadini Sonia Rykiel Gustave Tassell Roger Vivier Gloria Sachs Chantal Thomass Michaele Vollbracht Yves Saint Laurent Vicky Tiel Diane Von Furstenberg Saks Fifth Avenue Tiffany & Company Fernando Sanchez Jacques Tiffeau Catherine Walker Jil Sander Tiktiner Vera Wang Giorgio Sant’Angelo Timney Fowler Ltd. Chester Weinberg Arnold Scaasi Ted Tinling Zang Toi John Weitz Jean-Louis Scherrer Isabel Toledo Vivienne Westwood Elsa Schiaparelli Yuki Torii Whistles Carolyn Schnurer Torrente Workers for Freedom Mila Schön Ronaldus Shamask Transport David Shilling Philip Treacy Kansai Yamamoto Simonetta Pauline Trigère Yohji Yamamoto Adele Simpson Trussardi, SpA David Yurman Martine Sitbon Sally Tuffin Sophie Sitbon Richard Tyler Zoran xxi
  15. 15. ABBOUD, JosephAmerican designer A LaFerla, Ruth, “Past as Prologue,” in New York Times Magazine, 19 February 1989. Wayne, Hollis, “Fashion Forward—the 90s,” in Playboy (Chicago), March 1989.Born: Boston, Massachusetts, 5 May 1950. Education: Studied Stern, Ellen, “Joseph Abboud, Down to Earth,” in GQ (New York),comparative literature, University of Massachusetts, Boston, 1968–72; October 1989.also studied at the Sorbonne. Family: Married Lynn Weinstein, 6 “The Word to Men: Hang Looser,” in People Weekly (Chicago),June 1976; children: Lila, Ari. Career: Buyer, then director of Spring 1990.merchandise, Louis of Boston, 1968–80; designer, Southwick, 1980; Burns, Robert, “Abboud Takes on Classics in a Big Way,” in Losassociate director of menswear design, Polo/Ralph Lauren, New Angeles Times, 8 June 1990.York, 1980–84; launched signature menswear collection, 1986; de- Hatfield, Julie, “Abboud Brings Worldly Styles Home,” in Bostonsigner, Barry Bricken, New York, 1987–88. J.A. (Joseph Abboud) Globe, 5 September 1990.Apparel Corporation, a joint venture with GFT USA, formed, 1988; Conover, Kirsten A., “Abboud Sets Tone for ’90s Menswear,” inJoseph Abboud Womenswear and menswear collection of tailored Christian Science Monitor (Boston), 5 November and furnishings introduced, 1990; opened first retail store, Roosa, Nancy, “Much Abboud about Clothing,” in Boston, JanuaryBoston, 1990; collections first shown in Europe, 1990; JA II line 1991.introduced, 1991; fragrance line introduced in Japan, 1992, in Amer- Fenichell, Stephen, “The Look of the Nineties: Four Designers Leadica, 1993; introduced J.O.E. (Just One Earth) sportswear line, 1992; the Way,” in Connoisseur (New York), March 1991.designed wardrobes for male television announcers for 1992 Winter Hancox, Clara, “And Now, the First Joe Abboud,” in Daily NewsOlympics, Albertville, France, 1992; Joseph Abboud Environments Record, 15 July 1991.bed and bath collection launched, 1993; Joseph Abboud fragrance “Joseph Abboud’s Next Step,” in Esquire (New York), August 1992.launched, 1994; formed Joseph Abboud Worldwide to oversee labels Beatty, Jack, “The Transatlantic Look,” in Atlantic Monthly, Decem-and licensing, 1996; forged strategic partnership with GFT, 1997; ber 1995.introduced black label line for men, 1999; company acquired by GFT Gault, Ylonda, “Fashion’s Marathoner,” in Crain’s New York Busi-for $65 million, 2000. Awards: Cutty Sark award, 1988; Woolmark ness, 14 July 1997.award, 1988; Menswear Designer of the Year award from Council of Gellers, Stan, “Joseph Abboud Goes for the Gold with Black LabelFashion Designers of America Award, 1989, 1990; honored by Clothing,” in Daily News Record, 9 June 1999.Japanese Government in conjunction with the Association of TotalFashion in Osaka, 1993; Special Achievement award from Neckwear Dodd, Annmarie, “Abboud Sells to GFT for $65 Million,” in DailyAssociation of America Inc., 1994. Address: 650 Fifth Avenue, New News Record, 21 June 2000.York, New York 10019, USA. Curan, Catherine, “GFT Sews up Abboud Brand,” in Crain’s New York Business, 17 July 2000.PUBLICATIONS Lohrer, Robert, “Joseph Abboud Faces a Rich Future,” in Daily News Record, 19 July 2000.On ABBOUD: * * *ArticlesDolce, Joe, “Last of the Updated Traditional,” in Connoisseur (New Joseph Abboud has said that his clothing is as much about lifestyle York), March 1987. as design. Since 1986, after breaking away from Ralph Lauren, he hasSaunders, Peggy, “Joseph Abboud,” in Boston Business, July/August filled a niche in the fashion world with his creations for men and, 1987. more recently, for women as well. For the contemporary individual“A Man’s Style Book, Joseph Abboud,” in Esquire (New York), seeking a façade that is as casual, elegant, and as international as the September 1987. accompanying life, the Abboud wardrobe offers comfort, beauty, andde Caro, Frank, “Men in Style: A Designer to Watch,” in the a modernity that is equally suitable in New York, Milan, or Australia. Baltimore Sun, 24 September 1987. Abboud was the first menswear designer in the United States to“Designers Are Made as Well as Born,” in Forbes (New York), 11 revolutionize the concept of American style. July 1988. Born in Boston, Abboud is hardly provincial. Something of anCarloni, Maria Vittoria, “Da commesso a mito,” in Panorama, 27 outsider, he did not come to fashion through the usual design school November 1988. training and had no pre-established world in which to fit. Instead he 1
  16. 16. ABBOUD CONTEMPORARY FASHION, 2nd EDITIONJoseph Abboud adjusting an item from his spring 2001 collection. © AP/Wide World Photos.made his own. His approach to fashion was via studies in comparative The Pacific Northwest Collection, fall 1987, manifested rich hues,literature, followed by study at the Sorbonne in Paris. His fall 1990 from black to maroon, but even these were harmonious, nevermenswear collection Grand Tour pays homage to that experience with ostentatious. The black of his leather jackets, fall 1992, appears likeits romantic 1930s and 1940s designs, reminiscent of Hemingway, soft patches of the night sky due to the suppleness and unique surfacewhile his own rich ethnic background provided the depth of apprecia- treatment of the skins. The fabrics for Abboud designs represent thetion for global culture inherent in his work. Coming of age in the artist’s diligent search for the world’s finest materials and craftsman-1960s, Abboud began collecting early Turkish kilims (flat woven ship. His respect for textile traditions does not mean that his work isrugs) with their salient handcrafted quality and stylized geometric retrospective but that his inventiveness is grounded in the integrity ofpatterns. These motifs form a recurring theme in his work, from the the classics. His interpretation of tweed, for example, although based on fine Scottish wool weavings, which he compares to the mosthandknit sweaters to the machine-knit shirts. The rugs themselves, in beautiful artistic landscapes, differs from the conventional Harris-muted earthtones, complement the calm, natural environment of the type tweed. Silk, alpaca, or llama are occasionally combined with theAbboud stores. For Abboud, the presentation of the clothing mimics traditional wool to yield a lighter fabric.the aesthetics of the garments: soft, casual, and elegant in its simplicity. Unique and demanding in his working methods, Abboud is at the Color, texture, and the cut of Abboud fashions express a style that forefront of contemporary fashion-fabric design. His fabrics drapelies between, and sometimes overlaps, that of Ralph Lauren and with a grace and elegance that is enhanced by the oversize cut andGiorgio Armani. The palette of the Joseph Abboud and the 1992 fluid lines of his suits. His characteristically full, double-pleatedJ.O.E. (Just One Earth) lines for both sexes is more subtle than the trousers, for example, are luxurious. The romantic malt mohairtraditional Anglo-American colors of the preppie or Sloane Ranger gossamer-like fabrics for women in the fall 1993 collection are cutgenre, yet more varied in tone and hue than the sublimely unstated simply with no extraneous details. Even the intricate embroideriesArmani colors. Neutrals from burnt sienna to cream, stucco, straw, that ornament the surfaces of many of his most memorable designs,and the colors of winter birch, together with naturals such as indigo from North African suede vests with a Kashmiri boteh design to theand faded burgundy, are examples of some of the most alluring of jewel-like beadwork for evening, have a wearability uncommon inAbboud dyestuffs. the contemporary artistic fashion.2
  17. 17. CONTEMPORARY FASHION, 2nd EDITION ABERCROMBIE & FITCH COMPANY Nature is Abboud’s muse. Beyond the obvious J.O.E. line appella- back in black ink, 1995; went public, 1996; spun off by Limited,tion, the theme of the bucolic environment provides inspiration for the 1998; introduced children’s stores, 1998; launched Hollister stores,garments. Country stone walls, pebbles on a beach, the light and for younger teens, 2000; also publishes A&F Quarterly catalogue/earthtones of the Southwest are interpreted in exquisitely cut fabrics magazine. Company Address: 6301 Fitch Path, New Albany, OHthat embrace the body with a style that becomes an individual’s 43054 USA. Company Website: skin. Abboud’s easy, elegant style had translated into a $100 million PUBLICATIONSbusiness by 1997, with overseas sales accounting for about 35 percentof turnover. It was considered a healthy operation, but did not reach On ABERCROMBIE & FITCH:the heights of some of his better-known peers. In 1998 Abboud soughtto boost his profile by entering into a strategic alliance with his 10- Articlesyear licensee GFT USA, a subsidiary of the Italian company Holdingde Participazioni Industriali (HdP). With the move, he hoped to Paris, Ellen, “Endangered Species? Abercrombie & Fitch,” in Forbes,increase synergies between Joseph Abboud Worldwide and GFT’s 9 March 1987.J.A. Apparel subsidiary, both formed in 1996. The two businesses Brady, James, “Abercrombie & Fitch Forgets Its Days of Hem &developed an integrated management structure and increased coordi- Wolfie,” in Advertising Age, 31 August 1998.nation among licensees. Cuneo, Alice Z., “Abercrombie Helps Revive Moribund Brand via Abboud launched an upscale black label line for men over 35 in Frat Chic,” in Advertising Age, 14 September 1998.1999, intending to supplement his existing upper-moderate tailored “Fashion’s Frat Boy,” in Newsweek, 13 September business. The products are sold in the designer’s own shops Young, Vicki M., “Catalogue Controversy Rages on as More Statesand about 40 select doors at 10 leading retailers. They are manufac- Criticize A&F,” in Women’s Wear Daily, 8 December 1999.tured in the U.S. using European fabrics. Goldstein, Lauren, “The Alpha Teenager,” in Forbes, 20 December In 2000 Abboud further cemented his relationship with GFT when 1999.the latter purchased Abboud’s label and licensing rights for $65 Perman, Stacy, “Abercrombie’s Beefcake Brigade,” in Time, 14million. Abboud plans to continue as creative director and chairman February 2000.emeritus for at least five years. The Abboud labels generated an Margaret McKegney, Margaret, “Brands Remain in the Closet forestimated $250 million in sales in 2000, with about 80 percent of that Gay TV Show,” in Ad Age Global, December from GFT, which produces and distributes Abboud’s black Wilson, Eric, “A&F: The Butts Start Here,” in Women’s Wear Daily,and diamond label tailored clothing, sportswear and golfwear. The 5 February 2001.remaining sales come from 27 other licensees; Abboud’s licensed Elliott, Stuart, “Bowing to Nation’s Mood, Retailer Cancels Issue oflines include fragrances, furs, coats, lounge- and sleepwear, swimwear, Racy Catalogue,” in the New York Times, 17 October 2001.timepieces, and home furnishings. The GFT acquisition will enable expansion in key areas such as * * *international distribution, golf, and women’s wear, as well as boost-ing the company’s retailing operation and enhancing the Joseph Although Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) has been around for aboutAbboud Environments bed and bath collection. GFT and Abboud are 110 years, most of its current customers could care less that it outfittedalso considering the introduction of new collections, such as one legendary explorers like arctic explorer Richard Byrd. The firm’sgeared toward younger men. clientèle is predominantly Generation X and Y, and the Abercrombie Abboud’s business, at times, has been overshadowed by trendier logo has gone way beyond its sturdy apparel and into the realm of cool.labels such as Tommy Hilfiger, as well as by Italian designers who Abercrombie & Fitch has come back from the brink of extinctionappeal to the same clientele. But his customer base—which includes several times since its founding in 1892 by David Abercrombie.several high-profile sports anchors and news anchor Bryant Gumbel— Originally created to sell camping gear, Abercrombie met up withhas long been loyal his earthy colors, use of texture, and his ability to lawyer Ezra Fitch and expanded the business to include a myriad ofcombine the classic with the modern. products for the rugged outdoorsmen of the time. Yet A&F didn’t cater to just anyone with a yen for adventure, but only to those who —Marianne T. Carlano; updated by Karen Raugust could afford to pay premium prices for high-quality goods. Among the firm’s early adventurers were Rough Rider Teddy Roosevelt, Byrd, Charles “Lucky” Lindbergh, and Amelia Earhart; the next generation included Winston Guest and macho sportsman and writerABERCROMBIE & FITCH COMPANY Ernest Hemingway.American sportswear and outerwear retailer The company did a bumper business until the 1960s, when flower power and environmental awareness began to seep into the American consciousness. Abercrombie & Fitch’s atmospheric stores, withFounded: in 1892 by David Abercrombie to sell camping supplies; mounted animal heads and stuffed dead animals, were soon out ofjoined by Ezra Fitch to become Abercrombie & Fitch, providing sync with a country awash in change and protest. The majority ofexclusive outdoor needs, including clothing and equipment. Com- A&F merchandise catered to hunting and fishing enthusiasts, andpany History: Moved to new Madison Avenue digs, 1917; filed for blood sports lost their popularity as the decade ended and the 1970sbankruptcy, 1977; bought by Oshman’s Sporting Goods, 1978; began. Although the firm valiantly tried to expand its wares to appealbought by The Limited, 1988; Michael Jeffries became CEO, 1992; to more customers, A&F filed for Chapter 11 in 1977. 3
  18. 18. ADOLFO CONTEMPORARY FASHION, 2nd EDITION Oshman’s Sporting Goods bought A&F in 1978 and hoped to Abercrombie & Fitch has proven itself a purveyor of more than justparlay its fame into a broad mix of sporting goods and apparel, as well style, but of fashion advocating a particular lifestyle. Some quarrelas a wide range of other products. The rescue failed, despite repeated with the firm’s message and methods, but millions continue to payattempts to revive the Abercrombie cachet. In 1988, clothier The premium prices for the simple apparel emblazoned with its name.Limited Inc. acquired the struggling A&F for $47 million, along withits 27 stores. The Limited, however, was an evolving retailer itself, —Nelly Rhodeshaving bought Victoria’s Secret, Penhaligon’s, Henri Bendel, andothers in quick succession. The future of A&F, however, came in theform of Michael Jeffries, who took the reins as chief executive in1992, when there were 35 rather unimpressive A&F stores dotting the ADOLFOnation. Jeffries had an unusual way of conducting business, from his American designer29-page employee manual to his maniacal detailing of each andevery store. Jeffries’ know-how and marketing savvy were put to the test. He Born: Adolfo F. Sardiña in Cardenas, Cuba, 15 February 1933;drastically overhauled Abercrombie’s image to appeal to a younger, immigrated to New York, 1948, naturalized, 1958. Education: B.A.,hipper crowd, doing away with anything but apparel and accessories. St. Ignacious de Loyola Jesuit School, Havana, 1950. MilitaryJeffries wanted to entice the collegiate crowd into A&F and did so Service: Served in the U.S. Navy. Career: Apprentice millinerywith creative advertising and making each A&F store a cool place to designer, Bergdorf Goodman, 1948–51; apprentice milliner at Cristobalvisit and spend money, with blaring popular music and a sales staff Balenciaga Salon, Paris, 1950–52, and at Bergdorf Goodman, Newwith attitude. By 1995 the retailer was not only in the black but a true York; designed millinery as Adolfo of Emmé, 1951–58; also workedcultural phenomenon. Abercrombie’s logoed t-shirts and cargo pants as unpaid apprentice for Chanel fashion house, Paris, 1956–57;became the must-have apparel for teenagers on up, which happened to apprenticed in Paris with Balenciaga; established own millinery salon in New York, 1962, later expanded into women’s custom clothing;be the fastest growing segment in retail. designer, Adolfo Menswear and Adolfo Scarves, from 1978; perfume To keep the momentum going, Jeffries initiated the A&F Quarterly Adolfo launched, 1978; closed custom workroom to concentrate on(a slick magazine-like catalogue they call the “magalogue”) and his Adolfo Enterprises licensing business, 1993; debuted limitedaggressive advertising. Both measures received much attention but collection through Castleberry, 1995. Exhibitions: Fashion: Anbrought the ire of parents, advocacy groups, and politicians when Anthology, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 1971. Collections:some of the material offered drinking tips and some content was Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Smithsonian Institution,deemed pornographic. Like Calvin Klein before him, Jeffries had Washington, D.C.; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts; Los Angeles Countypushed the envelope too far but had no remorse or plans to change Museum of Art. Awards: Coty Fashion award, New York, 1955,his ways. In 1999 the company ran its first television ads, and 1969; Neiman Marcus award, 1956. Member: Council of Fashionthe company hit a staggering milestone—breaking the $1-billion Designers of America.sales threshold. By the end of the 20th century, the A&F magalogue was marketed PUBLICATIONSonly to more mature kids (18 and older with an ID to prove it) becauseof its emphasis on sex and “college-age” pursuits like partying. The On ADOLFO:younger crowd, of course, and virtually anyone buying Abercrombiehad already bought the image along with the jeans, baggy pants, cargo Booksshorts, and t-shirts. Though sales remained relatively solid, A&F hadits share of troubles in the new millennium. Stock prices tumbled, its Morris, Bernadine, and Barbara Walz, The Fashion Makers, Newtelevision ads didn’t quite hit the mark, and as always, the firm York, 1978.continued to receive criticism for its A&F Quarterly. Oddly, in an Diamonstein, Barbaralee, Fashion: The Inside Story, New York,instance when Jeffries could have reached millions of television 1985.viewers with his products, he refused to allow A&F clothing to appear Milbank, Caroline Rennolds, New York Fashion: The Evolution ofin Showtime’s Queer As Folk series—featuring young, hip, sexually American Style, New York, teens and adults doing all the things A&F showcased in its Stegemeyer, Anne, Who’s Who in Fashion, Third Edition, New York,magalogue, with the exception that these pretty boys and girls 1996.were gay. Articles By 2001 Abercrombie had attempted to delineate its customers intothree categories: for the younger or preteen crowd, it had launched “Adolfo,” in Current Biography (New York), November 1972.Abercrombie stores in 1998; for teens and high schoolers, there was Standhill, Francesca, “The World of Adolfo,” in Architectural Digest,the newly introduced Hollister Co. in 2000; and older, college-aged December 1980.buyers remained prime targets of traditional A&F stores. The latter “Oh Come All Ye Faithful to Adolfo,” in Chicago Tribune, 19 Junegroup was also those to whom A&F Quarterly was addressed, but 1985.Jeffries seemed to have gone too far with the 2001 issue featuring the “In Tune on Upscale Adolfo Dresses: The Illustrious,” in Chicagousual bevy of naked males and females. Bowing to pressure Jeffries Tribune, 22 June 1986.pulled the issue, titled XXX, despite pleas that the magalogue was Morris, Bernadine, “Adolfo in New York: A Richly Evocative Privatewrapped in plastic (like Playboy) and sold only to those with proof of Realm for the Celebrated Couturier,” in Architectural Digest,their age. September 1989.4
  19. 19. CONTEMPORARY FASHION, 2nd EDITION ADRIFriedman, Arthur, “Always Adolfo,” in Women’s Wear Daily, 21 July classic is appealing to people any more.” Just one year later, however, 1992. he changed his point of view and at the same time increased the focus———, “Adolfo Closing His RTW Salon After 25 Years: Golden Era of his knits, which had been introduced in 1969. In a review of Ends,” in Women’s Wear Daily, 18 March 1993. Adolfo’s fall 1970 collection, Eugenia Sheppard, writing in the NewSchiro Anne-Marie, “Adolfo Decides It’s Time to Stop Designing,” York Post, declared “he has completely abandoned the costume look in the New York Times, 19 March 1993. of previous years.” Adolfo was always responsive to his customers’“Adieu Adolfo,” in Chicago Tribune, 24 March 1993. needs and this sudden change of direction probably reflected their reaction to the social upheavals and excesses of the last years of * the 1960s. By the early 1970s the 1930s look, inspired by films such as Bonnie and Clyde and The Damned, swept over fashion, drowning out the To make clothes that are long-lasting and with subtle changes from kooky individualism of seasons past. His explorations of this look ledseason to season—this is my philosophy. Adolfo, in 1973, to hit on what would become his signature item. Taking his cue from Coco Chanel’s cardigan style suits of the 1930s, —Adolfo Adolfo translated the textured tweed into a pebbly knit, added a matching silk blouse, and came up with a formula his clients returned * * * to over and over again until his retirement. These revivals of a classic became classics in their own right and the look became associated in In April of 1993, Adolfo closed his salon on New York’s East 57th America with Adolfo as much as with Chanel. Adolfo’s collectionsStreet, after more than 25 years producing his classically elegant knit were not limited to suits. When other American designers abandonedsuits, dresses, and eveningwear. The outcry from his clientèle was dresses for day in favor of sportswear separates, Adolfo continued toemotional and indicative of the devotion his clothes inspired in his provide his customers with printed silk dresses appropriate for“ladies,” including C.Z. Guest (“It’s just a tragedy for me. He has such luncheons and other dressy daytime occasions. Adolfo’s clients alsogreat taste, style, and manners…I’ve been wearing his clothes for relied on him for splendid eveningwear combining luxury withyears; they suit my lifestyle. He designs for a certain way of life that practicality. Typical evening looks included sweater knit tops withall these new designers don’t seem to comprehend.”); Jean Tailer full satin or taffeta skirts, fur trimmed knit cardigans, silk pyjamas,(“I’m devastated…. He’s the sweetest, most talented man. With and angora caftans.Adolfo, you always have the right thing to wear.”), and scores of After closing his salon to concentrate on marketing his licensedothers, such as Nancy Reagan, the Duchess of Windsor, Noreen products, including perfumes, menswearm, furs, handbags, sports-Drexel, and Pat Mosbacher. wear, and hats, Adolfo made numerous appearances at departments These loyal clients were among the many who returned to Adolfo stores and on QVC to promote his name and products in the early andseason after season for clothes they could wear year after year, clothes mid-1990s, which were valued at some $5-million annually. In latethat looked stylish and felt comfortable, style and comfort being the 1995, he returned to designing, with a limited collection sponsoredessence of his customers’ elegant and effortless lifestyle. by Castleberry. Adolfo began his career as a milliner in the early 1950s, a time The designer himself once remarked that “an Adolfo lady shouldwhen hat designers were accorded as much respect and attention as look simple, classic, and comfortable.” He brought modest anddress designers. By 1955 he had received the Coty Fashion award for characteristically American design ideals to a higher level of luxuryhis innovative, often dramatic hat designs for Emmé Millinery. In and charm, combining quality and style with comfort and ease. While1962 Adolfo opened his own salon and began to design clothes to in some fashion circles, seeing women similarily dressed was ashow with his hat collection. During this period, as women gradually serious fashion faux pas, with Adolfo designs, women were thrilled tobegan to wear hats less often, Adolfo’s hat designs became progres- see their high-brow selections reflected in social scene mirrors.sively bolder. His design point of view held that hats should be worn According to the Chicago Tribune in 1986, “Adolfo Ladies revel inas an accessory rather than a necessity, and this attitude was carried duplication, triplication, quadruplication and more—much, muchover into his clothing designs as well. more.” All because, as Jean Tailer told the Tribune, “we all feel a Adolfo’s clothes of the late 1960s had the idiosyncratic quality security blanket in getting the best of the collection.” Adolfo pro-characteristic of the period and, more importantly, each piece stood vided, as the Tribune aptly called it, a “social security,” to his ladiesout on its own as a special item. This concept of design was and they gave him loyalty, devotion, and upwards of $2500 per suit.incongruous with the American sportswear idea of coordinatedseparates but was consistent with the sensibility of his wealthy —Alan E. Rosenberg; updated by Nelly Rhodescustomers who regarded clothes, like precious jewelry, as adornmentsand indicators of their social status. Among the garments that cap-tured the attention of clients and press during this period were feltcapes, red, yellow, or purple velvet bolero jackets embroidered with ADRIjet beads and black braid, studded lace-up peasant vests, low-cut American designerfloral overalls worn over organdy blouses, and extravagant patch-work evening looks. Adolfo remarked, in 1968, “Today, one has to dress in bits and Born: Mary Adrienne Steckling in St. Joseph, Missouri, 7 Novemberpieces—the more the merrier.” By 1969 he described his clothes as 1934. Education: Attended St. Joseph Junior College, 1953; studiedbeing “for a woman’s fun and fantasy moods—I don’t think the retailing and design, Washington University (School of Fine Arts), St. 5
  20. 20. ADRI CONTEMPORARY FASHION, 2nd EDITION PUBLICATIONS On ADRI: Books Lambert, Eleanor, World of Fashion: People, Places, Resources, New York, 1976. Morris, Bernadine, and Barbara Walz, The Fashion Makers, New York, 1978. Stegemeyer, Anne, Who’s Who in Fashion, Third Edition, New York, 1996. Articles “The Find: Adri,” in Women’s Wear Daily (New York), 7 November 1966. “Adri Opens the Door,” in Women’s Wear Daily (New York), 30 October 1968. Banik, Sheila, “The Adventures of Adri: A Designer Goes From Wragge to Riches,” in Savvy (New York), October 1980. Burggraf, Helen, “Adri: Soft and Easy Designs for the Fast-Paced 1980s,” in New York Apparel News, Spring 1982. Morris, Bernadine, “Banks and Adri Win Coty Awards and Cheers,” in the New York Times, 25 September 1982. ———, “From Ellis, a Casual Whimsicality,” in the New York Times, 27 October 1982. ———, “A Sportswear Preview: Fall on Seventh Avenue,” in the New York Times, 5 April 1983. *Adri, 1967: jersey minipants suit and shoes decorated with nailheads. © AP/Wide World Photos. I believe in a “design continuum” of clothing that is essentially modern, that reflects the changing patterns of living, evolving gradu- ally but continually.Louis, 1954–55, and fashion design at Parsons School of Design, Good design can be directional and timeless, functional andNew York, 1955–56; studied at the New School for Social Research, innovative in the tradition of American sportswear, and responsive toNew York, 1956–57. Family: Married Fabio Coen, 1982. Career: the needs of a woman equally committed to professional responsibili-Guest editor, Mademoiselle, college issue, 1955; design assistant for ties and an enduring personal style.Oleg Cassini, Inc., New York, 1957–58; design assistant, laterdesigner, B.H. Wragge, New York, 1960–67; opened Adri Designs —AdriInc., 1966–67; formed Design Establishment, Inc. with LeonardSunshine and the Anne Fogarty Co., New York, for the Clothes * * *Circuit by Adri and Collector’s Items by Adri division of AnneFogarty, 1968–72; partner with William Parnes in Adri label for Paul From the moment she fell in love with her first Claire McCardellParnes’s Adri Sporthoughts Ltd., 1972–74; designed for Ben Shaw dress while still a teenager—a dress she copied for herself many timescompany, 1975–76; Adri for Royal Robes, leisurewear, under license, because it fit her so well—Adri (Adrienne Steckling-Coen) idolized1976–77; Jerry Silverman Sport by Adri label, 1977–78; ADRI label McCardell who, coincidentally, was one of her lecturers at thecollection for Jones New York, 1978–79; ADRI collection marketed Parsons School of Design in New York. Adri’s early years with Habitat Industries, 1980–83; began as critic, Parsons School of Wragge taught her the principles of tailoring and mix-and-matchDesign, 1982; Japanese licensee N. Nomura & Co. Ltd, 1982–87; separates, long a staple of American sportswear. Designing for AnneADRI Collection marketed by Adri Clotheslab, 1983–87. Created Fogarty reinforced the feminine focus of Adri’s design philosophy.Adri designer patterns for Vogue, 1982; designed several sportswear Always, she returned to McCardell’s tenet of form following func-collections a year, selling to smaller specialty stores and private tion. Shapes were simple, skimming the body without extraneouscustomers; joined Parsons School of Design faculty, 1991; corporate detail or fussiness, often based on the practicality of athletic changed to Adri Studio Ltd., 1994. Exhibitions: Innovative While McCardell favored dresses, Adri emphasized trousers, laterContemporary Fashion: Adri and McCardell, Smithsonian Institu- designing skirt-length trousers, or culottes, for variety.tion, Washington, D.C., 1971; various shows, Fashion Institute of From the beginning Adri utilized soft, pliable fabrics such as knits,Technology, New York City. Awards: Coty American Fashion jerseys, crêpe de Chine, challis, and leather. Her clothes wereCritics “Winnie” award, 1982; “International Best Five,” Asahi identified by their floaty qualities and she maintained that thisShimbun, Tokyo, 1986. Member: Council of Fashion Designers of softness made them easy to wear and provided relief from the frequentAmerica. Address: 143 West 20th Street, New York, NY, 10011, USA. harshness of modern life. They were also ideal for tall, long-limbed,6
  21. 21. CONTEMPORARY FASHION, 2nd EDITION ADRIANslender figures like her own. During the late 1960s Adri presented V-necked short dresses with high waists or wrapped fronts, in solidcolored synthetic jerseys. Natural fibers, such as unbleached linen,came of use in the 1970s and knits continued to be staples for Adriskirts, trousers, and tunics in various lengths. By 1980 a typical Adrievening look consisted of silk trousers topped by a strapless chenilletop and fluid lace jacket. Interchangeable neutral solids such as beige, black, and white werecombined with bold primary colors so Adri’s customers could collectthe separates throughout the years and create their own ensembles,without having to purchase a new wardrobe each year. The simpletimelessness of the designs, as well as their easy cut and fit, made thispossible. Prices were in the moderate to better sportswear range. Adri wore her own apparel to accept her Coty award in 1982: abelted silver-grey (she called it “platinum”) mohair sweater overmidcalf culottes made of grey suede. Soon afterwards she branchedout into menswear, creating unisex sweaters, cardigans, and vests.Evening looks continued to be based on day shapes, but fabricated ofhighly colored striped shiny rayon or mohair. Pullovers, jackets, andvests were frequently long, and Adri kept experimenting with newmaterials, such as eelskin, for her contrasting boldly colored belts, orhandloomed Japanese fabrics with interesting textures. A touch of theopulent 1980s was evident in her use of tapestry jackets to be wornwith velvet trousers, as well as damask and silk Jacquard. Clothes like these can be easily adapted for homesewers, and Adricontracted with Vogue Patterns during the mid-1980s for a relation-ship that continued into the 1990s. The same McCardell-inspiredsporty yet fluid lines were evident; shirtwaist dresses with topstitchingdetail, softly gathered jackets, shaped hemlines with gracefullyflounced skirts, cummerbund accents to shorten the appearance oftall, slim figures, gently gathered waists, and easy wrap dresses weresome of the offerings available to seamstresses wishing to recreateAdri’s classic multifunctional designs. Joan Crawford modeling “Change,” a two-piece silk dinner dress Since changing her corporate name to Adri Studio Ltd. in 1994, with gold paillettes designed by Gilbert Adrian for the film Humor-Adri has continued to design small collections. Hard at work in her esque (1946). © Bettmann/CORBIS.New York studio, she has focused on designer collections exclu-sively. With her Egyptian partner, Nadia Abdella, Adri continues tofashion the fluid, timeless pieces for which she has always been New York and Paris, circa 1921–22. Family: Married Janet Gaynorknown. “The concept,” she says, “remains the same.” This design in 1939; son: Robin. Career: Film and theater designer, Newconcept was always, she noted, a very flexible, contemporary one and York, 1921–28; designer, MGM studios, Hollywood, 1928–39; ready-has continued into the 21st century quite successfully. She creates one to-wear and custom clothing salon established, Beverly Hills, 1942–52;exclusive designer collection a season that is both wholesale and fragrances Saint and Sinner introduced, 1946; opened New Yorkretail. The Adri collections are available through exclusive stores and boutique, 1948; retired to Brasilia, Brazil, 1952–58; film designer,show in private clubs, such as The Ruins in San Francisco. This Los Angeles, 1958–59. Exhibitions: Retrospective, Los Angelesapproach, both simple and consistent, and the adaptable charm and County Museum, circa 1967; retrospective, Fashion Institute ofenduring quality of an Adri garment, have created a niche for the Technology, New York, 1971. Awards: Coty American Fashiondesigner and, “It’s working,” she says. Critics award, 1944. Died: 14 September 1959 in Los Angelos, California. —Therese Duzinkiewicz Baker; updated by Jessica Reisman PUBLICATIONS By ADRIAN:ADRIAN, GilbertAmerican designer Articles “Do American Women Want Clothes?” in Harper’s Bazaar (NewBorn: Gilbert Adrian Greenburgh in Naugatuck, Connecticut, 3 York), February 1934.March 1903. Education: Studied at Parsons School of Design, “Garbo as Camille,” in Vogue (New York), 15 November 1936. 7
  22. 22. ADRIAN CONTEMPORARY FASHION, 2nd EDITION Articles Gordon, James, “One Man Who Suits Women,” in American Maga- zine (Philadelphia), March 1946. Obituary, the New York Times, 14 September 1959. Sims, Joseph, “Adrian–American Artist and Designer,” in Costume, 1974. Kinsey, Sally Buchanan, “Gilbert Adrian: Creating the Hollywood Dream Style,” in Fiberarts (Asheville, North Carolina), May/June 1987. Lambert, Gavin, “Janet Gaynor and Adrian,” in Architectural Digest (Los Angeles), April 1992. * * * By the time MGM costumer Gilbert Adrian went into business for himself in the middle of World War II, his potential customers were already familiar with his work. For over a decade American women had been wearing copies of the clothes he had designed for some of the most famous movie stars of all time. Adrian’s ability to develop a screen character through the progression of costumes, be they period or modern, was translated into dressing the newly modern career women while men were away at war. Adrian was primarily an artist, having trained in France, and was able to perceive Greta Garbo’s true personality—aloof, mysterious, earthy—and change the way the studios dressed her; insisting upon genuine silks, laces, and jewels to lend authenticity to her perform- ances. For all the stars he dressed, Adrian believed the quality of materials worn by a woman affected how she behaved in the clothes,Gilbert Adrian, ca. 1935. © Bettmann/CORBIS. even if the details were not immediately obvious. He brought the same philosophy to his custom and ready-to-wear creations. Of course the copies MGM permitted to be made of Adrian’s costumes,“Clothes,” in Stephen Watts, ed., Behind the Screen: How Films Are timed to coincide with the releases of the films, were not always of the Made, London, 1938. same fine quality as the originals, but the overall look was what women were after. While films provided a great escape from theOn ADRIAN: dreariness of the American Depression, the famous white organdy dress with wide ruffled sleeves that Adrian designed for Joan Craw-Books ford in the movie Letty Lynton offered cheer and flattery. Macy’s New York department store alone sold nearly half a million copies in 1932.Powdermaker, Hortense, The Dream Factory, Boston, 1950. The artist’s eye perceived the need to balance Crawford’s wide hips,Riley, Robert, The Fashion Makers, New York, 1968. and the broad shouldered typical “Adrian silhouette” triggered aLee, Sarah Tomerlin, ed., American Fashion, New York, 1975. fashion revolution in America and abroad.———, American Fashion: The Life and Lines of Adrian, Mainbocher, For Jean Harlow in Dinner at Eight, Adrian created another widely McCardell, Norell, Trigère, New York, 1975. copied sheer white bias-cut satin ballgown. Though Madeleine VionnetLambert, Eleanor, The World of Fashion: People, Places, Resources, invented the bias cut and Elsa Schiaparelli was credited with padded New York and London, 1976. shoulders, at least in Europe, Adrian had the awareness to bring highPritchard, Susan, Film Costume: An Annotated Bibliography, Metuchen, fashion and glamour to the screen. Joan Crawford praised Adrian’s New Jersey and London, 1981. emphasis on simplicity to make a dramatic point, as in the suits sheMilbank, Caroline Rennolds, Couture: The Great Designers, New wore in her later films. Even in lavishly costumed period dramas, Adrian was able to stop short of excess. Often, as in Garbo’s Mata York, 1985. Hari, the character’s evolution into purity of spirit would be ex-Maeder, Edward, et al., Hollywood and History: Costume Design in pressed through increased simplicity of costume. Adrian’s under- Film, New York, 1987. standing of light and shadow made possible clothing that, due toMilbank, Caroline Rennolds, New York Fashion: The Evolution of clarity of line, looked as well in monochrome film as later black-and- American Style, New York, 1989. white photographs of his commercial designs would show. His eyeLeese, Elizabeth, Costume Design in the Movies, New York, 1991. for perfect cut was impeccable. A day suit consisting of a beige woolStegemeyer, Anne, Who’s Who in Fashion, Third Edition, New York, jacket trimmed with loops of black braid, paired with a slim black 1996. skirt, black gloves, and beige cartwheel hat, looks as crisp and smartGutner, Howard, Gowns by Adrian: The MGM Years, 1928–1941, today as it did when featured in Vogue in 1946. Fluid floor-length New York, 2001. crêpe gowns were dramatically yet whimsically decorated with8
  23. 23. CONTEMPORARY FASHION, 2nd EDITION ADROVERasymmetrical motifs of horses, cherubs, or piano keys, or his taste formodern art would be indulged in gowns made up of abstract jigsawpuzzle shapes in several colors. Just as in films Adrian worked within themes, so did his collectionsfor Adrian, Ltd. develop according to such themes as gothic, Grecian,Persian, Spanish, or Americana. For the latter he appliquéd Pennsyl-vania Dutch designs on gowns and made tailored suits and bustledevening gowns out of checked gingham, echoing the gingham checksworn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. Adrian costumed Garboas the essence of romance in Camille, not only in 19th-centurycrinolines, but in white nightgown (which could have been anyfemale viewer’s late day dinner dress) for the film’s death scene. Forhis average American customer, Adrian recommended clothes likethe “costumes worn by the heroines of light comedies…in moderate-sized towns.” Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story wasdressed by Adrian as the ideal girl next door, while conservativeNorma Shearer mirrored the sophisticated simplicity of Adrian’sfuture well-heeled Beverly Hills clients in The Women. The spare, padded-shouldered, narrow waisted and skirted silhou-ette of the 1940s was the ideal medium for Adrian’s artistry withfabric, while conforming to the wartime L-85 restrictions on ma-terials—the U.S. government limitation on the amount of fabric usedin a civilian garment for public consumption. The color inserts,appliqués, mitering of striped fabrics and combinations of materialsin one ensemble allowed for savings in rationed fabrics, whilecreating the trademark Adrian look which was desired then and is stillsought after by vintage clothing collectors. Old-time movie glamorwould resurface in some of Adrian’s elegant columns of crêpe,diagonally embellished by headed bands of ancient motifs, or thickgilt embroidery on dark backgrounds. Diagonal lines and asymmetryalso lent interest, as in a short-sleeved wartime suit sewn of half plaidand half wool—completed by a hat trimmed in plaid edging. Havinggrown up observing his father’s millinery trade, Adrian had includedhats in his movie costuming and his designs, such as Garbo’s slouch,cloche, and Eugenie, were widely copied in the 1930s. Adrian unsuccessfully resisted Dior’s round-shouldered New Look. Miguel Adrover, spring 2001 collection. © Fashion SyndicateMen returned from the war, and women returned to the home. Press.Decades later, with the resurgence of women into the workforce,Adrian’s broad shouldered looks enabled women to compete confi-dently with men, as designers resurrected the masterpieces of this PUBLICATIONStruly American fashion virtuoso. On ADROVER: —Therese Duzinkiewicz Baker Articles Hume, Marion, “Miguel Takes Manhattan,” in Harper’s Bazaar, May 2000.ADROVER, Miguel Bee, Deborah, “Uniform Chic Puts Avant Garde Into EverydaySpanish designer Wear,” in The Guardian, 19 September 2000. Moore, Beth, “Rebel Designers Deconstruct Fashion Genres, Assump- tions,” in the Los Angeles Times, 22 September 2000.Born: Majorca, Spain, December 1965. Education: Left school at Goldstein, Lauren, “From New York, Miguel Adrover’s Moneyedthe age of 12 to work on the family farm. Career: Teamed with Moment,” in Time, October 2000.American tailor Douglas Hobbs to launch clothing line Dugg, 1995; Jones, Rose Apodace, “Educating Adrover,” in Women’s Wear Daily,opened boutique, Horn, in New York’s East Village, 1995–99; 2 October 2000.launched first collection Manaus-Chiapas-NYC, 1999; launched sec- Wilson, Eric, “The School of Miguel,” in Women’s Wear Daily, 2ond collection, Midtown, 2000; received financial backing from the February 2001.Pegasus Apparel Group to produce Miguel Adrover line, 2000. McCants, Leonard, and Julee Greenberg, “Gritty and Pretty: A NewAwards: Council of Fashion Designers, Best New Designer of the Niche Emerges in NYC’s East Village,” in Women’s Wear Daily,Year, 2000. 13 February 2001. 9
  24. 24. ADROVER CONTEMPORARY FASHION, 2nd EDITION opened the Horn boutique in New York’s East Village. Horn soon became the playing ground for young designers from New York and London who didn’t have any other place to show their clothes. These designers included Alexander McQueen, Bernadette Corporation, and Bless. Horn also carried labels such as Dugg, Bruce, and As Four. Adrover and Hobbs closed the boutique in March 1999 to concentrate on designing women’s clothing. With many friends but little money, Adrover turned out his first collection, Manaus-Chiapas NYC, at a Latin theater in New York’s Lower East Side in the summer of 1999. The collection was about the journey of a woman, kicked out of her surroundings, who is struggling yet nonetheless very strong. Adrover received some favorable press, but could not afford and did not attempt to market the clothes since he had only $5 in his pocket. Although he was a newcomer to the world of fashion, he was seen as a rising star after his showing. His second show, for fall 2000, took place in a rundown theater in the Lower East Side in February and was titled “Midtown.” Adrover wanted to show the paradox of different classes of people mixing on the sidewalks of New York City, where one finds middle-class, homeless, and upper-class people. The show’s theme was his inter- pretation of pedestrians on the streets, and drew many of the fashion world’s most important people, including Anna Wintour, chief editor of American Vogue, and Cathy Horyn, fashion journalist for the New York Times. The Midtown showing had been financed by Vogue, who paid Adrover a settlement of $12,000 after his samples were stolen from the magazine’s offices. The collection was made up of borrowed classics from past designers which Adrover turned into works of art, using deconstruction and reconstruction. He flipped Burberry macs inside out, took a Louis Vuitton bag and made it into a miniskirt, and transformed writer and neighbor Quentin Crisp’s mattress into an overcoat. The coat has become somewhat of a legend in itself—since everyone who worked on it developed a terrible rash.Miguel Adrover, fall 2001 collection. © Fashion Syndicate Press. After the Midtown show, Adrover was suddenly the next superstar fashion designer. He was soon signed by the Pegasus Group, andMenkes, Suzy, “Adrover’s Egyptian Odyssey,” in the International Judith Thurman of the New Yorker called him “a phenom.” The Herald Tribune, 13 February 2001. eponymous Miguel Adrover collection debuted in May 2000 to highPorter, Charlie, “Designer Storms Fashion Desert,” in The Guardian, praise and was sold to stores worldwide. Adrover went to Italy to buy 13 February 2001. his fabrics, from old bolts of cloth, for the 36-piece collection.Thurman, Judith, “Combat Fatique,” in the New Yorker, March 2001. Adrover’s designs can now be found in stores in the U.S., Europe, andCollins, James, “One Year Later,” in the New Yorker, April 2001. the Far East.Morra, Bernadette, “Designer Gives New Life to Old Classics,” in the In February 2001, Adrover showed his fourth collection, “Meeteast,” Toronto Star, 21 September 2001. an Egyptian-inspired presentation for which he spend six weeks in Egypt in order to develop ideas. The showing was a trip around the * * * Arab world, filled with exotic designs, and like his previous collec- tions, received much media hype—though not all positive. Meeteast Miguel Adrover is a self-trained fashion designer who quit school was somewhat of an oddity in the fashion world, featuring militaryat the age of 12 to work on the family farm located on the island of looks with traditional Arab, colonial, and missionary garments.Majorca, Spain, in a small village called Calonge. His first inspiration Models wore harem pants, tunics, and supple knits; some fabrics hadinto the fashion world came when he visited London as a teenager, been soaked in the Nile River to alter their color while also allowingwhere he was exposed to punk rock and the New Romantics. In his Adrover to make a political statement about the Third World.village, he became the one who was always into the latest music and Adrover is a rising star in the fashion industry, another retelling inpunky clothes. He served in the army in his late teens and upon the classic story of the American dream. “I would love to bedischarge ran a bar in Spain. considered a classic,” the designer told W magazine, yet his version of On his first visit to New York in 1991, Adrover decided to stay. He “classic” would surely have a twist, as he aspires to be “a modernworked as a janitor and lived in a tiny basement apartment. Four years classic, an abstract classic.”later, in 1995, he befriended a Native American tailor, DouglasHobbs, and together they made and sold t-shirts. The same year, they —Donna W. Reamy10