Stunning Valentino Haute Couture (1960s)

By the mid-1960s, Valentino was a favorite designer of the world’s best-dressed women.

Valentino’s international debut took place in 1962, at the Pitti Palace in Florence. The show cemented the designer’s reputation and attracted the attention of socialites and aristocratic women from around the world. Within a few years, Valentino’s designs were considered the pinnacle of Italian couture. In 1967, he received the prestigious Neiman Marcus Fashion Award.

His client list included the Begum Aga Khan, Queen Paola of Belgium and movie stars Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. Jacqueline Kennedy developed an interest in the designer’s work after admiring friends in several Valentino ensembles. In 1964, Kennedy ordered six dresses in black and white, which she wore during the year following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy (source).

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In July 1962 in the last hour on the last day of the Autumn shows Valnetino was given an opportunity to present a collection that became known as Sala Bianca. The designs were showcased at the stunning ball room, the White Hall, of the Pitti Palce. Overnight, Valentino Garavani was famous internationally via

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Valentino Fashion Show, Salla Bianca, Palazzo Pitti, Firenze, 1964 via

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In 1964 Jacqueline Kennedy chose a Valentino dress for the wedding with Aristotle Onassis. The gown was a part of the Sfilata Bianca collection shown in 1968. If Valentino was a fashion darling of the global press and buyers before, Sfilata Bianca (and its connection to Jackie Onassis) was the final step in conquering the States and securing his position as one of the best and most influential fashion designers of our time via

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Valentino, Ensemble, photographed by Henry Clarke, 1968 via

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Valentino, Vogue, 1968 via

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Veruschka, Valentino, Vogue, 1965 via

Beautiful Vintage Photos From “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli”

The now scarce and out of print book “Shocking Schiaparelli” features beautiful images by the surrealist inspired fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli – one of the most influential designers of the 1930s & 1940s.

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Photo from “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli” via

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Photo from “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli” via

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Photo from “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli” via

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Photo from “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli” via

Vintage Photos of Gorgeous Dresses by Jacques Heim

French fashion designer and costume designer Jacques Heim (1899 – 1967) ran from 1930 to his death in 1967, the fashion house House of Jacques Heim, which closed in 1969.

Under the presidency of General de Gaulle, he was appointed designer of the general’s wife, Yvonne de Gaulle. His most prominent clients were Sophia Loren,Queen Fabiola of Belgium, Mamie Eisenhower and actress Gloria Swanson. In 1956, Heim made the bikini an international sensation when Brigitte Bardot wore one of his designs.

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Jacques Heim, 1964 via

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Jacques Heim, 1960 via

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Jacques Heim, 1959 via

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Jacques Heim, 1959 via

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Jacques Heim, 1956 via

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Jacques Heim, 1956 via

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Jacques Heim, 1956 via

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Jacques Heim, 1952 via

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Jacques Heim, 1951 via

Stunning Anne Gunning in Cristobal Balenciaga Coats (1954)

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Anne Gunning in Cristobal Balenciaga Dress and Coat, photographed by Henry Clarke, 1954 via

angAnne Gunning in Cristobal Balenciaga Coat, photographed by Henry Clarke, 1954 via

Photos Feat. Designs by Lucien Lelong

Lucien Lelong  (1889 – 1959) was born in Paris as the son of Arthur Lelong, the owner of a textile shop, he trained at the Hautes Etudes de Commerciales in Paris and opened his fashion house in the late 1910s. He was  eager to create garments that would highlight the body’s movements and elegance in motion: a kinetic fashion. He killed the 1920s “garçonne” look and privileged fluid garments inspired by neoclassical drapery, and later anticipated the New Look.

Lelong did not actually create the garments that bore his label. “He did not design himself, but worked through his designers,” wrote Christian Dior, who was a member of the Lelong team from 1941 until 1946, during which time he created the collections in collaboration with Pierre Balmain. “Nevertheless,” Dior continued, “in the course of his career as couturier his collections retained a style which was really his own and greatly resembled him.” Other designers who worked for Lelong included Nadine Robinson and Hubert de Givenchy.

Among Lelong’s clients were Marie Duhamel, Jeanne Ternisien (wife of the banker Georges Nelze), the Duchess de la Rochefoucauld, Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson, Colette, and Rose Kennedy.

On the 10th August 1927 he married his second wife, Princess Natalie Paley (1905–1981), who had worked as a saleswoman in the Lelong perfume department. She was a daughter of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia and his morganatic wife, Olga Karnovich. Paley had starred in a few films, but found her succes being a Lelong model. They divorced in 1937.

Lelong retired in 1952, due to Poor health. Lelong’s third wife, who outlived him, went on to marry the French journalist Maurice Goudeket, the widower of Colette.

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Dress by Lucien Lelong, 1925 via

Crepe dresses by Lucien Lelong, 1935.

Crepe dresses by Lucien Lelong, 1935 via

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Princess Natalie Paley wearing a black sequined evening gown by Lelong. Photo by Man Ray, 1934 via