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FASHION DESIGNERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY

Dame Vivienne Westwood, (born Vivienne Isabel Swire on 8 April 1941)


is a British fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for
bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream.

D.V. Westwood designs


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Alexander McQueen is considered to be the 'bad boy' of fashion.


Mr. McQueen challenged and expanded our understanding of fashion
beyond utility to a conceptual expression of culture, politics, and identity.
"Alexander McQueen's iconic designs constitute the work of an artist
whose medium of expression was fashion," said Thomas P. Campbell,
Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "
Mr. McQueen grew up in London, the son of a cabdriver. He made much of
his working-class Cockney roots. They were, along with his homosexuality
and rebelliousness, part of his insider-outsider credentials, his wrong-
element-wherever-I-am identity.

At 16 he landed an apprenticeship with a Savile Row tailoring firm that


catered to the British royal family, and he was a more than apt pupil. A
virtuosic grasp of the mechanics of clothes making — cutting, sewing,
constructing — became early hallmarks of his design, with drapery skills
developing later. He was always a hands-on worker: in art terms, a
formalist as much as a conceptualist.

But it was the conceptualist, the idea man, the storyteller, who began
making news. After a stint with a theatrical costume company he went to
design school and quickly gained a reputation for distinctively dark, louche
brilliance. He titled his graduate show “Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims,”
signing each piece with a stitched-in lock of hair. He turned to violent films
like “Taxi Driver” and “The Shining” for inspiration, and to tales of
persecution (17th-century witch hunts) and martyrdom (Joan of Arc).

In 1994 he had some commercial success with designs for ultra-low-rise


“bumster” pants that helped start an international trend. But he was still
most interested in narratives, in making each new collection an attention-
grabbing drama. One way to get noticed was by alienating people, and the
runway show for his “Highland Rape” collection of 1995-96 drew some
serious heat.
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An ensemble with a coat of duck featherspainted gold and a skirt of silk tulle
embroidered with gold threads.

Donatella Versace. Chief designer and the Vice-President of the Versace


Group, Donatella Versace is the first fashion designer to use A-List
celebrities to publicize her clothing on the catwalk, instead of using
nameless models. In advertising sector of Versace, she enrolled some top-
notch Hollywood actresses including Madonna, Demi Moore, Jennifer
Lopez, Christina Aguilera and others to promote her brand.

Donatella Versace
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Vera Wang launched a ready-to-wear line in 2004. Decorative, feminine


and artsy-intellectual, Wang favors the long and lean, with a keen interest
in silhouette and a passion for the sheer and textural. A favorite of red-
carpet clientele, the RTW line has garnered a devout following. Allure’s
creative director (and former co-worker of Wang's) Paul Cavaco notes:
“Vera loves clothes beyond loving clothes; she loves everything that has to
do with clothes. This is not a make-believe love here; it’s the real thing.”
And speaking of love, Wang is perhaps best-known for her romanticism.
Whimsical and feminine without looking saccharine, luxurious materials get
worked and finessed with a singular flourish. She’s also a history buff who,
in the past, has looked to everything from czarist Russia to ancient Rome
for inspiration.

Vera Wang Designs

Jean-Paul Gaultier is a French haute couture fashion designer.


Gaultier was the creative director of Hermès from 2003 to 2010. In the past,
he has hosted the television series Eurotrash.
Gaultier never received formal training as a designer. Instead, he started
sending sketches to famous couture stylists at an early age. Pierre
Cardin was impressed by his talent and hired him as an assistant in 1970.
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Afterwards he worked with Jacques Esterel in 1971 and Jean Patou later
that year, then returning to manage the Pierre Cardin boutique in Manila for
a year in 1974.
His first individual collection was released in 1976 and his characteristic
irreverent style dates from 1981, and he has long been known as
the enfant terrible of French fashion. Many of Gaultier's following
collections have been based on street wear, focusing on popular culture,
whereas others, particularly his Haute Couture collections, are very formal
yet at the same time unusual and playful.
Although most people found his designs decadent at the
time, fashion editors, notably Melka Tréanton of Elle, Claude Brouet and
Catherine Lardeur of French Marie Claire, were seduced by his creativity
and immediately noticed his mastery of tailoring and later launched his
career. In 1985 he introduced man-skirts, and produced sculptured
costumes for Madonna during the nineties, starting with her infamous cone
bra for her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour, and designed the wardrobe for her
2006 Confessions Tour. Gaultier has also worked in close collaboration
with Wolford Hosiery. He promoted the use of skirts, especially kilts on
men's wardrobe, and the release of designer collections.

Jean-Paul Gaultier's bread exhibit, Paris, 2004.


Gaultier caused shock by using unconventional models for his exhibitions,
like older men and full-figured women, pierced and heavily tattooed
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models, and by playing with traditional gender roles in the shows. This
earned him both criticism and enormous popularity.
At the end of the 1980s, Gaultier suffered some personal losses, including
his lover and business partner Francis Menuge, who died of AIDS-related
causes.
Gaultier designed the wardrobe of many motion pictures, including Luc
Besson's The Fifth Element, Pedro Almodóvar's Kika, Peter
Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, and Jean-Pierre
Jeunet's La Cité des enfants perdus (The City of Lost Children). He
currently designs for three collections: his own couture and ready-to-wear
lines, for both men and women.
In France the costumes he designed for singer Mylène Farmer gained
much attention. In spring 2008 he signed a contract to be again the fashion
designer for her tour in 2009.

Miuccia Prada (Italian pronunciation: [ˌmjuʧːa ˈpɾaːda], born Miuccia


Prada Bianchi; 10 May 1949) is an Italian fashion designer (Prada, Miu
Miu) and entrepreneur. She also has a Ph.D. in Political Science.
Prada was born in Milan, the youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada,
founder of the company. According to: Forbes.com's The World's Richest
People 2001: "She and her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, took over the family-
owned luxury goods manufacturer in 1978. Since then, they've turned it into
a fashion powerhouse, acquiring Jil Sander, Helmut Lang and shoemaker
Church & Co." Prada is a collector of contemporary art and owns several
artworks by Young British Artists (YBAs) including Damien Hirst. In 2002,
she opened a contemporary art space, Fondazione Prada, which exhibits
work by various international artists. Prada announced the winner of the
2010 Turner Prize.
In 1985, Miuccia had her first hit when she designed a line of black, finely
woven nylon handbags that instantly became a hit. By 1989, Miuccia
designed and introduced her first women’s ready-to-wear collection that
was critically acclaimed; men’s wear followed in 1995. Miu Miu was
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introduced in 1992 as a lesser expensive women’s wear line that was


inspired by Miuccia’s personal wardrobe and nickname. Miuccia was
honored with the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of American
International Award in 1993. The following year she showed her collections
in both New York’s and London’s fashion week, although she had already
become a staple of Milan’s fashion week. Muiccia’s husband, Patrizio
Bertelli, is still the predominant business force in the company who is
responsible for the commercial side of products and Prada’s retail strategy.

Miuccia Prada

Issey Miyake is a Japanese fashion designer. He is known for his


technology-driven clothing designs, exhibitions and fragrances.
Miyake was born 22 April 1938 in Hiroshima, Japan. As a seven year-old,
he witnessed and survived the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on
August 6th, 1945. He studied graphic design at the Tama Art
University in Tokyo, graduating in 1964. After graduation, he worked
in Paris and New York City. Returning to Tokyo in 1970, he founded the
Miyake Design Studio, a high-end producer of women's fashion.
In the late '80s, he began to experiment with new methods of pleating that
would allow both flexibility of movement for the wearer as well as ease of
care and production. This eventually resulted in a new technique called
garment pleating and in 1993's Pleats Please in which the garments are cut
and sewn first, then sandwiched between layers of paper and fed into a
heat press, where they are pleated. The fabric's 'memory' holds the pleats
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and when the garments are liberated from their paper cocoon, they are
ready-to wear.

Diane Monique Lhuillier (born 1971, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines) is


a fashion designer most prominently known for bridal wear. She owns
a couture fashion house based in Los Angeles, California.
Lhuillier has become a celebrity favorite for both wedding and red carpet
gowns. Her list of clientele includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese
Witherspoon, Kristen Stewart, Drew Barrymore, Hilary Swank, Jennifer
Lopez, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Lhuillier was born to Michel J. Lhuillier, a businessman of French descent,
and Amparito Llamas, a Filipino society figure and former model of Spanish
descent.
As a teenager, she was an outstanding student in Lausanne, Switzerland
and dreamed of becoming a successful fashion designer. She moved to
Los Angeles to study design at the Fashion Institute of Design &
Merchandising (FIDM). It was during this time that she met her future
husband Tom Bugbee.
Monique and Tom currently reside in Los Angeles with their two children.

Monique Lhuillier designs