Best French Fashion Designer: Everything You Need to Know About the French Fashion Industry

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Best French Fashion Designer

Fashion design is the art of applying design, aesthetics, and natural beauty to clothing and its accessories. It is influenced by cultural and social attitudes and has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in several ways in designing clothing fashion which can be seen across the timeline of numerous fashion periods; –

Fashion Designer

A fashion designer describes someone who designs fashionable garments/clothing fashion or who invents new styles or designs, particularly luxury or haute couture. The term ‘fashion’ designates any trendy item for a limited duration (season). Although designers are most often thought of as working purely in textiles, fashion designers may also deal with leather, plastics, graphic prints, jewelry, footwear, eyewear, and other materials that are sometimes combined into a single item, such as the famous little black dress.

Notable French fashion designer

The couture traditionally was centered at the House of Worth, Callot Soeurs, and Jean Patou in Paris. Still, following World War II, it expanded to many more labels, including Coco Chanel’s Chanel S.A., Pierre Balmain, Dior, Lanvin, Hanae Mori, Nina Ricci, Madame Grès as well as Helmut Lang. In London, ‘daring’ designers such as Mary Quant emerged after World War II.

Change in Fashion Designs

The 1960s brought a change in fashion design, most notably through the radical chic of Mary Quant and her followers: Brazilian bossa nova beats influenced young London designers Biba and Mirabella. At the same time, the ‘Antwerp Six’ led by Dries Van Noten emerged from Antwerp.

Yves Saint Laurent

In Milan, Giorgio Armani established his fashion house in 1974, while Versace and Valentino emerged as leaders of Italian fashion design after World War II. In France, Yves Saint Laurent has significantly influenced fashion since launching his first collection for Dior in 1958 (accessible). Other famous Parisian couturiers such as Christian Lacroix and Jean-Paul Gaultier also began to expand the realm of French fashion during this period.

Pierre Cardin

Italian designs were more body-conscious, with revealing necklines and low backs, giving them an exotic edge. High-waisted pants and low-heeled shoes were the norms. Milanese women caused a scandal by taking to the streets in shawls at night, but this was all part of their new desire for more luxury and comfort after the privations of World War II. Parisian fashion also became more casual during this period as designers such as Pierre Cardin began catering to an even wider audience (accessible).

Shift of designers, for inspiration from French to American Designers

The 1960s saw a wave of interest in American fashion design worldwide. London designers such as Mary Quant and Biba gave way to new talent like Ossie Clark and John Richmond, who looked towards New York for inspiration rather than Paris. Young Italian designers such as Gianni Versace and Armani emerged alongside older couturiers: Pucci, Giorgio Correggiari, and Emilio Pucci became internationally successful. Other vital British designers in the 1970s were Zandra Rhodes, Laura Ashley, Ossie Clark, and Bill Gibb.

for inspiration from French to American Designers

Mary Quant and Graziella Fontana

After the oil crisis in 1973, many designers began to create clothes that reflected a more casual style of dress, including jumpsuits, jeans, loose trousers known as palazzos, and knitted sweaters (known as cardigans) paired with slim-cut satin high-waisted skirts over opaque hold-ups. Exotic skins (crocodile, snake), furs, and ornaments such as beads ‘n’ sequins became popular for ladies who wanted to appear luxurious without appearing overly dressed up.

Other designers such as Mary Quant, Graziella Fontana, and Sasson Jeans began to make waves in the 1970s (accessible).

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Frech Fashion Designer in 80’s

The 1980s saw an explosion of individualistic young designers like John Galliano, Yves Saint Laurent, Claude Montana, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Claude Montana, Christian Lacroix, Issey Miyake, Vivienne Westwood, Gianni Versace, Azzedine Alaïa, and Thierry Mugler. Their clients were women who had become increasingly independent with their spending habits. Women dressed in more extravagance than ever before; they decorated their bodies with furs and jewels ‘n’ sequins. The sexual revolution also influenced fashion choices. Menswear became more extravagant with soft fabrics, rich colors, and patterns.

Fashion Trends in 90s

The 1990s saw the emergence of grunge, which was popularized by celebrities like Kate Moss, Pamela Anderson Linda Ramone (accessible).

Vivienne Westwood

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood revolutionized menswear in the 1970s with her revolutionary ‘pirate’ look – barely their skirts over tights, tie-dyed T-shirts, worn boots, and stacked heels (accessible). She also created an independent fashion label known as Westwood Anglomania. Later on, in the 1980s, she began to take inspiration from historical costumes designing corsets for men and coats for women. Although she is best known for her punk style, she has always maintained that her design philosophy is based more on romance than punk (accessible).

John Galliano as head designer for Givenchy, Paris

Designer John Galliano revolutionized menswear with his sailor pantsuits in the 1990s, designed for some of Europe’s most influential men. His clothes are known for their dandy-ish quality, masculinity, and femininity. He worked first with Jean Paul Gaultier, then moved to Christian Dior, where he proved to be the driving force behind the brand’s success before being fired over an anti-Semitic rant at a couple in Paris. As head designer for Givenchy, he brought more structure back into women’s fashion, refuting grunge by creating corseted dresses that were often constructed from men’s shirts (accessible).

Stephen Webster

The 1990s was also a successful period for British designers to recognize the importance of individuality. The designer jeweler manufactured by Stephen Webster became popularized by celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Kylie Minogue, and Pamela Anderson (accessible).

Alexander McQueen

Designer Alexander McQueen revolutionized womenswear with his punk aesthetic. Under his direction at Givenchy, he was able to fuse haute couture techniques with graffiti prints, bondage elements, and the innovative use of fabrics. He became creative director at Givenchy before returning to London, where he opened his own label known as Alexander McQueen (accessible). Other vital British designers included Stella McCartney, Sarah Burton, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Paul Smith, Paul Costelloe, Hussein Chalayan, and Christian Lacroix.

Sonia Rykiel

Fashion designer Sonia Rykiel revolutionized womenswear with her accessible style. She introduced the concept of casual chic to women’s clothing and showcased knitwear as a significant component of ready-to-wear fashion collections (accessible). She was also the first designer to mass market stretch jeans. Designer John Richmond also made his mark on British fashion with his relaxed styles and use of English fabrics.

Other famous designers include Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo Takada, Issey Miyake, Ralph Lauren.

Famous Fashion Designers 1936 to 2008

Yves Jean – Marie Roland Saint – Laurent (1 August 1936 – 1 June 2008) was a French fashion designer, particularly noted for his modernism and mastery of tailoring. During his career, Yves Saint Laurent dominated the world of French fashion along with his arch-nemesis Karl Lagerfeld.

Thierry Mugler

Thierry Mugler is one of the most powerful designers to come out of France in the 20th century. He moved on from designing menswear in 1994 to designing womenswear exclusively in 1997. His signature style is an innovative fusion between classical femininity and eccentricity. He is best known for creating the cone-shaped dress (accessible). Thierry Mugler revolutionized menswear with his unique designs featuring metallic fabrics, asymmetrical skirts

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