Category Archives: Designers/Couturiers

Kenneth Jay Lane, 1932 – 2017

Kenneth Jay Lane took costume jewellery to a new level in the 1960s when his fake gems graced a new swath of sophisticated women, including the Duchess of Windsor. Lane was born April 22, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan, and attended … Continue reading

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Gina Fratini, 1931 – 2017

Georgina Caroline Eve Butler was born into an aristocratic, connected family on 22 September, 1931 in Kobe, Japan and spent most of her childhood in colonial India. She studied at the Royal College of Arts before marrying in 1954. After her … Continue reading

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Laura Biagiotti, 1943 – 2017

Laura Biagiotti was born August 4, 1943 and studied to become an archaeologist before entering her mother’s dressmaking business. She presented her first eponymous collection in 1972 and her brand quickly became one of the leading luxury lines that made … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Chuck Howard

Chuck Howard, was one of those designers of the postwar era that gave American fashions a distinctly American look. Born in Cochrane, Georgia in 1927, Howard was stationed in Hawaii as a tail gunner in World War II. Courtesy of … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes

Born June 28, 1905 Zelda Barbour Wynn Valdes grew up in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and learned how to design and sew at her uncle’s tailoring shop in White Plains, New York. In 1948 she opened her own boutique called ‘Chez Zelda’ at Broadway and … Continue reading

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Best Fashion Film Documentaries

Like the fashion films, I am marking the ones I think are must-sees with three stars, okay docs with 2 stars, and avoid at all costs with 1 star. Anything without stars I have not seen: Advanced Style (2014) ** … Continue reading

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Emmanuelle Khanh, 1937 – 2017

Best known for her eyewear designs, Emmanuelle Khanh began life in Paris with the name Renée Georgette Jeanne Mézière on Sept. 12, 1937. At the age of 20, she married her husband Nguyen (Quasar) Manh Khanh, an engineer who became … Continue reading

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WHAM, Slogan T-shirts, and Katherine Hamnett

Although George Michael (1963 – 2016) was not a fashion designer, he was influential in bringing success to English designer Katharine Hamnett. The 32-year-old English born Hamnett was a graduate of London’s Saint Martin’s School of Art when she founded her label in … Continue reading

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Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Sassy Jane Manufacturing Co.

The Sassy Jane Manufacturing Company was incorporated on March 22, 1917 by Missouri-born June Rand – a seamstress who had moved to California. She started the company in Los Angeles making gingham aprons, and with that endeavour becoming successful she … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Potbelly Boutique (c. 1965 – 1978)

Le Hibou (The Owl) was Ottawa’s first coffee house, founded in 1960 by Denis Faulkner, a student from the University of Ottawa who wanted a place where young Ottawans could meet, listen to music, play chess, and drink coffee. The club … Continue reading

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