British fashion designers
In this article we have collected some biographical material about ten most famous British fashion designers of XIX-XXI centuries. Many of them, having made a name at home, eventually crossed the English Channel, traveled to France to lead the renowned fashion houses and conquer the hearts of millions of people interested in stylish clothes.
At the age of 17, Vivian’s family moved to Harrow, London. She went to art school at the University of Westminster Harrow, chose a course of fashion and jewelry, but having studied only one semester, she quit teaching, saying: “I do not know how a girl from the working class, could make a living in the world of art “. After she got a job at the factory and was trained at teacher training college, Vivienne became a primary school teacher. During this period, she also created her own jewelry, which were then sold at a stall on Portobello Road. In 1961, Vivienne Svaer met Derek Westwood, a student, working at the Hoover factory in Harrow. They got married on July 21, 1962. Vivienne sewed her own wedding dress for the wedding ceremony.
Is an English fashion designer whose business and reputation is entirely based on his menswear collection. He is commercially successful and a respected person in the UK fashion industry. In 2000, Paul Smith was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, by being an icon of men’s clothing for nearly three decades. His collections of clothing and accessories for both men and women, are usually determined by the presence of the label with the signature Smith on a striped background. Paul Smith left school at the age of 15. As a member of the Beeston Road Club” club ” , his only goal was to become a cyclist, until his father brought him to work in a large clothing store. During the first two years, Smith had no real interest in his work, with the exception of daily travel to and from his home on the bike. A terrible bicycle accident put an end to his ambitions bicycle racer, and only after that Smith‘s career in fashion began in full.
Lee Alexander McQueen
The most famous and dramatic McQueen show is considered the fashion show for spring summer 2001, called VOSS. The central subject of the scene, which attracted all the attention, was a huge glass window. But as the whole room was lit up, and the inside part of the window frame was not lit, the glass walls looked like large mirrors, so the sitting spectators were able to see there only their own reflection. Finally, after an hour, when the show started, in a large frame the light came on, and made visible the inner part of the huge windows filled with moths, where in the center was located on the couch a naked model whose face was hidden from viewers by a mask. Then the glass wall fell and broke on the floor. The models that the British fashion designer McQueen chosen specially as the central figure of his show, became the British writer Michelle Olley.
Jasper Conran is a famous British designer and the son of the designer Sir Terence Conran and the author Shirley Conran. He studied at the School of Port Regis and Brayanston in the 1970’s. Conran also studied at New York’s Parsons School of Design. Conran established the first collection of women’s clothes in 1978, and then in 1985 followed also the first collection of menswear. In 1999, Conran designed the stemware for “Crystal Stewart,” and then porcelain for “Waterford Wedgwood.” In addition, he is the owner of an exclusive line of clothing designed for the British network of shops “Debenhams”. His most important flagship store is located on Sackville Street (Mayfer, London). In 1994, he created the wedding dress for Lady Sarah Chatty. This was preceded by an order of a wedding dress coming from Jasmine Guinness, who was married with Paul Yates. In 2003, Conran began releasing a series of copyright fragrances, materials for furniture upholstery and collections of wallpapers for Designers Guild, an international company specialized in the production of exclusive interior items for designers premises. In 2004, he began earning and launched a collection of fireplaces, consisting of three lines for the company “Chesneys”.
The British fashion designer was born in 1971 in Charlton-kum–Hardy in Manchester. Williamson studied in Manchester until he was 17 years old. Then he moved to London to begin training at the School of Art and Design at Central Saint Martin‘s College, where he graduated in 1994. After graduating in June 1994 with a BA in fashion design and printed textiles, his first work became a collaborative design project with a company named “Marni”. Afterwards, Williamsonthe was hired in a British company specialized in the manufacture of clothing and accessories, “Monsoon” and “Accessorize”. The luxury fashion house of Matthew Williamson, was founded in February 1997 by Williamson and Joseph Veloce. In September 1997, Williamson presented at London Fashion Week his failed collection “Electric Angels“. Obliquely cut dresses and other items of women’s clothing in exotic tangerine, fuchsia and purple shades represented models such as Kate Moss, Helena Christensen and Jade Jagger.
Christopher Bailey was born in 1971 in the English county of West Yorkshire. He is the Chief Creative Officer of the “Burberry” brand. Bailey, who in 2009 turned 38, was born in Yorkshire, the son of a carpenter and storefront designer of “Marks & Spencer”. Christopher graduated the Royal College of Art with a Masters degree in 1994, and ten years later, the young British fashion designer received an Honorary Fellowship of the College. From 1994 to 1996, he worked as a designer of women’s clothing in “Donna Karan“, and from 1996 to 2001, Bailey has served as a senior designer of women’s clothing at “Gucci” in Milan.
When Galliano was six years old, his family, in search of work, moved to England. Before moving to Dulwich and later to Brockley, they settled together in Streatham (South London). The outrageous designer was raised in a strict Roman Catholic family. Galliano who was shy and diffident, often talked about how difficult he adapted to the new world. Recalling his early days, he once confessed: “I do not think people here understand where I come from.” His mother, a flamenco teacher, always dressed him in neat and elegant clothes, even for trips to local shops. This, combined with his creative receptivity, has given rise to frequent mockeries in his address, coming from the students of the London Grammar School for Boys, where he studied.
A Welsh fashion designer, the icon of British fashion, which played an important role in the fashion industry of the 1960’s. She was one of the designers who have earned a good reputation due to the invention and marketing of funny at that time garments, such as mini-skirts and shorts. Promoting these wardrobe items, she urged young people to treat fashion as a game, and dress so that clothing will give them pleasure. Ernestine Carter, authoritative and influential fashion journalist of the 1950’s and 1960’s, wrote: “Only certain people are meant to be born at the right time in the right place with the right talents. In the modern fashion industry such people are only three: Chanel, Dior and Mary Quant”.
Charles Frederick Worth
Was a famous British designer of the XIX century, whose works have been created in Paris. Moreover, he is considered the father of haute couture. Born in Bourne (Lincolnshire, England), Worth made a contribution in the French fashion industry. Before moving to Paris in 1846, he worked in several highly successful shops in London, specializing in the sale of tissues. In France, he was hired by Gagelin and Opigez, well known Parisian manufacturers. While working in the shop, he married one of the firm models, Marie Vernet, who at that time was presenting shawls and bonnets for prospective customers. Later, Worth sewed some simple dresses for his wife and customers started to ask for copies of the same dresses.
Lucy Christiana Duff Gordon
Lucy Christiana Duff Gordon, was one of the leading British fashion designers of late XIX – early XX century, better known by her professional pseudonym of “Lucille”. As the first British designer who has reached the international fame, Lucille was widely recognized as an innovator of the “haute couture” style and in general of the fashion industry. Besides organizing “fashion shows” (the predecessor of the modern fashion show) and training first professional models, she marked the beginning of the liberation of women from long skirts and low-cut dresses. Lucille also popularized less compressing corsets and promoted short seductive lingerie. She dressed clients – trendsetters belonging to the royal, noble and theater community, as well as people involved in film industry. Lucy Duff Gordon is also remembered by being one of the “Titanic” survivors in 1912.