What could be more thrilling for the Sewing Divas than having some of our favorite designers of all time immortalized on Fashion Avenue’s Walk of Fame? Darlings, this is where I want my ashes scattered!
The ’70s belonged to Halston. Though he began his career as a milliner, his shift to ready-to-wear clothing made him a superstar. He was America’s first minimalist designer. By combining clean lines and classic fabrics, Halston designed clothing that was seasonless, made for travel and looked elegant night or day. It is no surprise that many members of the burgeoning “jet set” became his most celebrated clients.
Di Sant’Angelo exemplified the invidivual designer. He rose to prominence during the late 1960s when exuberant youth styles dominated. Inspired by non-western dress and hippie anti-fashion, di Sant’Angelo’s clothes were an eclectic mix of vibrant fabrics, rich ornamentation and ease of cut. Freeing the body was a prime focus. Leotards, beandeaux and tube dresses made of stretch fabrics covered in layers of filmy chiffon became his leitmotif.
A designer’s designer, Geoffrey Beene is one of the most artistic and individual of fashion’s creators. He is known for his surgically clean cutting and his fluid use of materials. His designs display a sensuous appreciation of the body and always permit movement. Beene blends masterful construction techniques with seemingly disparate elements, such as whimsically patterned fabrics. The end results are spirited garments, like his famous sequined football jersey evening gown.
This Anglo-American couturier is widely regarded as one of the greatest fashion designers in history. Having begun his career as a milliner in the 1920s, James later incorporated the sculptural techniques of hat making into his dress designs. His juxtaposition of opulent fabrics and unparalleled color combinations was enhanced by his inimitable and complex constructions. James’ engineered garments came as close to works of art as anything ever made in the realm of fashion.
Following a career in costume design, Cashin launched her fashion business in the 1950s. Calling her clothing “kinetic art forms for living”, she adapted simple cuts from the history of world clothing to meet the needs of modern women. She advocated playful but subtle exoticism and introduced layered, interlocking garments that could be rearranged to suit the wearer’s taste and activity. Fusing practicality and whimsy, Cashin’s distrintive style and philosophy celebrated independence.
Having brought the comfort and simplicity of sportswear into the realm of formal dressing, Blass can rightly be credited as one of the creators of a true “American style”. His blending of classic fabrics, like cashmere and satin, have made him a favorite among this country’s best-dressed women. Labeled the “hardest working man on Seventh Avenue”, Blass has cultivated an unforgettable personal and professional style.
More to come tomorrow!