Bohan

Marc (1926). French designer. His given name is Roger Maurice Louis Bohan. Born in Paris, he graduated from high school and then, encouraged by his mother, a milliner, he enrolled in a design course in order to follow an evident interest in fashion. Not yet 20, he was hired by Robert Piguet, and in his atelier he met a young talent, Christian Dior. He remained there four years, then moved on to Molineux and, in 1954, to Patou, who gave him responsibility for the haute couture Collection. But it was the meeting with Dior, who then became a friend, which would influence his career. One year after the death of the man who invented the New Look, he was given the artistic direction of Christian Dior London. It was 1958. Three years later, in 1961, he was back in Paris. This time it was to direct the tailor shop on Avenue Montaigne and to take the place of Dior’s favorite assistant, Yves Saint-Laurent, who the designer had designated as his successor but who had been called up to serve with the army in Algeria. It was a fortunate return: his first Collection, called Slim Look, was immediately successful. The line was extended like a pencil sketch, and made lovely. The Collection consisted mainly of suits with tight skirts with the option of an elegant parka. He renewed himself from season to season, designing, inventing, creating, following the steps of his master, and the allure of tradition. In 1966 he brought the style of Dr. Zhivago to the runway: long fur-trimmed greatcoats worn with maxi dresses that fell to the boots. Among his clientele were members of the jet set. In 1967 magazines published photos of Farah Dibah wearing his creations on the occasion of her marriage to the Shah of Iran and her coronation as empress. Princess Grace of Monaco and Princess Alexandra of Yugoslavia, also invited to the royal wedding, wore clothes by Bohan-Dior. More than 100 haute couture garments are created twice a year, with particular attention to evening dresses, as a gentleman likes to see them: ladies of divine elegance, characters in a wide-awake dream. Clothes for every high society event, precious, rich, with big knots draped on a taffeta sheath dress, often creating a puffed effect at the back. And more and more bows resting on a triumph of embroidery, with very refined workmanship in an authentic exercise in luxury. Very aware of color, he uses them all, with a preference for red and black. He doesn’t care for green, but doesn’t eliminate it entirely. By now, his ideas are part of the collective memory: balaclavas in leopard, little ostrich-trimmed foulards that lend importance to a sober outfit, stockings that have the same patterns as sweaters. Through the accessories he allowed Dior’s style to become accessible to everyone. He was famous for his jewels: pins and brooches made of strass&b;, or paste glass, meant for important evenings. A diligent worker, he pays attention to everything: Miss Dior’s prêt-à-porter, launched in 1967 by his assistant Philippe Guibourge, for a young clientele; the men’s Collection, designed by Bohan himself in 1970; and furs, designed by Frédéric Castet. The white ermine coat that he created for Sophia Loren, with the imprint of her lips on the back, will not be easily forgotten. The infinite licenses, the numberless fragrances, the make-up: Made by Dior conquered the world. Then, in 1989, came the changing of the guard: after some 30 years of honorable service, he left the scene. Gianfranco Ferré was now in charge.
Having left Dior, the 63 year-old designer is hired by Hartnell. The house was known as the favorite of the British aristocracy, but closed down for good in 1992.

Blechman

Hardy. English designer, the creator of streetwear and camouflage trousers for leisure time. In the early 1990s, Hardy began to design garments in natural fibers, mainly hemp cloth. In 1994, he established Maharishi, a Hindu term that means “Big Guru.” Success arrived with snowpants, trousers that were inspired by military-skateboard clothing and decorated with Japanese embroidery, with reversible camouflage insides. In 1998, they were sold at Barneys, in New York. Over the years his production expanded with lines for men, women, and children under the MHI brand, and with a series of clothes created with recycled fabric. In 2001, he opened a London store at Covent Garden, designed by the architect Franµois Scali in such a way that the entryway leads directly to a bamboo garden. Today, Maharishi has 100 outlets all over the world and employs 25 people in the London headquarters, where work alternates with yoga and meditation lessons. In March 2003, Maharishi presented the results of an unusual collaboration with the Hong Kong toy designer Michael Lau, whose products are on sale in the London store. It is a series of 101 very detailed garden figurines, among which is one that looks like Hardy Blechman.

Buzzati

Dino (1906-1972). Italian writer and journalist. In January 1962, for the Corriere della Sera, of which he was a special correspondent, he followed the high fashion runways of Paris and, in the Summer of the following year, those of Italian ready-to-wear at Palazzo Pitti. He was pushed towards this experience by his friend Maria Pezzi, who at the time wrote a column about fashion for Il Giorno. This Italian writer (Barnabo of the Mountains, The Tartar Steppe, Il crollo della Baliverna, Terror on the Staircase and A Love Affair) who was the most-translated and loved in France had no squeamishness about it, but looked at fashion with the attention, the participation, and the sharp observation which also made him a great reporter. From Florence he would write: “Forquet. If I were married, I would send my wife to his atelier to be dressed by him.” And made his personal ranking: 1) Forquet; 2) De Barentzen; 3) Veneziani; 4) Lancetti; 5) Valentino; 6) Galitzine; 7) Antonelli; 8) Enzo; 9) Marucelli. Then in a group came Guidi, De Luca and Carosa.

Bianchini-Férier

Silk factory established in Lyon in 1888 by the Italian Carlo Bianchini, in partnership with Franµois Aruier and Franµois Férier. It was famous for its crêpe de chine georgette, heavily used by tailors of haute couture, and for hiring artists such as Sonia Delaunay and Raoul Dufy to design their fabrics. Within ten years of its founding, the firm was already a big name. It had offices in Paris and was about to arrive in London. In 1909 it opened an office in New York and, in 1922, one in Montreal. Today, it has an archive with 40,000 original sketches.
“Christmas Exhibition” at Abbott & Holder in London. On sale, together with 600 drawings and watercolors, from the Pre-Raphaelite Sir Joseph Noel Paton to the Shakespearian illustrator John Masey-Wright, were the Art Deco textile sketches of the firm. The company is placed under receivership. By the end of the year a liquidation plan was ready.
Damask silks created for Bianchini-Férier by Dufy have a prominent place in an exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London dedicated to Art Deco and its various expressions.

Berhault

Louis. Also known as Jean Louis (1907). French costume maker. For 40 years he designed costumes for the stars of Hollywood. He is part of the legend of the long gloves and black satin dress worn by Rita Hayworth in the film Gilda. Born in Paris, he studied at the Académie des Arts Decoratifs. He was then hired as an apprentice in the atelier Agnès-Drecoll on Place VendÂme. From 1944 to 1958 he was chief costume designer at Columbia Pictures. He then went to Universal. Nominated several times for an Oscar, he would win in 1956 for The Solid Gold Cadillac, creating the entire wardrobe for Judy Holliday. He designed Joan Crawford’s costumes for Queen Bee in 1955, those for Lana Turner in Imitation of Life in 1959 and Portrait in Black in 1960. His designs were also seen in many of Sandra Dee’s films of the early 1960s, and in some of the Doris Day films that she made with Rock Hudson. No one can forget the mini-dress (the first of its kind) and the bathing suits that he made for Elizabeth Taylor for the film Suddenly Last Summer, co-starring Montgomery Clift, in 1960. Diana Vreeland said of him: “He succeeded in giving the film stars an immense charge of sensuality.” In the 1960s he established the firm Jean Louis Inc. in Beverly Hills, offering new designs as well as copies of his film costumes. For Marilyn Monroe he designed the cherry-red dress that she wore in The Misfits in 1961, bathrobes and bikinis for the unfinished Something’s Gotta Give of 1962, and the sequin dress that she wore at the birthday party for President Kennedy, when she sang, in front of thousands of people at Madison Square Garden, “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.” Among his most well-known clients were the Duchess of Windsor, the actress Irene Dunne, and Nancy Reagan.

Boetti

Alighiero (1940-1994). Italian artist. In 1967, at the Piper Club of Turin, he presented, with Anne-Marie Sauzeau, Gilardi and others, a Collection of artist clothes. Bizarre and witty, Boetti’s women’s styles are closely connected to the work that he developed as part of the Arte Povera movement of the period. His Collections consist of three unique pieces: three short sheath dresses, sleeveless, composed of two layers of transparent plastic with inlays of different kinds on the inside. In the first, gold straw and matches; in the second, one lira and half lira coins; in the third, water with detergent green foam and goldfish swimming in it during the time of the presentation. The materials inside the clothes remind one of the stratifications of a work such as Un metro cubo (1968). In 1977 he created a T-“shirt with a green breast pocket called Ordine e disordine, and Aquilone, which was practically a foulard (both Edizione 2R, Genoa). In 1990, came the T-“shirt My point of view (Edizione Parkett).

Banks

Jeff (1943). English designer. Famous not only for his griffe, but also for his face: in fact he hosted for British television the only successful program about the world of fashion, The Clothes Show. He was born in Wales and then moved to London to study fabric engineering at the Saint Martin’s School of Art. Between 1964 and 1974 he presented his designs at the Clobber boutique, where he sold his clothes alongside those of other young designers. Real success arrived in the second half of the 1970s, when he participated in the opening of the Warehouse chain of stores.
The Graduate Fashion Week, an event created by Banks for young talents in fashion, celebrates 10 years of activity. It is one of the most important showcases in the world for new names in fashion, and can attract more than 40,000 visitors. It launched Stella McCartney, Antonio Berardi and Alexander McQueen.

Battilocchi

High fashion Italian tailor’s shop. It was established in the 1920s in Rome, at via Sistina 67, by Aurora Battilocchi. Among her clientele were members of the House of Savoy, of the aristocracy, and of the high bourgeoisie. Many of her clothes were purchased in Paris, while a small part were manufactured to Italian designs. In the strict and severe Battilocchi “bottega,” Maria Antonelli and the Fontana sisters developed their skills, learning the refined use of detail and an ability to cut fabric, with an almost fanatic play at putting the finishing touch on something. “It was like living at court,” remembers Micol Fontana, “you didn’t just learn the job, but also the ways in which to present a finished dress.”

Bie Barzaghi

Company organized for the development of specialty high-quality textile products. Its headquarters are in Giussano, near Milan. It has made a name on the international market due to its extraordinary capacity for innovation, especially in its finishing treatments, and for its range of avant-guard fabrics with their technical characteristics that vary according to the particular need (protection, waterproofing, breathability). Its fabrics are light, versatile, easy to handle, and easy to maintain, an alternative to standard fabrics, and absolutely able to meet the new needs of consumers. The company, with its line Barzaghi 1926, also focuses on formal clothing made with exclusive fabrics characterized by refined though very modern armatures. Classicism and tradition joined to high performance in comfort, crease-resistance, and practicality are its strong features.

Borsino Stilisti

A privileged space within Momi-Modamilano dedicated to emerging designers, an area in which to find new creative inspirations and to meet young designers who are graduates of the best schools specialized in design. The idea, which made its début in 1998, is sponsored by the Region of Lombardy, Mittelmoda Gorizia, the Municipality of Milan, the Chamber of Commerce of Milan, Unioncamere Lombardy, the Fair of Milan, the Artisans’ Association, the Association of Retailers in the Textile-Clothing Sector, Moda Industria, and Federtessile. Also, through the international content brought by Mittelmoda Premio Gorizia, the designers’ coulisse offers a setting for extreme and avant-guard ideas, giving entrepreneurs in the fabric and clothing field access to new designers.