Pablo (1952). Mexican photographer. After studying economics in Mexico City and New York, he moved to London, where he worked as assistant to a fashion photographer while studying photography at Ealing Technical College and the London College of Printing. After several trips to Europe and Asia he returned to Mexico, where he concentrated on social documentary photography with an element of sophistication and beauty that derived from his past as a fashion photographer.
Long, airproof and waterproof jacket with fastenings in front and around the cuffs, with matching pants with the same characteristics. Necessary for those who sail or go out to sea, oilskins were until few years ago only yellow in color and made from a rather rigid and heavy waterproof material which hindered movements. Now the fabric has been modernized and more colors are available, from white to light blue. The most famous oilskins, almost considered a status symbol, have always been made by the Norwegian company Helly Hansen.
American menswear label founded in 1916. In the USA, this label represents the non plus ultra of men’s suits, using some of the finest fabrics and designs in the world. Their clothes are produced in their Chicago factory, using tailors from all over the world. Crittenden Rawlings is president of the company. It takes 20 working hours to make one of their suits, with a record 1,125 hand-sewn stitches for its lining alone. Their prices are very high, and one can pay up to $8,000 for a silk suit. Their fabrics are one of the company’s trump cards: particularly the wool, which comes from England, Scotland, Italy, and New Zealand. They have recently added a pure silk suit to their range, copying styles worn by Edward, Duke of Windsor, which they bought at an auction. Lately they have introduced a more casual, lower cost range to attract a younger clientele.
Futurism launched them, more than as an outfit, as a subversive and liberatory value, a way of escaping fixed schemes and prejudices. On the occasion of the exhibition Venti anni della Galleria del Costume 1983-2003, the futurist overalls, invented in 1919 by Florentine Thayaht with his brother Ram, were part of the heritage of the collection of Palazzo Pitti. Thayaht considered it a “universal outfit,” a do-it-yourself solution, creative but inexpensive, seven buttons, a belt, a straight-line cut, and little stitching. Even the Italian name was invented by Thayaht: the model was a “T,” cut from a single piece of fabric, in cotton or African canvas, utilized completely without wasting any fabric. Established in the name of a protest against the bourgeois taste that characterized apparel in the years immediately following the war, it was a forerunner of a comparable Russin Constructivist creation, developed four years later, in 1923, with the name “Varst” by Rodchenko and his wife Stepanova, who saw the factory worker’s overall as the revolutionary clothing of the new man. Until recently considered little more than cheap kitsch, at most tolerated as sportswear or worn only at home, nowadays the overall moves out into the streets, and is worn with nonchalance, even on elegant occasions, by the divas and popstars of the moment. Madonna wore one to the theatrical opening in London, with sneakers studded with Swarovski crystals, but the former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, or Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez wear them with elegant high-heeled shoes. From Manhattan to Los Angeles, from London to Paris, the imperative is: everyone wearing sport overalls. The best loved overalls are from the Californian label Juicy Couture: made of chenille, low-waisted pants, a tight-fitting blouse with a hood, created successfully by two friends, Gela Nash Taylor and Pamela Skaits-Levy, who in 1996 including in their brand Juicy Couture a series of glamorous and sexy overalls: they sold like hotcakes. Dolce & Gabbana designed for Madonna a tuxedo-overall. On the runways, the overall is a star. White like the overalls worn by aviators at the turn of the century, for Cerruti, modeled with 1940s curves for Donna Karan or “working class” dark blue for Yamamoto.
Heinz (1916). German fashion designer. He founded his own label in 1952, after working for labels like Shroder-Eggeringhaus. At the time he was considered the best German dressmaker and his feminine and seductive collections were inspired by the Parisian fashion scene. From 1979 to 1984 he taught at the Fachhoch-schule Für Gestaltung di Pforzheim (Institute of Decorative Arts). In 1967 he abandoned his teaching career and started working as a designer for Quelle, a mail order clothing company.
Lele (1957). Spanish photographer and artist. Her real name is Barbara Allende. She was involved with the 1980s art scene in Madrid, which signalled a renaissance for the whole of Spain. She takes portraits, and black-and-white prints which she then paints over, and she also makes backdrops which she uses for both fashion and advertising photography.
Miriam (1969). Spanish designer. Born in Bilbao. A Fine Arts graduate with a diploma in fashion design from Bilbao’s International Lanca School, she belongs to the successful upcoming Spanish fashion scene. Her carefully crafted designs are admired all over the world. She makes “innocent” looking clothes, using floral or printed fabrics. In her work, she uses clothes as a form of expression and communication, perfectly balancing fabrics, shapes and in many cases, actual drawings. Her influences are German Expressionism and contemporary art. She is particularly fond of silk, linen, and knitted fabrics.”
French workshop that designs and manufactures costume jewelry, buttons, and accessories. It started off in Paris as a small craftmen’s workshop opened by Livia Stoianova, Yassen Samonilov, and André de Sa Péssoa. Three years later, after various successes, it became an established business. Alongside its own collections, the workshop designs for many ready-to-wear labels and couturiers like Dior, Rabanne, Lacroix, Galliano, Saint Laurent, and Ted Lapidus.
Rifat (1953). Turkish designer, who worked in Italy with Walter Albini at the beginning of his career. He went to England in the 1970s to study architecture, which he interrupted to enrol at the St Martin’s School of Art. His first creations, commissioned by a chain of department stores, were inspired by Oriental themes. He launched his first collection in 1984. He became internationally established from the late 1980s, with a rich, imaginative, multi-ethnic style. His collections often take inspiration from art, but also from folk traditions: amongst his most famous themes are existensialism, orientalism, Capri of the 1950s, Martha Graham’s ballets, various books and films, but also ideas borrowed from street style and the “disco” look, adapted for a ready-to-wear style. In 1987 he launched the Future Ozbek range. He started working with Aeffe in 1988, which produced and distributed his designs, since when Ozbek has consolidated his popularity. He approached the 1990s with a new vision: an all-white collection inspired by the New Age, which made him one of the world champions of avant-garde fashion. He then began to experiment with video as a means of presenting his collections. In 1991 he debuted on the Milanese fashion scene; in 1994 he held a fashion show in Paris; in 1996 he designed the costumes for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Atlanta, launched the perfume Ozbek, launched a range of rugs and kilims, and took part in the Biennale fashion exibition in Florence. In 1997 he made his debut in New York.
&Quad;Ozbek’s most recent creations have been based on media, films, books, and English youth culture. In 1998 he acted in the film Love is the Devil, based on the life of the painter Francis Bacon.
&Quad;During Winter 2002 Ozbek “went Elvis,” working in London on clothes inspired by the King, on the occasion of the release his Greatest Hits. Creations by Rifat, Julien Macdonald, Ben de Lisi, Ghost, and many others were auctioned by Sotheby’s on 5 December to raise funds in support of the Prince’s Fashion Initiative.
&Quad;2003. Ozbek worked with Christopher Farr, a London-based rug-maker, and he also launched a range of perfumes for women called Ozbek by Rifat Ozbek. Was named creative director of the Pollini ready-to-wear woman collection.