Saturday, May 12, 2018

Three Kings

Dress by Balenciaga (1950).
Photo courtesy of MET
No. I am not talking about the George Clooney movie (quite entertaining, by the way) but the three kings of haute couture (Haute Couture) back in the 1940/1950s: Cristobal Balenciaga (1895-1972), Christian Dior ( 1905-1957) and Charles James (1906-1978). Their creations marked a before and after in fashion and were the benchmark of many of the future designers. The perfect finishes, the suits, the jewelry and the incredible ability to create without limits define the great designer, Balenciaga, who also happened to know how to sew and so Coco Chanel let it know: "He is the only one of us who is a true 'couturier.” Olé the Spaniard! Then Balenciaga moved to La France (here one who speaks languages ​​or I would wish) due to the Spanish Civil War and there he stayed for les Parisiens´pleasure. Dior was also there (he was French, of course, if someone doubted it) who created the so-called New Look in 1947 whose hallmark was the mid-flight skirts, tight body and wasp waists (they were called "the woman-flower") that revolutionized fashion and women, they all wanted a Dior in their closet! (I am imagining those teenagers at the Beatles concerts, it would be something similar, but more glamorous). His fashion shows were the most chic in The City of Light (oh là là!), but that is material for another blog.

"Diamant Noir" dress by Christian Dior (1948).
Photo courtesy of MET

We continue our trip and our last stop is in the United Kingdom where Charles James was born, but his work as a designer was made in the United States mainly. He is my favorite king, so I tell you. He was absolutely genuine thanks to his sculptured designs, and his unique silk ball gowns, kilometers of silk (sometimes I wear one ... in my dreams). James is also known for the functional dress called Taxi Dress that he created in 1933. Christian Dior himself was inspired by his designs and Balenciaga admired him.


Dress by Charles James (1947).
Photo courtesy of MET



Thanks to these kings, a new concept of femininity appeared, their creations were elegance at its finest. The world seemed to recover the lost glamour due to the war. And Paris shined again. As I write this blog I am thinking of a film that reflects the world of haute couture just after Second World War; it is "The Phantom Thread”, it is worth seeing.


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