Tuesday, May 31, 2011


During my research on Elsa Schiaparelli, i found out that the American actress and beautiful fashion model, Marisa Berenson, is her grand daughter.
She was very popular in the 60´es and Yves Saint Laurent called her "the girl of the seventies", because she was everywhere and the covergirl of several magazines.

The first time I noticed her, was years ago in one of my favourite films, Cabaret from 1972, where she played the Jewish department store heiress, Nathalia Landauer.

Recently Marisa Berenson has appeared in the movie "I Am Love" last year.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


-Is the title of Elsa Schiaparelli´s memoires, published in 1955. A very funny and fascinating story. I was so lucky that I´ve got this book  from one of my good acquaintances during my exhibition last year. 

Elsa Schiaparelli (1896-1973), born in Italy, was together with Madeleine Vionnet two of the most prominent and influential couturiers of the 1930´s. 

At 22 the adventurous Elsa left Italy to work in London. On her way she attended a Ball in Paris, where she created her first dress out of a piece of fabric, that she pinned together.
She met her husband in England and got married. They went to USA where she had a child, but since was left. She started to work in a shop, where she met different artist, who she eventually followed back to Europe.

Back in Paris she started her own bussiness encouraged by Paul Poiret, but had to close it in 1926.

The following year she launched a new collection that included a very  sensational sweater and her career took off from there.

She liked to provoke and worked closely together with artists like Jean Cocteau and Salvador Dali.
Her collections was inspired by different themes, like circus, astrology etc.

Her great rival at that time, Coco Chanel described her as:- "the artist that makes clothes".

She introduced the zipper in Haute couture, experimented with new fabrics and invented the colour Shocking Pink and named one of her most popular perfumes Shocking. The flacon was inspired by the shape of the american actress, Mae West.

During the second world war she went to USA and gave lectures. When she came back, fashion had changed. It was the time of Christian Dior´s New look.
She did not adapt and struggled until she closed her house in 1954. The same year as Chanel had her comeback.

But she left an everlasting influence on fashion, designing without restric- tions she has inspired such designers as Yves Saint Laurent, Gaultier and Galliano.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


-Is crucial, especially when you are working in the fashion world.

I´m always making sure that my customers are happy and satisfied when they leave, telling them to come back, if anything goes wrong with the garment they purchase.
It is a matter of professional pride and a way to secure a good reputation, hopefully.  It always payes off to take good care of your customers and give them more than they expect. Because you never can tell. . . one unhappy customers is enough to give you a bad reputation.

It´s always a great satisfaction, when I get good response from a happy customers and that´s usually how a good reputation spreads.

Never the less, I am always open for feedback in a constructive way from customers or people I know. That gives me a chance to improve.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Photo credit: Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

-Of fashion is Hamish Bowles, Vogue´s European editor at large and one of the most respected authorities in the fashion world.
Like the Art-world, the Fashion-world certainly have some great collectors  too.
Hamish Bowles started to collect as a young boy and has been collecting ever since, for more than 30 years.
He is educated at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. He began his career at Harpers and Queen magazine in 1984 and moved to Vogue in 1992.

His extensive collection of historic Haute couture-pieces and fashionably significant clothes are about 2000 and growing. It is so vast, that he  keeps it in warehouses in New York, Paris and London.

Museum curators are calling him to contribute to special fashion exhibitions all over the world.
Recently he has contributed to The Alexander McQueen retrospective in New York and The Balenciaga and Spain-Exhibit at The de Young Museum in San Francisco, which he also curated.

This exhibition is an expanded version of the previous one at The Queen Sofia Spanish Institute in New York as I posted earlier this year.

Read a very interesting Narciso Rodriguez interview with the great collector here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Cristóbal Balenciaga evening-wrap 1954-1955

Norman Norell 1970

Madame Grés 1969

These three examples from great couturiers of the past century shows how strong a statement monochrome colors still can make - even today. 
Because of the clean but dramatic cut they look very contemporary.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


-Fashion, is a fascinating field to work in. . . because you have to satisfy the wishes of the customer.
But like any other creator you would like to put your own signature on the clothes. It can sometimes be a big dilemma, because often you have to make compromises to keep the customer happy.

Usually the customer  have a certain idea of what they want and that´s a good starting point. But the view of the designer is also important.

The designer/dressmaker can often tell if the idea is suitable for the occasion and maybe suggest improvements or alternatives. Sometimes it takes an effort to convince the customer about that. . .

Christian Lacroix by Valerio Mezzanotti for New York Times

To stay true to your ideals is important, but not always possible. . .

As you can see in my previous post, I don´t think the weddingdress of the century had the signature of Alexander McQueen. It could have been any designer or fashionhouse who did it.

But obviously you don´t decline an assignment like that. The attention you get in a case like this, is far too valuable.

Friday, May 06, 2011


Photo: Rex FeaturesAP

-Is maybe an exaggeration, since the Century just started. . .

Nevertheless, I liked it. Even though the design-signature was not that strong. If you didn´t know, it was not obvious that Sarah Burton from the house of Alexandar McQueen did it. No doubt that she is very talented, as you can see below.

The dress was very beautiful and appropriate. I think it looked like a new and more modern interpretation of Queen Elisabeth´s weddingdress. The same 40th silhouette, but more bodyconscious, emphasizing Catherine Middleton´s nice figure with a corset, handmade lace and padded hips.

The dress was most probably made of a heavy ivory duchesse-silk with lace applique on top, several layers of silkgazar underskirts and an eight feet long train.
The short, but full veil of ivory silktulle trimmed with handembroidered flowers was held in place with a modest halo tiara from Cartier.

I am sure the wedding will affect the wedding-industry in many ways. We will most likely see more bodyconsciousness, more lace, trains and full skirts.

Do you wonder if you saw a dress like that before, search for Paul McCartney and Heater Mills wedding in 2002, the bodice is exactly the same. But look and compare yourself.

The wedding of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, 1947

Sarah Burton said:
 -"It has been the experience of a lifetime to work with Catherine Middleton to create her wedding dress, and I have enjoyed every moment of it. It was such an incredible honor to be asked, and I am so proud of what we and the Alexander McQueen team have created. I am delighted that the dress represents the best of British craftsmanship".

Photos: Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com