What are some of the great fashion moments in recent history? You’ll have seen these videos run on Lucire TV, and we’ve singled them out for an additional focus. In French and English.
1. The departure of Yves Saint Laurent
In January 2001, Yves Saint Laurent retired from the house that bears his name, with the brand’s final haute couture show and retrospective at the Hotel Inter-continental in Paris. Two thousand people were invited to the Centre Pompidou to see Saint Laurent’s 300 greatest classics, and models included Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni, Jerry Hall, and Naomi Campbell. In the finalĂŠ, 40 tuxedos paraded to a song performed by Laetitia Casta. Catherine Deneuve, a long-time friend of the designer, was in tears. Saint Laurent died in 2008.
Saint Laurent says, ‘I tried to prove that Paris was still the city of light and of haute couture, and haute couture made like this was necessary for people’s imaginations. I like seeing my models evolve and seeing how the public react and actually in that moment I feel really close to the public. I still get nervous in this profession. Iâm still not used to it after 42 years. Iâve tried again to perfect this style that has now become really important in fashion, this style that I created and to which I remain loyal, as fashions pass but style stays. Itâs a part of me, itâs my life. I wouldnât know what to do; I wouldnât be able to live if I didnât make dresses.’
2. The shows of Alexander McQueen
Lee Alexander McQueen was known for his extravagant shows, and had come to most peopleâs attention after he succeeded John Galliano at Givenchy in 1996. He was later hired by the Gucci Group, joining the group in 2000. Gucci had bought a controlling stake in McQueenâs own label. An extraordinary creator, McQueen was depressed after the death of his mother, and committed suicide in 2010. The video looks at some of his greatest hits.
Said McQueen: ‘After I left college I went to Paris to look for work, like every student does, and I went to see Martin but he couldnât afford to pay me, and then I went to Gaultier and then there was some nasty queen on the front door to Gaultier. And I thought f*** this. I was supposed to be there for five days I was back in five hours, because there was no one else I wanted to work for apart from Margiela and Gaultier âŚ
âI call myself very schizophrenic; I have so many different, you know, personalities.’
Katy England notes in the video below, ‘Heâs just got a very clever mind, and he doesnât follow fashion, heâs not that interested in the trends. He just suddenly thinks of something thatâs really really imaginative, he might be inspired by art or âŚ he just has a very strange vision of things which suddenly comes to life. Heâll explain an image and youâll think wow, thatâs very very strong, and that will then in turn inspire a collection. Iâve never met someone else who thinks of these things, itâs just exciting really.’
3. John Galliano at Christian Dior, haute couture springâsummer 2002
One of John Galliano’s most controversial haute couture collections was for springâsummer 2002, where he showed one inspired by the homeless, paying tribute to the ‘ingenuity shown by the underprivileged in the way they dress,’ with unstitched dresses, jacket arms held on by pegs, the layering of trousers and torn effects. Galliano said, ‘Thereâs the new cut but itâs also to show the work, the delicacy of the Dior atelierâs work, and also to show that this house is a laboratory of ideas where you can thrive off the rest of the house, the ready-to-wear fashion, the collection and the accessories âŚ thatâs why Iâm there, to inspire the house. I cut it up a bit, a little bit crazily and expressively âŚ They took the dress upstairs and they made the whole patronage and everything and they came back down with the same expressive cutting which blew me away, me and Stephen [Jones] couldnât tell the difference.’
4. Madonna models for Jean Paul Gaultier
Madonna, who had been friends with Jean Paul Gaultier since 1989 when he made the costumes for her Blonde Ambition tour, went to Paris in September 1994 to model the designer’s springâsummer 1995 collection. The show was memorable for both Madonna and Gaultier, for a body corset with a conical bra.
Looking back, Gaultier says, ‘That exact date in 1989. I knew her from that, professionally because I made the costumes for the Blonde Ambition tour, so that was really fun, it was one of my most beautiful experiences I have to say. An then obviously she modelled for me. First, she modelled in a charity show in LA in support of Aids, and the second time she modelled, you recorded her, at the MusĂŠe des Arts Forains, that must have been around â96. There you go!
Marie-Christiane Marek summarizes the influence: ‘Madonna produced a visual shock, leaving a mark on her era and captivating a fascinated public from the end of the â80s. She presented corseted silhouettes with conical bras, or more Jean Paul Gaultier menâs suits. Madonna, therefore, embodied the Parisian designerâs success, heralding a new feminine era with a stamp of sex appeal.’
Le dĂŠpart dâYves Saint Laurent (version franĂ§aise)
The departure of Yves Saint Laurent (English dub)
The shows of Alexander McQueen
John Galliano at Christian Dior, haute couture springâsummer 2002
Madonna dĂŠfile chez Jean-Paul Gaultier (version franĂ§aise)
Madonna models for Jean Paul Gaultier (English dub)