"Personally I've always hovered between the purity of structures and the ecstasy of ornament," says the designer who brought Rococo back to couture."
1.) CHRISTIAN LACROIX is a fashion genius. Debuting his couture collection back in 1987, he has dazzled the world ever since. His masterpieces are well known for his eye for detail, vibrancy, movement, and use of color. His creations have even extended onto famous concert stages as master costume designer for famous ballet and opera prodution.
Lacroix who once studied to be a museum curator at The Sorbonne and the Ecole du Louvre, had extensive knowledge in Art and it influenced his fashion designs greatly. You can often see influences from 18 th century artists Boucher, Fragonard or Nattier who painted bustles, bows, corsets and crinolines on the women in their paintings. You can also notice the influence of Toulouse-Lautrec's can-can dancers and gypsies who often wore ruffles, feathers and fringes.
Lacroix has worked for fashion houses, Hermes, Guy Paulin, Patou, and as Creative Diretor of Pucci.
JOHN PAUL GAULTIER
"Fashion is about what you look like, which translates to what you would be like."
-John Paul Gaultier
2.) JOHN PAUL GAULTIER, formerly referred to as 'enfant terrible' of French Fashion, has always been highly controversial. He trained under legendary fashion house Piere Cardin and Jean Patou.
In 1976 he launched his own collection receiving mixed reviews. His iconoclastic designs featuring male skirts, corsetry worn as outerwear, and tattoo body stockings, were a shock to classic Parisian Fashion.
He became world famous after creating a salmon pink corset with conical bra cups for Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour in 1990.
A master of creating scandal and shock, do not be quick to judge the value in his talent. A genius of design, he even created a unique exhibition at the Fondation Cartier in Paris entitle Pain Couture.
The showcase was constructed entirely of bread.
"My shows are about the complete woman who swallows it all. It's a question of survival."
3.) SONIA RYKIEL has been dubbed, 'Queen of Knits'. During her pregnancy, she realized it was impossible to find sweaters that were soft and flexible. This discovery lead to her own line of knitwear, and it was so successful that she opened her first boutique that very year.
Rykiel revolutionized knitwear by freeing the female body from stiff silhouettes. Her knits had movement and were flattering to the female form. She also increased the sex appeal of knits by freeing linings and hems. Rykiel dresses and sweaters were like second skins and celebrated feminine form.
In 2001, the French government named her Commandeur de l'Ordre National du Merite. The grande dame of French fashion, shows no signs of slowing down, and continues to impress the world with her amazing designs.
"Fashion is a playground up until a certain age, but then you have to find your own signature and your own style." -Nicolas Ghesquiere
4.) NICOLAS GHESQUIERE is creative director of Balenciaga since 1997. When he was first appointed to Balenciaga he was relatively unknown. He had previously worked at agnes b. and Corinne Cobson while still at school in central France. He then became assistant designer to Jean Paul Gaultier and Mugler. This lead to his rather short placement, as head designer of Trussardi. It was from there that he was appointed head designer designer of Balenciaga and began his fearless pursuit of reviving the entire brand. He made green silk combat pants and Neoprene mini skirts iconic. Not to be fooled by his Hollywood good looks, he is a designer with a unique eye for shapes, textures and female form. He was most recently appointed Creative Director of Louis Vuitton.
"I always take time so I can distance myself from things that are too fashionable. As a designer I aim for an accessible balance between beauty and function to create a vision of contemporary 'easy wearing'".Christophe Lemaire
CHRISTOPHE LEMAIRE describes his own style as "graphic, pure, relaxed and precise". He is always concerned about lines and avoiding trends. His genius is in finding balance between fashion and wearability. A master of creating clothing that is always classic and never outdated.
Lemaire, began his career assisting Yves Saint Laurent, Thierry Mugler, and Jean Patou. Through Jean Patou he later met Christian Lacroix who later appointed him head designer of his own womens ready wear line. In 2001 he became creative director of Lacoste. He revitalized Lacosted by injecting his contemoporary, fresh style into tennis skirts, polo shirts, and college gumpers. Lemaire often mixes Western classics with unique eghnic pieces. in 2010 he was appointed creative director of womenswear for Hermes.