Thursday, 26 February 2015

Jean Patou

On March 14th, Dirty Fabulous will be dancing our way to Film Fatale's Prohibition Party. In the run up we'll be delving into the 1920's and 30's a little more.
Our first little look back to this era introduces us to this man:
Jean Patou

Patou was a french designer who, after his initial launch was halted by World War I, returned in the 1920's with a bang. He created his dresses with both Parisian and American women in mind and recognised the potential that couture fashion, as an industry held. In the mid 20's both Coco Chanel (who we are all familiar with) and Jean Patou introduced hugely popular sportswear lines. It was a revolutionary move from these two different design houses. Patou focused on finding swimwear fabrics that wouldn't shrink and innovating luxury leisurewear.

Despite not being as well known for his flapper dresses, you can see they were utterly gorgeous:

Courtesy of The Librarian Tells All

It was mostly due to Patou's designs in 1929 that the flapper silhouette became "old news". House of Patou introduced gowns which returned the waist to it's natural, higher point and dropped the hemlines to the floor. It was a more romantic look which was once again embraced by high society and the fashion elite. 

Images from Pinterest

House of Patou also created some of the most world famous fragrances and perfumes, including Jean Patou's, Joy. 
Unfortunately, Patou died at an early age in 1936 and his sister and her husband stepped in to carry on his creative endeavours. The dresses from this period were still magnificent and the Couture house continued it's success. Many of today's most famous designers spent a spell with House Of Patou including Marc Bohan, Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian LeCroix. 

This hat is hilarious and fabulous in equal measures!

There have been so many brilliant and talented fashion designers over the past 100 years. Hopefully you've enjoyed your introduction to one more! 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Charles James: The Sculptor and Architect of Couture

 Charles James? It can't be...surely it's Dior? I bet you're thinking of this iconic image instead:

It was taken by Loomis Dean in 1957 of Dior's collection whereas the previous picture of Charles James gowns was shot by the great Cecil Beaton in 1948, nearly 10 years earlier. Like Dior, Charles James was a master couturier. Born in England but after moving to New York at an early stage, he was as far as anyone is concerned, an American.

I was already a huge fan of James but after doing a bit more research into the designer and his work I'm just astounded by his genius. If his dresses sauntered down the catwalk today they'd still be considered cutting edge. It's easy to see his influence in modern designers such as the late Alexander McQueen and Zac Posen who have both focused of the architecture of a gown. 

 It was Charles James vision to enhance the female shape. To create dresses that gave his clients better, more pronounced figures. He achieved this through the use of contrasting fabrics, complicated pleats and seams.

It's astounding that this outfit is from the 1940's, it's just so fashion forward. I can just imagine someone like Emma Stone rocking up to the red carpet in this.

This top, designed by Charles in the 1950's has touches of sports luxe that's featured on every hot trend list . I adore this, it would make a fabulous addition to my wardrobe!!!

If you've ever worn a puffa jacket, strapless dress or wrap dress then you are wearing a piece of fashion innovation that stemmed from Charles's designs. The dress pictured above is known as the "Taxi dress" and it's construction meant that it was so easy to get on and off that a women could put it on in a taxi!
The construction of his gowns are a thing of beauty in themselves.

Charles James considered himself an artist who's medium was fabric as opposed to a designer. His love of wearable sculpture was developed when he began work as a milliner. His ability to mold head wear into fantastical shapes enabled him to transition into women's clothing.

Wouldn't this pleated 1940's gown have made a beautiful wedding dress!

ARGHHH to-die-for!!!!

Any celebrity wearing this dress would surely have won best dressed!
This is the Clover Dress and it's formation meant that the hem never touched the ground but rather sashayed as the wearer walked.

Imagine the thrill of seeing these hot pink tulle layers peaking out as you move...utterly gorgeous!

The "Butterfly" was another stunning work of art created by Charles James. I'm not sure how this lady sat down (the dress weighed about 14lbs) but she certainly looked fabulous standing!!!

Another dreamy 1950's dress, this time in sorbet silks.
Charles James's finest work spanned from the 1930's to the 1950's. There are few true geniuses in the fashion world, they can be described with other adjectives such as pioneers and revolutionists.  The Metropolitan Museum in New York honoured him last year with an exhibition in the newly renovated costume institute. The Met gala ball also encouraged patrons to wear gowns inspired by Charles James's creations. Oooh how I would have loved to have attended both of those. You can see so many more of James work on the Mets archive, the images above are just a tiny selection.

The Met also have some fantastic video's charting the exhibition and his career. Sit back and relax and learn about a true fashion master...I dare you not to fall in love with his work!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Oscar Worthy Gowns

Ok, so we mightn't all be able to go to the Oscars but every once in a blue moon you find yourself invited to an event that calls for black-tie or formal evening gown. Oh-my-oh-my what to wear???
Have no fear, Dirty Fabulous has a marvelous range of Oscar worthy gowns guaranteed to knock the socks of any red carpet gawkers!

This designer Victor Costa dress gives an amazing bombshell figure from the front and then wait to you see their heads turn as you walk away!!!
size 14-16

Designer, Malcom Starr, baby blue silk gown with heavy crystal beaded neckline
size 16-18

This 1940's dress has such a striking contrasting hem and shawl drape making it a total show-stopper
Size 10

Wow, what a colour! 
1960's La Faye Kelly green chiffon beaded gown
size 12+

British Crown Colony 1950s jaw dropping beaded silk gown with matching pink coat 
size 8 

I can actually imagine this dress attending the Oscars in the 50's!

This has got to be one of the most stunning evening gowns we have ever seen in Dirty Fabulous. It reminds me of vintage designer extraordinaire Charles James.
The craftsmanship involved has to be seen to be believed.
Total Oscar Worthy Gown!!!
Size 8

Catch all the red carpet mayhem on Sunday 22nd if February. We'll can't wait to see all the celebrities in their finery!
Next time you need a full length gown, bridesmaid dress or special maxi dress call us on 016111842 or email for your appointment.