Archive for the ‘Learn A Line’ Category

Learn A Line: Lanvin

January 27, 2009

Name: Lanvin

Designer: Alber Elbaz


– 1889: Jeanne Lanvin opens her first boutique. Her clothing designs (for her daughter) catch on among the Parisian elite; soon, she’s designing for both daughter and mother.

– 1909: Lanvin joins Le Syndicat de la Couture, officially becoming a couturiere.

– 1927: Lanvin produces its signature fragrance, Arpege, and establishes itself as an important perfumer. By this time, the Lanvin line also includes home goods, fur, and menswear lines.

– 1946: Jeanne Lanvin dies, passing the company to her daughter. From here, the company goes through a chain of succession, ultimately passing from family to investment firms.

– 2001: Alber Elbaz is appointed head designer of the house.

Aesthetic: Bold, solid coloring; minimalism with movement; inventive use of fabric (whether through draping, tucking, or folding).

Known For: Elbaz’s Spring 2008 collection, which exemplified modern glamour in its simplicity; Natalie Portman’s loyalty; extremely covet-worthy (and under-the-trendy-radar) accessories; Maggie Gyllenhaal’s 2009 Golden Globes dress.



Learn A Line: Balenciaga

January 16, 2009

Name: Balenciaga

Designer: Nicolas Ghesquière


– The line was founded by Cristóbal Balenciaga in 1919, when the designer opened a boutique in Spain.

– Balenciaga opened his first couture house in Paris in 1937, gaining nearly instant renown.

– In the mid-1950s, Balenciaga could be identified by his anti-New Look approach; his designs took on a decidedly geometric, clean, and futuristic style.

– Cristóbal Balenciaga closed the Balenciaga salon in 1968, due to increasing financial pressure from the new pret-a-porter trend.

– Nicolas Ghesquière became head designer of Balenciaga in 1997, ushering in an era of renaissance for the line.

– The Gucci Group bought Balenciaga in 2001.

Aesthetic: Super-structured, futuristic spins on familiar themes (including nautical, tribal, and country-Western)

Known For: The wildly popular Lariat bag; the aggressively structured Spring 2008 collection; being an extremely forward-thinking and influential brand in terms of designer influence.


Photo via

Learn A Line: Proenza Schouler

November 10, 2008

This section is dedicated to a nitty-gritty overview of a brand.

Name: Proenza Schouler
Designer(s): Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez
· Jack & Lazaro met at Parsons in 1999, eventually partnering on their senior project (titling it based on their mother’s maiden names).
· They officially launched the brand in 2002, quickly picking up a Hollywood following.
· In 2003, the duo was awarded the CFDA’s Perry Ellis Award for new talent.
· The brand designed one of the first collections for Target’s Go International line; it launched Spring 2007.
· The Valentino Fashion Group purchased a 45% stake in the company in 2007.

Aesthetic: Upscale, glam, and intricate tailoring with a youthful twist.
Known For: Super-structured neo-Gaultier bustiers; color-blocking; rich detailing, red carpet-worthy looks for young Hollywood