We all need someone to inspire us in our lives and fashion designers know this very well. Throughout the years the designer-muse relationships have proven their value and power, hence we feel glad that this kind of connections still exist in the fashion world.
Text: Katerina Miha
These days I was thinking how much can someone inspire you and how the people that you choose to be close to, influence your way of living, thinking and creating. Therefore, I decided to write this article about a special bond which exists in the fashion industry; the relationship between a designer and his muse. A relationship which is as strong as a family affair and sometimes even stronger. Travelling back in the decades we can recognize the importance of this connection if we think of Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn, Yves Saint Laurent and Loulou de la Falaise. Their long-lasting friendships had as a result incredible fashion creations and iconic pieces such as the little black dress, the legendary smoking tuxedo and the 70’s Rive Gauche pieces.
Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn wearing the little black Givenchy dress at Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961
Yves Saint Laurent and Loulou de Falaise
Nowadays, these kind of relationships continue to give us masterpieces and collections that are incredible and of course full of character. Think of Riccardo Tisci, creative director of Givenchy, and Mariacarla Boscono who are friends since their college years and as he has mentioned from the very first time he saw something in her. Being his muse and friend for all these years makes her a special part of Givenchy’s aesthetic.
Riccardo Tisci and Mariacarla Boscono
Another friendship that lasts more than ten years is that of Nicolas Ghesquiere, creative director of Louis Vuitton, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Charlotte Gainsbourg is the second daughter of Jane Birkin; a woman with a unique personality who was also the muse of designer Jean Louis Dumas and actually his inspiration for creating the iconic Birkin bag for Hermès. So obviously in this case the muse gene must have been inherited from mother to daughter. As the talented Nicolas Ghesquiere has stated, “When I design a collection, there is always a moment when Charlotte comes to my mind.” This statement highlights the fact that she is a very important part of every collection.
Nicolas Ghesquiere and Charlotte Gainsbourg
Jane Birkin and the iconic Birkin bag by Hermès
Christian Louboutin and Dita Von Teese is a designer-muse relationship that surprised us at the beginning. He believes that she is a naturally sophisticated person and the ultimate showgirl. The famous shoemaker adores the burlesque star and he has proven it when he created for her customized ballet shoes and heels which, as you can guess, had his signature red soles. Moreover he asked her help and support when he was organizing to launch his 20th anniversary exhibit at London’s Design House 2012.
Christian Louboutin and Dita Von Teese