Christian Lacroixby Francois Baudot
Born in Arles in 1951, apprenticed in Paris at Hermes and Patou, and financed by the fashion mogul Bernard Arnault, Lacroix brought back extravagance and excitement to the fashion scene, and his appearance was spoken of as an event equal in importance to Christian Dior's New Look of 1947. Lacroix was a student of the theater, and his first collection was heavily influenced both by his theatrical background and by the folklore of his native Provence: an embroidered cross of Camargue intertwines a heart, an anchor, and a cross - representing love, hope, and faith - on a skirt that is itself inspired by the caparacon, the mattress-like blanket that protects horses in a bullfight. Lacroix's dresses have been considered, on occasion, too elaborate to be worn in everyday life, and it is in theater really that Lacroix can put to use the flamboyant genius that landed him on the front cover of Time magazine, an honor shared in the fashion world only with Dior and Armani.
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