By Hollie GrahamOn May 16th, it will be French designer Christian Lacroix’s 61st birthday. Lacroix has been a leading fashion designer ever since he found fame with his collection for Patou in 1986. Heavily influenced by his interests in costume design and his childhood in the south of France, his signature style is bright, embellished, and fantastical. It was this 1986 collection in which his star quality was realised, as Lacroix was awarded the Golden Thimble award for his outstanding and inspirational designs. His popularity and stature continued to grow rapidly, winning Most Influential Foreign Designer in 1987, yet another Golden Thimble award in 1988, and the Moliѐre award for best costumes in 1996. In 1987, he founded his own fashion house and his supreme success continued through the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Recently however, in May 2009, we saw the downfall and bankruptcy of the House of Christian Lacroix. It was revealed that his fashion house had lost money ever since 1987. This may have signified the end of the House of Christian Lacroix, but it does not stop his fabulous, exceptional style and designs from living on, and in 2011 he started working with Desigual, a Barcelona-based clothing brand.
Lacroix as a child loved drawing and sketching. He studied Art History at university; his goal at that time was to be a fashion curator. It was his relationship with boutique owner Francoise Rosenthiel that altered the direction of his career. Without this encouragement, we may have been devoid of his truly spectacular couture.These photographs, taken by renowned photographer Niall McInerney, show Lacroix’s autumn/winter, 99-00 collection. They beautifully illustrate the vibrancy of colour, detailed embroidery and adornment of jewels and fabric, which make Lacroix’s designs so wonderful and unique. Famed model Erin O’Connor, in the photograph to the right, depicts Lacroix’s first line of floral fashion.
If you would like to learn more about Christian Lacroix, find out about his life and work by visiting Berg Fashion Library and reading a limited time, free article.
Hollie Graham is an intern at Berg Publishers, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, and you can find their articles online at Berg Fashion Library.