Harper S Bazaar February 1934

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Joan Crawford modeling "Change," a two-piece silk dinner dress with gold paillettes designed by Gilbert Adrian for the film Humor-esque (1946). © Bettmann/CORBIS.

New York and Paris, circa 1921-22. Family: Married Janet Gaynor in 1939; son: Robin. Career: Film and theater designer, New York, 1921-28; designer, MGM studios, Hollywood, 1928-39; ready-to-wear and custom clothing salon established, Beverly Hills, 1942-52; fragrances Saint and Sinner introduced, 1946; opened New York boutique, 1948; retired to Brasilia, Brazil, 1952-58; film designer, Los Angeles, 1958-59. Exhibitions: Retrospective, Los Angeles County Museum, circa 1967; retrospective, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, 1971. Awards: Coty American Fashion Critics award, 1944. Died: 14 September 1959 in Los Angelos, California.

Publications

ADRIAN, Gilbert

American designer

Born: Gilbert Adrian Greenburgh in Naugatuck, Connecticut, 3 March 1903. Education: Studied at Parsons School of Design,

By ADRIAN: Articles

"Do American Women Want Clothes?" in Harper's Bazaar (New

York), February 1934. "Garbo as Camille," in Vogue (New York), 15 November 1936.

Woman With Coat Hanger Fashion Photo

Gilbert Adrian, ca. 1935. © Bettmann/CORBIS.

"Clothes," in Stephen Watts, ed., Behind the Screen: How Films Are Made, London, 1938.

On ADRIAN:

Books

Powdermaker, Hortense, The Dream Factory, Boston, 1950.

Riley, Robert, The Fashion Makers, New York, 1968.

Lee, Sarah Tomerlin, ed., American Fashion, New York, 1975.

-, American Fashion: The Life and Lines of Adrian, Mainbocher,

McCardell, Norell, Trigere, New York, 1975.

Lambert, Eleanor, The World of Fashion: People, Places, Resources, New York and London, 1976.

Pritchard, Susan, Film Costume: An Annotated Bibliography, Metuchen, New Jersey and London, 1981.

Milbank, Caroline Rennolds, Couture: The Great Designers, New York, 1985.

Maeder, Edward, et al., Hollywood and History: Costume Design in Film, New York, 1987.

Milbank, Caroline Rennolds, New York Fashion: The Evolution of American Style, New York, 1989.

Leese, Elizabeth, Costume Design in the Movies, New York, 1991.

Stegemeyer, Anne, Who's Who in Fashion, Third Edition, New York, 1996.

Gutner, Howard, Gowns by Adrian: The MGM Years, 1928-1941, New York, 2001.

Articles

Gordon, James, "One Man Who Suits Women," in American Magazine (Philadelphia), March 1946. Obituary, the New York Times, 14 September 1959. Sims, Joseph, "Adrian-American Artist and Designer," in Costume, 1974.

Kinsey, Sally Buchanan, "Gilbert Adrian: Creating the Hollywood Dream Style," in Fiberarts (Asheville, North Carolina), May/June 1987.

Lambert, Gavin, "Janet Gaynor and Adrian," in Architectural Digest

(Los Angeles), April 1992.

By the time MGM costumer Gilbert Adrian went into business for himself in the middle of World War II, his potential customers were already familiar with his work. For over a decade American women had been wearing copies of the clothes he had designed for some of the most famous movie stars of all time. Adrian's ability to develop a screen character through the progression of costumes, be they period or modern, was translated into dressing the newly modern career women while men were away at war.

Adrian was primarily an artist, having trained in France, and was able to perceive Greta Garbo's true personality—aloof, mysterious, earthy—and change the way the studios dressed her; insisting upon genuine silks, laces, and jewels to lend authenticity to her performances. For all the stars he dressed, Adrian believed the quality of materials worn by a woman affected how she behaved in the clothes, even if the details were not immediately obvious. He brought the same philosophy to his custom and ready-to-wear creations. Of course the copies MGM permitted to be made of Adrian's costumes, timed to coincide with the releases of the films, were not always of the same fine quality as the originals, but the overall look was what women were after. While films provided a great escape from the dreariness of the American Depression, the famous white organdy dress with wide ruffled sleeves that Adrian designed for Joan Crawford in the movie Letty Lynton offered cheer and flattery. Macy's New York department store alone sold nearly half a million copies in 1932. The artist's eye perceived the need to balance Crawford's wide hips, and the broad shouldered typical "Adrian silhouette" triggered a fashion revolution in America and abroad.

For Jean Harlow in Dinner at Eight, Adrian created another widely copied sheer white bias-cut satin ballgown. Though Madeleine Vionnet invented the bias cut and Elsa Schiaparelli was credited with padded shoulders, at least in Europe, Adrian had the awareness to bring high fashion and glamour to the screen. Joan Crawford praised Adrian's emphasis on simplicity to make a dramatic point, as in the suits she wore in her later films. Even in lavishly costumed period dramas, Adrian was able to stop short of excess. Often, as in Garbo's Mata Hari, the character's evolution into purity of spirit would be expressed through increased simplicity of costume. Adrian's understanding of light and shadow made possible clothing that, due to clarity of line, looked as well in monochrome film as later black-and-white photographs of his commercial designs would show. His eye for perfect cut was impeccable. A day suit consisting of a beige wool jacket trimmed with loops of black braid, paired with a slim black skirt, black gloves, and beige cartwheel hat, looks as crisp and smart today as it did when featured in Vogue in 1946. Fluid floor-length crêpe gowns were dramatically yet whimsically decorated with asymmetrical motifs of horses, cherubs, or piano keys, or his taste for modern art would be indulged in gowns made up of abstract jigsaw puzzle shapes in several colors.

Just as in films Adrian worked within themes, so did his collections for Adrian, Ltd. develop according to such themes as gothic, Grecian, Persian, Spanish, or Americana. For the latter he appliquéd Pennsylvania Dutch designs on gowns and made tailored suits and bustled evening gowns out of checked gingham, echoing the gingham checks worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. Adrian costumed Garbo as the essence of romance in Camille, not only in 19th-century crinolines, but in white nightgown (which could have been any female viewer's late day dinner dress) for the film's death scene. For his average American customer, Adrian recommended clothes like the "costumes worn by the heroines of light comedies.. .in moderate-sized towns." Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story was dressed by Adrian as the ideal girl next door, while conservative Norma Shearer mirrored the sophisticated simplicity of Adrian's future well-heeled Beverly Hills clients in The Women.

The spare, padded-shouldered, narrow waisted and skirted silhouette of the 1940s was the ideal medium for Adrian's artistry with fabric, while conforming to the wartime L-85 restrictions on materials—the U.S. government limitation on the amount of fabric used in a civilian garment for public consumption. The color inserts, appliqués, mitering of striped fabrics and combinations of materials in one ensemble allowed for savings in rationed fabrics, while creating the trademark Adrian look which was desired then and is still sought after by vintage clothing collectors. Old-time movie glamor would resurface in some of Adrian's elegant columns of crêpe, diagonally embellished by headed bands of ancient motifs, or thick gilt embroidery on dark backgrounds. Diagonal lines and asymmetry also lent interest, as in a short-sleeved wartime suit sewn of half plaid and half wool—completed by a hat trimmed in plaid edging. Having grown up observing his father's millinery trade, Adrian had included hats in his movie costuming and his designs, such as Garbo's slouch, cloche, and Eugenie, were widely copied in the 1930s.

Adrian unsuccessfully resisted Dior's round-shouldered New Look. Men returned from the war, and women returned to the home. Decades later, with the resurgence of women into the workforce, Adrian's broad shouldered looks enabled women to compete confidently with men, as designers resurrected the masterpieces of this truly American fashion virtuoso.

—Therese Duzinkiewicz Baker

ADROVER, Miguel

Spanish designer

Born: Majorca, Spain, December 1965. Education: Left school at the age of 12 to work on the family farm. Career: Teamed with American tailor Douglas Hobbs to launch clothing line Dugg, 1995; opened boutique, Horn, in New York's East Village, 1995-99; launched first collection Manaus-Chiapas-NYC, 1999; launched second collection, Midtown, 2000; received financial backing from the Pegasus Apparel Group to produce Miguel Adrover line, 2000. Awards: Council of Fashion Designers, Best New Designer of the Year, 2000.

Dorothee Bis Knit Coat 1976

Miguel Adrover, spring 2001 collection. © Fashion Syndicate

Press.

Publications

On ADROVER:

Articles

Hume, Marion, "Miguel Takes Manhattan," in Harper's Bazaar, May 2000.

Bee, Deborah, "Uniform Chic Puts Avant Garde Into Everyday Wear," in The Guardian, 19 September 2000.

Moore, Beth, "Rebel Designers Deconstruct Fashion Genres, Assumptions," in the Los Angeles Times, 22 September 2000.

Goldstein, Lauren, "From New York, Miguel Adrover's Moneyed Moment," in Time, October 2000.

Jones, Rose Apodace, "Educating Adrover," in Women's Wear Daily, 2 October 2000.

Wilson, Eric, "The School of Miguel," in Women's Wear Daily, 2 February 2001.

McCants, Leonard, and Julee Greenberg, "Gritty and Pretty: A New Niche Emerges in NYC's East Village," in Women's Wear Daily, 13 February 2001.

asymmetrical motifs of horses, cherubs, or piano keys, or his taste for modern art would be indulged in gowns made up of abstract jigsaw puzzle shapes in several colors.

Just as in films Adrian worked within themes, so did his collections for Adrian, Ltd. develop according to such themes as gothic, Grecian, Persian, Spanish, or Americana. For the latter he appliquéd Pennsylvania Dutch designs on gowns and made tailored suits and bustled evening gowns out of checked gingham, echoing the gingham checks worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. Adrian costumed Garbo as the essence of romance in Camille, not only in 19th-century crinolines, but in white nightgown (which could have been any female viewer's late day dinner dress) for the film's death scene. For his average American customer, Adrian recommended clothes like the "costumes worn by the heroines of light comedies.. .in moderate-sized towns." Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story was dressed by Adrian as the ideal girl next door, while conservative Norma Shearer mirrored the sophisticated simplicity of Adrian's future well-heeled Beverly Hills clients in The Women.

The spare, padded-shouldered, narrow waisted and skirted silhouette of the 1940s was the ideal medium for Adrian's artistry with fabric, while conforming to the wartime L-85 restrictions on materials—the U.S. government limitation on the amount of fabric used in a civilian garment for public consumption. The color inserts, appliqués, mitering of striped fabrics and combinations of materials in one ensemble allowed for savings in rationed fabrics, while creating the trademark Adrian look which was desired then and is still sought after by vintage clothing collectors. Old-time movie glamor would resurface in some of Adrian's elegant columns of crêpe, diagonally embellished by headed bands of ancient motifs, or thick gilt embroidery on dark backgrounds. Diagonal lines and asymmetry also lent interest, as in a short-sleeved wartime suit sewn of half plaid and half wool—completed by a hat trimmed in plaid edging. Having grown up observing his father's millinery trade, Adrian had included hats in his movie costuming and his designs, such as Garbo's slouch, cloche, and Eugenie, were widely copied in the 1930s.

Adrian unsuccessfully resisted Dior's round-shouldered New Look. Men returned from the war, and women returned to the home. Decades later, with the resurgence of women into the workforce, Adrian's broad shouldered looks enabled women to compete confidently with men, as designers resurrected the masterpieces of this truly American fashion virtuoso.

—Therese Duzinkiewicz Baker

ADROVER, Miguel

Spanish designer

Born: Majorca, Spain, December 1965. Education: Left school at the age of 12 to work on the family farm. Career: Teamed with American tailor Douglas Hobbs to launch clothing line Dugg, 1995; opened boutique, Horn, in New York's East Village, 1995-99; launched first collection Manaus-Chiapas-NYC, 1999; launched second collection, Midtown, 2000; received financial backing from the Pegasus Apparel Group to produce Miguel Adrover line, 2000. Awards: Council of Fashion Designers, Best New Designer of the Year, 2000.

Dorothee Bis Knitted Dress

Miguel Adrover, spring 2001 collection. © Fashion Syndicate

Press.

Publications

On ADROVER:

Articles

Hume, Marion, "Miguel Takes Manhattan," in Harper's Bazaar, May 2000.

Bee, Deborah, "Uniform Chic Puts Avant Garde Into Everyday Wear," in The Guardian, 19 September 2000.

Moore, Beth, "Rebel Designers Deconstruct Fashion Genres, Assumptions," in the Los Angeles Times, 22 September 2000.

Goldstein, Lauren, "From New York, Miguel Adrover's Moneyed Moment," in Time, October 2000.

Jones, Rose Apodace, "Educating Adrover," in Women's Wear Daily, 2 October 2000.

Wilson, Eric, "The School of Miguel," in Women's Wear Daily, 2 February 2001.

McCants, Leonard, and Julee Greenberg, "Gritty and Pretty: A New Niche Emerges in NYC's East Village," in Women's Wear Daily, 13 February 2001.

Migual Adrover Fashion 2011 Images

Miguel Adrover, fall 2001 collection. © Fashion Syndicate Press.

Menkes, Suzy, "Adrover's Egyptian Odyssey," in the International

Herald Tribune, 13 February 2001. Porter, Charlie, "Designer Storms Fashion Desert," in The Guardian,

13 February 2001. Thurman, Judith, "Combat Fatique," in the New Yorker, March 2001. Collins, James, "One Year Later," in the New Yorker, April 2001. Morra, Bernadette, "Designer Gives New Life to Old Classics," in the

Toronto Star, 21 September 2001.

Miguel Adrover is a self-trained fashion designer who quit school at the age of 12 to work on the family farm located on the island of Majorca, Spain, in a small village called Calonge. His first inspiration into the fashion world came when he visited London as a teenager, where he was exposed to punk rock and the New Romantics. In his village, he became the one who was always into the latest music and punky clothes. He served in the army in his late teens and upon discharge ran a bar in Spain.

On his first visit to New York in 1991, Adrover decided to stay. He worked as a janitor and lived in a tiny basement apartment. Four years later, in 1995, he befriended a Native American tailor, Douglas Hobbs, and together they made and sold t-shirts. The same year, they opened the Horn boutique in New York's East Village. Horn soon became the playing ground for young designers from New York and London who didn't have any other place to show their clothes. These designers included Alexander McQueen, Bernadette Corporation, and Bless. Horn also carried labels such as Dugg, Bruce, and As Four. Adrover and Hobbs closed the boutique in March 1999 to concentrate on designing women's clothing.

With many friends but little money, Adrover turned out his first collection, Manaus-Chiapas NYC, at a Latin theater in New York's Lower East Side in the summer of 1999. The collection was about the journey of a woman, kicked out of her surroundings, who is struggling yet nonetheless very strong. Adrover received some favorable press, but could not afford and did not attempt to market the clothes since he had only $5 in his pocket. Although he was a newcomer to the world of fashion, he was seen as a rising star after his showing.

His second show, for fall 2000, took place in a rundown theater in the Lower East Side in February and was titled "Midtown." Adrover wanted to show the paradox of different classes of people mixing on the sidewalks of New York City, where one finds middle-class, homeless, and upper-class people. The show's theme was his interpretation of pedestrians on the streets, and drew many of the fashion world's most important people, including Anna Wintour, chief editor of American Vogue, and Cathy Horyn, fashion journalist for the New York Times. The Midtown showing had been financed by Vogue, who paid Adrover a settlement of $12,000 after his samples were stolen from the magazine's offices.

The collection was made up of borrowed classics from past designers which Adrover turned into works of art, using deconstruction and reconstruction. He flipped Burberry macs inside out, took a Louis Vuitton bag and made it into a miniskirt, and transformed writer and neighbor Quentin Crisp's mattress into an overcoat. The coat has become somewhat of a legend in itself—since everyone who worked on it developed a terrible rash.

After the Midtown show, Adrover was suddenly the next superstar fashion designer. He was soon signed by the Pegasus Group, and Judith Thurman of the New Yorker called him "a phenom." The eponymous Miguel Adrover collection debuted in May 2000 to high praise and was sold to stores worldwide. Adrover went to Italy to buy his fabrics, from old bolts of cloth, for the 36-piece collection. Adrover's designs can now be found in stores in the U.S., Europe, and the Far East.

In February 2001, Adrover showed his fourth collection, "Meeteast," an Egyptian-inspired presentation for which he spend six weeks in Egypt in order to develop ideas. The showing was a trip around the Arab world, filled with exotic designs, and like his previous collections, received much media hype—though not all positive. Meeteast was somewhat of an oddity in the fashion world, featuring military looks with traditional Arab, colonial, and missionary garments. Models wore harem pants, tunics, and supple knits; some fabrics had been soaked in the Nile River to alter their color while also allowing Adrover to make a political statement about the Third World.

Adrover is a rising star in the fashion industry, another retelling in the classic story of the American dream. "I would love to be considered a classic," the designer told W magazine, yet his version of "classic" would surely have a twist, as he aspires to be "a modern classic, an abstract classic."

AGHION, Gaby

See CHLOÉ

French designer

Born: Born Agnès Troublé in Versailles, France, 26 November 1942. Family: Married Christian Bourgois, 1958 (divorced); two additional marriages and divorces; five children. Career: Junior fashion editor, Elle magazine, Paris, 1964; designer, press attaché, and buyer for Dorothée Bis, Paris, 1965-66; freelance designer for Limitex, Pierre d'Alby, V de V, and Eversbin, Paris, 1966-75; set up CMC (Comptoir Mondial de Création) holding company for Agnès B., 1975; established first Agnès B. boutique in Les Halles, Paris, April 1975; opened second-hand shop in same street as boutique, 1977; created American subsidiary of CMC and first American boutique in Soho, New York, 1980; opened men's and children's boutique Agnès B. Enfant, Paris, 1981; license with Les Trois Suisses for mail order of selected items, 1982; opened Agnès B. Lolita boutique for teenagers, also opened La Galerie du Jour art gallery/bookshop, Paris, with ex-husband, 1984; launched Le B perfume, skincare and cosmetics products, and a maternity collection, 1987; launched ranges of sunglasses and watches, 1989; launched Le petit b.b. perfume for children, 1990; launched Courant d'air perfume, 1992; established many shops in France and worldwide, including Japan, London, and the United States. Collections: Musée des Arts de la Mode, Paris; Musée du Louvre, Paris. Awards: Order of Merit for Export, Paris. Address: 17 rue Dieu, 75010 Paris, France.

Publications On AGNÈS B.: Books

Stegemeyer, Anne, Who's Who in Fashion, Third Edition, New York, 1996.

Articles

Voight, R., "Success Par Excellence," in Passion (Paris), March 1983.

Jonah, Kathleen, "How to Live Straight from the Heart," in Self, October 1983.

Petkanas, Christopher, "Agnès B. from A to Z," in Women's Wear

Daily, 22 April 1985. Bleichroeder, Ingrid, "A Certain Style: Agnès B," in Vogue (London), January 1986.

"Agnès B.," in Cosmopolitan (London), September 1987. Tretlack, Philippe, "Agnès B: Chez les Soviets," in Elle (Paris), 26 October 1987.

"Agnès B. Good," in the Daily News Record (New York), 2 May 1988.

Bucket, Debbie, "French Dressers," in Clothes Show (London), March 1989.

Tredre, Roger, "A Design Plan for No Seasons," in The Independent (London), 16 November 1989.

Weisman, Katherine, "Success Is the Key of Agnès B.," in Women's

Wear Daily, 15 December 1994. Socha, Miles, "French Fashion Retailer Agnès B. Plans to Open Its Eighth U.S. Store," in the Daily News Record, 13 November 1996. Edelson, Sharon, "Agnès B.: Will She Play the Midwest?" in Women's

Wear Daily, 14 November 1996. Larson, Soren, "Agnès B.'s Stealth Launch," in Women's Wear

Daily, 7 February 1997. Levine, Lisbeth, "French Connection: Parisian Designer's Trend-Defying Fashions Put the Accent on Personal Style," in Chicago Tribune, 30 March 1997

Attias, Laurie, "B.-Watch," in ARTnews, Summer, 2000.

Agnès B. (the B stands for Bourgois, from her first marriage) is a French sportswear designer who has catapulted herself to fame by challenging the need for fashion in clothing design. She denies that clothes must be stylized, highly detailed, and ephemeral in order to catch the public imagination. Her ascent began in the mid-1970s when, after only a few years in the fashion business, first as junior editor at Elle magazine and then briefly as an assistant to Dorothée Bis, she opened her own boutique in a converted butcher shop in Les Halles, Paris, to sell recut and redyed French workers' uniforms, black leather blazers, and t-shirts in striped rugby fabric. Her reputation grew as one of the first young French clothing designers to sell fashion to those who did not want to look too fashionable. In fact, her clothes, while identifiably French in their no-nonsense cut, simple subdued colors (often black), and casual mood, have a timeless quality that keeps them current. The wrinkling common to natural materials and the already-worn look that characterized the hippie ethos were translated by Agnès B. into a timeless chic, combining common sense with flair.

In the age of name identification and personal marketing, Agnès B. is as respected for her business sense as for her relaxed fashion designs. The spontaneous, childlike hand with which she quickly fashioned the logo for her stores belies a sophisticated business sense. Retaining her own independent boutique rather than being swallowed up in larger department stores, she astutely perceived that the nondesign of her clothes was too inconspicuous, and that they would blend in with other, trendier lines, and be lost. She opened over a dozen shops in France, of which seven are in Paris, with branches in Amsterdam, London, Tokyo, and the United States (including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York).

Her understated approach to design for real people (men and children, as well as women) extends to her shows, which she has called working sessions, where professional models are rarely used, and her stores, in which casual and friendly salespeople mix their own antique or mod clothes with her separates. All the stores exude the same comfortable look, with pale wooden floors, white walls, and the occasional decorative tile. The flimsy curtain that separates the display area from the communal dressing rooms is an implication of the marginal distinction between Agnès B. clothes and what everyone else is wearing.

Agnès B. has managed to keep her family-run business a success for several reasons. Her designs reflect the lives of her customers, speaking more to purpose than to style. She generally produces two collections per year but adds regularly to the collections throughout the year. She keeps the business organized by using a computerized management method of production, delivery, and inventory and keeps the boutiques and stores happy by delivering frequently and consistently. Her customers remain content because the quality of the clothing is consistent. Interestingly, unlike most designers, she keeps some items in her collection for several seasons; "You can't destabilize the client.. Customers want to see some constant pieces." Her clientèle includes women, men, and children and have been described as "cultish."

Her designs have been popular in Europe, the Far East, and in several cities in the United States. In the early 1990s, she expanded her American market, and by 1996, she had a total of eight stores in the U.S., with plans to open several more. By 1997 there were 93 worldwide stores, generating some $260 million annually. Next came the opening of a new store in Chicago, Illinois, and the launch of a beauty products line of skin care, makeup, and four fragrances to the U.S. market. Agnès B. is known for her display windows, which are characteristically devoid of mannequins—where she merely hangs the clothes on hangers and the accessories are strewn about. She also includes movie posters in the display, which have become one of her trademarks.

Agnès B. strikes a commercial and creative balance—a radical chic. "I have no desire to dress an elite," she states. "It's all a game. I work as if I were still in my grandmother's attic, dressing up. Clothes aren't everything. When they become too important, when they hide the person wearing them, then I don't like them. Clothes should make you feel happy, relaxed, and ready to tackle other problems."

—Sarah Bodine; updated by Christine Miner Minderovic

100 Fashion Tips

100 Fashion Tips

One of the most important things you need to take note of about becoming fashionable is to get fitter. Therefore, if you are carrying some extra pounds, then you should lose some of it soon. You can do it through dieting, working out, or a good combination of both. Find more fashion tips like this one within this guide.

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  • grossman chubb-baggins
    Do american women want clothes harpers bazaar?
    7 years ago

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