Geoffrey Beene - Born Samuel Albert Bozeman Jr, he his first design job was at Teal Traina, where he stayed until 1963, leaving to launch his own label. Beene's 'signature' designs included elaborate seams, architectural construction, graphic black and white motifs and clinging silhouettes cut on the bias and were an immediate success. US Vogue featured Jean Shrimpton wearing a dress from his first collection and within four years he had an annual turnover of $4 million.
"What I'm trying to do are clothes that look effortless without any degree of calculation on the part of the wearer, but plenty of calculation on my part,"
Defying fashion conventions, he shocked the fashion world in 1966 with his use of grey flannel and wool jersey in evening wear. The following year he designed the wedding dress of Lynda Bird Johnson, eldest daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Also that year, Beene became the first American designer to show in Milan and the first to open a manufacturing outlet in Europe, selling couture clothes and sportswear both there and in the Far East. Noted for men's and women's wear in soft, easy care fabrics, sequinned fabrics, chiffon and taffeta. One of the first designers to mix patterns and textures. Generally preferred dark and neutral colours
Bonnie Cashin - U.S. designer specialising in Chinese styles, Leather, canvas and suede with ethnic influences, best known for popularising the 'poncho'.
Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel - Classic Paris high fashion and the tailored 'Chanel suit'. Also a range of sports style fashions and the famous 'Chanel No5' perfume.
Andre Courreges - Miniskirts, pantsuits and see-through space-age designs. He opened his own fashion house in 1961 after 12 years designing for Balenciaga. Like Mary Quant, he has some claim to having pioneered the introduction of the mini skirt in 1962. His most famous designs were the 'Space-Age' collection of Spring 1964 which strongly featured silver and white PVCs with bonded seams. The collection included silver PVC 'moongirl' pants, white catsuits and monochrome striped mini skirts and dresses. He is also famous for his use of the mid-calf length, flat-heeled 'Courreges' boot - an iconographic symbol of Sixties fashion. A more reasonably priced ready-to-wear collection was produced in 1965.
Marc Bohan ( Design director - Christian Dior ) - Paris high fashion elegance. Marc took over the reigns at Dior in 1960 after the departure of Yves Saint Laurent.
Elio Fiorucci - Miniskirts and general youth fashion. Italian shoe designer who exported many Sixties London fashions to Italy, opening a store in Milan, 1967, specially for London products.
Anne Fogarty - One of the first U.S. designers to produce bikinis and launcher of the 'Paper Doll' dress, with high waist, low neck, short-sleeved bodice and full skirt.
Rudi Gernreich - Sports and swimwear, revealing designs. Rudi designed ready-to-wear clothes for Los Angeles boutique JAX until 1964 when he started his own company, striving to provide a range of clothes which allowed complete freedom of movement. He is credited with introducing the topless swimsuit in 1964, which consisted of a high waist held up by thin straps which passed between the bare breasts. He gave up the company in about 1967 to concentrate on freelance designing and to devote more time to his passion - dance clothes.
Hubert de Givenchy -
Cocktail and evening dresses. Most famous for the clothes he designed
for Audrey Hepburn, particularly her wardrobe in the 1961 film 'Breakfast
At Tiffanys'. He is generally known for sack dresses, low-cut cocktail
dresses with matching boleros, duster coats and coloured gloves.
- Pantsuits, miniskirts and t-shirt dresses
Emanuelle Khanh - lacy, frilled dresses and blouses, long collared jackets
Emilio Pucci - Sportswear and psychedelic skirts, dresses and pantsuit
Paco Rabanne - Plastic and metal discs, day-glo space-age designs. Between 1964 and 1966 Paco designed fashion accessories on a freelance basis for Balenciaga, Givenchy and Dior. He launched his body jewellery in the Spring of 1966 on forming his own company. Generally known for clothing in chain-mail style, made from plastic and metal tiles or discs, held together with wire. By 1968/9 his designs included ostrich feather dresses with aluminium bodices and others made in paper and silver leather.
- Space-age and wet look designs
Barbara Hulanicki - Started her business by mail-order in 1963 with her husband, Stephen Fitz-Simon. Due to a phenomenal response to their newspaper advertising, they opened their first 'Biba' boutique in 1964, selling mini smock-dresses, mix'n'match fashions, rubberised raincoats, floppy hats and lengthened and dyed rugby shirts which were worn as mini-dresses, many of which were decorated with op-art designs. Their favoured colours were muted purples, dull reds, sepias, blues, greys and pinks. They moved to larger premises in 1965 and again in 1969 when they opened a department store in Kensington High Street, selling men's, women's and children's wear ( even purple nappies! ). They also sold a variety of foods and household goods but the expansion of the range seemed to be the start of Biba's fall from youth popularity, eventually closing down in 1975.
Roberto Capucci - Flamboyant use of Mediterranean colours and sculptural forms. He famously produced garments made of sealed plastic filled with coloured water.
Cristobal Balenciaga - Highly fashionable in the fifties, the house of Balenciaga carried on through the Sixties with famous name designers producing loosely tailored suits and sculptural evening wear. Balenciaga retired in 1968.
Laura Ashley - Country style clothing and furnishing fabrics. Laura started with a cotton drill apron in 1961 - almost an anti-fashion house featuring inexpensive tucked and frilled dresses in coarse cotton and lacy shirts with leg o'mutton sleeves. She opened her first shop in Kensington in 1968.
Anthony Price - Glamorous evening wear and the designer of the clothes for The Rolling Stones' 'Gimme Shelter' tour of 1967, while working as a designer for Stirling Cooper producing fashions for Miss Selfridge. He also later designed for Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music.
Valentino Garavani - Decorative evening wear and tailored day wear. While still a student, he won a prestigious prize for fashion design by the International Wool Secretariat (an award also won later by both Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld). This led to his being employed by Jean Desses in 1950. Valentino assisted Desses for five years before moving to work for Guy Laroche, a former chief illustrator at Desses. He launched his first salon on the Via Condotti in Rome in 1960. When he showed his first collection that year, he gained huge recognition for his sophisticated, Hollywood-style evening wear. He also drew regard for his full-length skirts ( despite the popularity of mini skirts) his penchant for simple contrasts of black and white and his signature 'Valentino red'. His success resulted in a Paris boutique and the launch of the famous 'V' label. In 1967, he won the coveted Neiman Marcus Prize and presented a 'No Colour' collection produced entirely in creams, buffs and whites, in contrast to the highly fashionable psychedelic colouring of the period. By 1969 he was producing designs heavily influenced by op-art and, in 1970, launched his first ready-to-wear line, with more boutiques following in Rome and New York. For over 40 years, known simply as 'Valentino', he has been one of fashion's most prominent names, designing some of the world's most elegant evening wear and classic creations.
- Evening and
haute couture shoes, also freelance footwear design for fashion houses.
Bis - Opened a boutique in 1962 with
Elie & Jacqueline Jacobson-designed 'adult' versions of young girls
clothes. Knee socks, peaked caps, cut-out dresses, trouser suits and crocheted
sweaters and dresses.