Postcard from...ARLES, L'ARLESIENNE AND CHRISTIAN LACROIX
French Haute Couture Fashion Designer, Christian Lacroix was born in Arles in May 1951.
He opened his own Haute Couture House in 1987. After being sold in 2005 by LVMH to a duty-free retailer, the Couture House closed in 2009. Christian Lacroix although still very active in numerous fields of creativty, has left an enormous void in the world of high fashion where his magic, talent and craftsmanship is sorely missed.
In his Couture work, Lacroix was deeply influenced by his Arles heritage. The traditions and symbols he grew up with mark his fashion very strongly.
Talking about his childhood, Lacroix remembers how he used to go to the local bullfights with his father in the Arles amphitheater. One day, after a bullfight,(in 1956 or 1957) father and son were sitting in the famous, "Grand Hotel Nord Pinus" (where all the bullfighters, as well as Picasso, Hemingway, Fernandel, Cocteau etc...used to hang out...), when Dominguin and his wife Lucia Bosé walked in; Dominguin's white bullfighter costume stained with the blood of the poor bull he had just slain. Lacroix was struck by this vision of the Torero and the Star and considers Bosé the first Lacroix Diva!
|Today, the Hotel is still an Arles Landmark|
|With wonderful photography by Peter Beard in the bar...|
|A glamourous couple - Luis Miguèl Dominguin and Lucia Bosé|
The "Habit de Lumière", or bullfighter's costume is a reccurrent, reinterpreted, piece in Lacroix's Couture...
|Matador painting by Christian Gaillard|
|Christian Lacroix sketches|
|Doesn't she look like a fashion model.... painting by Christian Gaillard|
And these are Lacroix...
|Matador hat, short velvet Matador jacket mixed with Lacroix's staple puffball (pouf) skirt|
|That emblematic Lacroix red ribbon...on torero inspired pants|
|So Hispanic, no...?|
|Adorable Vanessa Paradis, in 1987|
|Absolutely gorgeous bridal gown...|
|With short, embroided jacket of gold|
Another symbol often present in both Christian Lacroix's clothing (as on the back of Vanessa's jacket above...) and jewelry, is the "Croix Camarguaise" - the Cross from Camargue. This Cross was created in 1926 by Hermann Paul. It represents 3 fundamental virtues; Faith, Hope and Charity.
The cross and the tridents relate to the Camargue 'Guardians' (Camargue cowboys), the anchor relates to the 'Fishermen' and the heart to the 'Saintes Maries' (3 feminine disciples of Jesus who, according to legend, had settled in Camargue).
|Guardians holding their 'tridents'...|
|Again, a dash of good fortune red...|
The beautiful, traditional Arlesienne costume, worn with pride during festivities is also a major source of inspiration for Lacroix. Every element of this beautiful garnment can be found in the designer's haute couture; from the headresses to the shawl-like scarves, the religiously themed jewelry (the Cross), the white blouse and the richly colored taffetas, silks and satins. All contribute to the extraordinary success he encountered after unveiling his first couture collection in 1987 when the press unanimously praised his work and called him "the saviour of the couture world"!
|Les Belles Arlesiennes...|
And now Lacroix...
Even the accessories are lovely tributes to the Arlesienne...
Although there have been many Lacroix Divas and Muses since Lucia Bosé; for Lacroix, the Diva of all Divas is a religious figure; that of the "Macarena of Seville" with her tears of crystal.
|The Macarena of Seville in the Basilica de la Macarena|
And 'spirituality' expressed in Lacroix Couture looks like this...
|This sweater was on the US Vogue Cover, the first ever to featuring Jeans - Fall 1998|
|On Dita Von Teese|
The Gypsy community is important in the Camargue region and Christian Lacroix has been exposed to their culture in his childhood. This influence also gives his couture a flirty, fun and bohemian vibe...
Alors... Merci beaucoup Monsieur Lacroix for all these wonderful couture years and I sure do hope you will be back some day...for more sensational fashion extravagance...
My postcards have almost all been sent...just one more to go...and this next post will include in one place, all that I love in Provence...delicious food, lovely wine, breathtaking landscapes, and art galore...find out more with my...
Postcard from...CHATEAU LA COSTE.
A très vite...
credits:-wikipedia, pinterest, www.arles-info.fr, www.m.inmagine.com, www.martin-raget.blogspot.com, www.arlesiennedecoeur.skyrock.com, www.camargue-en-provence.com, www.pictify.com, www.beatricebrandini.it, www.myfashiontube.com, www.vogue.com, www.artmony.biz, www.bijouxregionaux.fr, www.indulgy.com, www.honestlywtf.com, www.treshaute tumblr.com, www.coolspotters.com,www.amillionthingstolove.com, www.artapriori.livejournal.com, flickr.com, www.schwakhofercoxon.wordpress.com, www.olefaenagsm.wordpress.com, www.spanishinstitute.org, www.bluffton.edu