Who Runs the Fashion World … Girls!

From the Godfathers of fashion such as Charles Fredrick Worth and Christian Dior, to modern male fashion creative such as Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen, fashion is an industry that men have largely populated and been running for decades. Even though their clientele is dominated by women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds, the inside of the fashion world has been operating with male directors at the helm for many eras. But slowly women have started to take the reins, and are making their mark on the runway. You only have to look at the recent shows form Chanel and Dior, to see that these women who have been behind the scenes for many years, have finally the opportunity to run it their way, and what magnificent results we have seen. When watching the Haute Couture show of Fall/Winter 2019/20 by Chanel, I sat in awe at not only the genius of the location and set, but the fashion itself was possibly the greatest I had seen. This show pushed me to research the woman who now sits at the helm, and so that is what this blog shall endeavour to uncover.

The recent passing of the master of fashion Mr Karl Lagerfeld, as tragic as it was, left the door open for his right hand assistant to step into the limelight. Having worked alongside Lagerfeld for more than thirty years, Virginie Viard had slowly been stepping out form the shadows in recent times. Only days after the great man passed away in February this year, Chanel announced that Viard would take over as Creative Director. Born in Lyon, France in 1962, Viard grew up with fashion in her veins. Her grandparents were silk merchants, and Viard went on to study theatre design at the Cours George. At completion of her studies, Viard gained employment as an assistant costume designers for Dominique Borg. Then in 1987, Viard began an internship at Chanel, and as they say, the rest is history! Forming a close relationship with Lagerfeld, the two worked well together, and when Lagerfeld left Chanel to join Chloe (for the second time) in 1992, Viard went with him. Then in 1997, the pair returned to Chanel, with Lagerfeld heading up the Couture end of the business. In 2000, Viard became the creative director of the studio, and oversaw Ready to Wear, Haute Couture and accessories alongside Lagerfeld. Lagerfeld himself described this talented woman as not only being his right hand, but his left hand too! The pair were inseparable for over thirty years in the fashion world.


With her signature punkish look of dark kohl rimmed eyes, solid bangs and all black wardrobe, Viard manages to create a look very different to her own. Her first solo Haute Couture collection, was breathtaking. Set in the luxurious library of Madame Chanel, the show was everything you would expect from Chanel. Signature fabrics of tweed, boucle and hound’s-tooth were widely used, and the unbiased colour pallet of black and white was ever present. This season saw splashes of vibrant colour and metallic threads also featured throughout, and garments dazzles with sequins and feathers. The silhouette was unmistakable feminine, featuring waistlines and full skirts. A nod to the original style presented itself in the footwear displayed by the models, with tailoring and structured design showcasing what Chanel is all about. The collections was sleek, elegant, luxurious and sexy. Viard’s star shone bright as she made her debt as the first female creative director since Coco Chanel herself. While we may have lost the grand master in Lagerfeld, the woman who is now in control is nothing short of spectacular!

Another woman who is leading the way in the modern world of fashion is the creative director of Dior, Maria Grazia Churi. Again woman are making themselves heard, with Churi being the first female ever to be in charge at Dior. Churi has been in the rag trade for many years, starting out at Fendi in 1989 before moving onto Valentino. Born in Rome, Italy in 1964, Churi’s mother was a dressmaker, so the world of fashion has been in her blood from day one. Completing her studies in fashion in Rome, the naturally talented Churi has produced some of the greatest fashion moments this decade has ever seen. Joining Dior in July 2016, Churi is known to promote political and social issues through her work. The slogan “We should all be feminists” which dominated Dior’s Ready to Wear show of Spring 2017 is likely to be one of the most recognised and remembered statements made in fashion.


Churi’s most recent work for the Haute Couture show of Fall/Winter 2019/20 was a mix of darkness touched by the beauty of floral. The models entered into an arena that was somewhat gothic and moody, before moving into a space filled with bright floral and springtime vibes. The look was architectural, structured and metallic. Black featured heavily as a colour, with detailing and accent colours also featuring. Lace and net covered some of the models, who dazzled in garments with nipped in waistlines and full skirts. Bare shoulders, belted waists, leather and feathers were standout features on some of the collections boldest pieces. Churi surely made it known that art is fashion, and fashion is art!

In a world that is ever changing, fashion will always play a significant role. As more women designers step out of the shadows and into the limelight, the world of Haute Couture looks incredibly bright. These women are not afraid to walk to the beat of their own drum, but remain respectful to the men who made these fashion labels into the empires we know them as today. I for one cannot wait until the next round of catwalk shows to see what other inspiring and beautiful fashions come from the grand houses of Chanel and Dior.

Love Always, Anastacia Rose xx



Vintage fashion at it’s finest – Edward Molyneux

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For someone who loves fashion and all things about the history of fashion, this next designer is someone who I knew little about. Surprising, since my favourite eras in fashion are The Jazz Age and The Golden Age, which this designer fits right into. It’s slightly embarrassing that I have only recently discovered the true talent and beauty of British born designer Edward Molyneux, but I’m so glad I did. I have seen many of his pieces exhibited in shows I have been to, but never knew anything about the man behind them all. It was difficult researching this genius of design as many of my vintage fashion books glazed over him as a designer. But I kept digging and found some stunning images and information on his work. So if you’re keen to know more about another grand couturier from the 1920’s, then join me on this next stylish instalment on Anastacia Rose Blog!

Captain Edward Molyneux was born in London on 5th September 1891 as was of Irish decent. The story of his early childhood remains much untold. When he was sixteen, Molyneux dropped out of school after the death of his father, to begin working to support himself and his mother. Molyneux had a keen interest in painting, and it was this form of art that he initially pursued. Working as a sketch artist, Molyneux entered a competition with a sketch of an evening dress. He won, and his career in fashion was born. This award introduced Molyneux to the prominent and influential Lady Duff Gordon, who hired Molyneux to work for her in her English fashion house Lucile. Here Molyneux nurtured and crafted his own talents and styles, and became a leader in the style game.

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After gaining such valuable experience and knowledge, Molyneux branched out on his own, and established his own house in 1919 in Paris, with a philosophy based on seamless elegance. The designers’ success rose quickly in the nineteen twenties, with women from all walks of life recognising his name. From the aristocratic women of wealth and heritage, to the café society flappers, Molyneux mixed with them all, and was happy to dress any woman who was tall and slender. His creations were not showy, with emphasis placed on the cut and fabric that was used rather than embellishments. His designs were not only chic but also wearable, with a refined elegance that capsulated the Jazz Age. When the decade evolved into the 1930’s, Molyneux adopted the bias cut, with his sheath gowns a display of sculptural simplicity. One of his most recognised outfits was that of a backless gown, bias cut, and finished off with a fur draped effortlessly over the models shoulders.

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The 1930’s saw Molyneux cross paths with some famous clientele, which only emphasised his position in the world of fashion. He designed costumes for the stage during this decade, and also the wedding gown and trousseau for Princess Marina of Greece in 1934. The colour pallet in which Molyneux dabbled was most simplistic, with black, navy, grey and beige featuring heavily in all his collections throughout time. Also in the 1930’s, Molyneux displayed luxurious coats made of velvet, and was one designer who adopted the matching dress and coat look of the era. Towards the end of the decade, Molyneux started to experiment with changing the silhouette of the waist, making it narrower and more fitted to the models own features. This is a look that was largely successful during the 1940’s thanks to Dior’s “New Look”. With the radiant success of his House, Molyneux was able to diversify and introduced to his company a line of furs, lingerie, millinery and perfume. All were a success.

With the looming threat of a Second World War, Molyneux escaped Paris for London. Here he was conscripted into the British Army, where he served as an infantry captain. He served his time in the army, and suffered health issues as a result. He lost the vision in one of his eyes. Post war, Molyneux returned to Paris to try and pick up where he left off. Unfortunately due to his ailing health he could not return to the greatness that he had been known for. In 1950, Molyneux retired to Jamaica, and watched the world of fashion flourish in a new direction. Some years later, in 1965, Molyneux flirted with the idea of making a comeback. For a brief time he came out of retirement, but much had changed in the realm of fashion and Molyneux no longer had the passion or the energy to reinvent himself.

At the age of eighty three, Edward Molyneux passed away in 1974. During his time in the luxury world of couture, he achieved greatness. His designs have stood the test of time, and now take their place in the history of fashion. They are inspiring, elegant, timeless and breathtaking in their simplicity. A sketch artist, war veteran and fashion design. It’s a resume that reads well and honours the success of this great man. At a time when the French largely dominated the runway, this quiet British achiever well and truly left his mark. You just have to search a little deeper to find him, that’s all!

Love Always, Anastacia Rose xx

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“Comme des Garcons is a gift to oneself, not something to appeal or to attract the opposite sex” – Rei Kawakubo

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So it’s pretty obvious if you’ve been reading along with my blogs, that I love vintage fashion. The greats of Dior, Chanel, Balenciaga, Vionnet and Poiret, are all influencers on my own tastes in fashion. I fall in love with master tailoring, sublime natural fabrics, handmade garments and embellishments, and anything that comes under the umbrella of chic, classic and feminine. My style icons are Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Jackie O and Sophia Loren. I love vintage films starring Marilyn Monroe, and am a sucker for classic novels by F Scott Fitzgerald. So when researching who I would dedicate my next blog to, it came as a surprise to me, as I’m sure it will be to you, that I’ve chosen to write about prominent Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo and her eponymous label Comme des Garcons. I decided to delve into this world of contemporary fashion and design as it’s not one that I’m accustom too, but should probably know more about. It’s been interesting to learn about the influence of Japan in fashion, and somewhat eye opening to discover all the imaginary things that Kawakubo has achieved in her career. So if you’re keen to know more about this brand and the statement it has made on modern fashion, then join me on this colourful and creative journey.

The label first gained cult following when it debuted at Paris Fashion Week in 1981. It was different to anything the Paris runways had seen before, and gave a whole new direction on eighties fashions. The label was founded and is still run by Japanese innovator Rei Kawakubo. Kawakubo was born in Tokyo in 1942, and never formally trained in fashion. Studying fine art and literature at Keio University in Tokyo, Kawakubo first went into the advertising industry before finding her niche in fashion. She launched her label in Japan in 1973 and soon engaged a large following for her brand at home. Introducing a menswear line a few years later, Comme des Garcons became greatly successful in its home land. When invited to show in that 1981 fashion week in Paris, the world was greeted with a significant Japanese influence. Showcasing monochrome colours, random elastication, irregular hemlines and crinkled surfaces, Paris was awestruck at this new take on fashion. Dubbed “Oblique Chic” by Vogue, Comme des Garcons had stamped its name all over the runway.

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When researching this blog, it became obvious early on that Kawakubo walked to the beat of her own drum. Becoming known for innovative and unconventional pattern cutting, the collections which Kawakubo released were always intriguing and curious. Some of the well know ensembles that bear the Comme des Garcons label feature random ruching, asymmetric seams, unfinished edges and shapeless silhouettes. The brand has an unorthodox appeal, but is greatly accepted by many. The garments are designed and made in Japan, with the flagship store located in Aoyama, Tokyo’s high fashion district. Some of the labels main lines are still handmade, hence their production still being based in Japan. This aspect of luxury handmade goods is reflected in the high price tag, but guaranteed in the quality of craftsmanship that will outlast most other garments produced these days. Other Comme des Garcons boutiques are located in Melbourne, Manila, Beijing and Seoul.

The mass appeal of Comme des Garcons has allowed the brand to grow to enormous stature. In 2011 it was estimated to employ eight hundred staff, and is now reported to turn over $280 million dollars per year. Kawakubo and her brand have since established many other lines that come under the Comme des Garcons family. There is approximately twenty other lines, including Noir, Homme, Shirt (mainly producing shirts), Sport and Black. A street wear line was also introduced and is sold in market based department stores worldwide. Dover Street Market was first established in London, and was home to the diffusion line ‘Play’. This collection is factory produced to reduce costs and to keep up with the demands of ready to wear street culture. Comme des Garcons has also nurtured many collaborations over the years, including works with Nike, Levi’s, Louis Vuitton and H&M. Celebrity followings are large as well, and include Ellen, Kanye, Lady Gaga, Bjork and the late and great Karl Lagerfeld.

Like many other fashion houses of the time, Comme des Garcons also has a range of fragrance. Being agendered, the perfumes are somewhat unconventional, listing ingredients such as oxygen, metal, sand dunes, nail polish and burnt rubber. Many of the designs from Kawakubo also represent the mix of genders, fusing together masculine tailoring with feminine corsets and flowers. Certainly a modern take on this ever changing and evolving world we live in.

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In 2017, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York paid tribute to the contribution Kawakubo has made to the fashion industry. With an exhibition displaying some 150 ensembles, the white maze like curation was a stunning success. Largely recognised now in fashion circles by the heart shaped logo with two eyes, Comme des Garcons continues to surprise and elevate the world of fashion. From predominantly black and distressed designs to their perplexing cuts and minimalist displays, Comme des Garcons has inevitably established its place among fashions most elite brands and designers. Whilst it may not be my cup of tea, I can certainly pay credit where it is due, and Rei Kawakubo is a fashion master.

Love Always, Anastacia Rose xx

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“To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – There are hints about who you are in what you wear” – Marc Jacobs

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If you’re looking for a designer that’s got uber amounts of flair, passion for the dream, a willingness to never give up, and can constantly invent styles and silhouettes that are super fresh, then you should check out Marc Jacobs! The boy from New York City who had a dream of a fashion empire and made it all came true, Marc Jacobs has certainly found his place amongst other elite names of the industry. Recent collections have shone with colour, texture, attitude and sass. The Marc Jacobs label seems set to remain a constant in this every changing world.

Born and raised in New York City, Marc Jacobs has never been your typical American boy. Born on April 9th, 1963, Jacobs grew up with the love and affection of both his parents, until at only 7 years old, Jacobs father tragically passed away. After such heartbreak, his mother did not cope well, and had a string of failed marriages in the years to come. This involved Jacobs and his siblings moving around a lot, and it wasn’t until Jacobs decided to move in with his paternal Grandmother, that finally as a teenager the boy had some stability. Living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan would have been an eye opening experience during the seventies and eighties, and it was while living here that Jacobs enjoyed much freedom and frivolity. Jacobs Grandmother was very supportive and nurturing of her grandson’s talents, and at fifteen years old, Jacobs started working in an upmarket fashion boutique. He was a natural in the industry and it was obvious from here that his career was in fashion.

In the years following, Jacobs enrolled at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City, and was able to showcase his creativity and talent. He was strongly supported the whole way by his Grandmother, and when Jacobs graduated in 1984, did so with many accolades to his name. A few years later, and a few collections under his belt, Jacobs was employed as the head women’s wear designer at Perry Ellis. He released a couple of collections for Ellis, but in 1993 when he launched a look focused on grunge that was not well received by the label, Jacobs decided it was time to go solo.

It didn’t take long before the Marc Jacobs label proved to be a success, and other fashion houses stood up and took notice. Supermodels Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista showed their support towards Jacobs by walking in his shows for free. A few years later, and the luxury brand Louis Vuitton came knocking. Jacobs was signed up as creative director of the brand, and he released the house’s first ever ready to wear line. This new role, as well as keeping his own label up and running, proved stressful and dangerous for Jacobs. He turned to drugs to try and get himself through this period, and after battling with an addiction for a couple years, checking himself into rehab in 1999.

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His time at Louis Vuitton was however successful. In ten years he turned the label from mainly being known for its luxury luggage goods, into a powerhouse for modern fashionistas. During this time Jacobs also worked tirelessly on his own brand, launching Marc by Marc Jacobs in 2001. His label now consists of three lines in total, two for adults and one for children, as well as fragrance, cosmetics, accessories, books, stationary and eyewear. Seeing the success of the Marc Jacobs empire, LVMH bought a stake in the label.

In 2010, Jacobs and his partner Lorenzo Martone, married in St Barts. In 2012, Jacobs was honoured with an exhibition of his work, which was held in Paris and lasted for six months. He is reported as saying this was a very emotional time for him. After sixteen years at the head of Louis Vuitton, in 2013 Jacobs left his post. He had succeeded in positioning the brand amongst fashions elite, and made it recognisable the world over. Jacobs has been honoured for his contribution towards fashion many times over, receiving numerous accolades from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Known as the “Boy Wonder” to some in the industry, Marc Jacobs has certainly made his mark. From his debut on the runway with a collection of sweaters, Jacobs has reached heightened success in his relatively short career. Who knows what’s next for this genius designer, but the world shall be waiting for him.

Love Always, Anastacia Rose xx

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“Fashion is not frivolous. It is part of being alive today” – Mary Quant

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One of the most fun and flirtatious eras in fashion history would have to be the Swinging Sixties. It was an era of change and revolution not only for social trends, lifestyles and politics, but for women’s rights both in and out of the home. More women than ever were entering the paid workforce, and taking control of their lives through the use of contraception. It was an age of innovation. Carnaby Street was the place to be seen in London, and Beatnik fashions were popping up all over Europe and America. Haute Couture houses that had previously dominated the scene were beginning to slow down, with consumers preferring a much more relaxed and easily accessible way of dressing. Miniskirts, culottes, go-go boots, PVC hotpants, and drainpipe denim from Levi Strauss all exploded onto the scene. And there was one British entrepreneur who took it all in her stride. Introducing, Mary Quant!

Mary Quant was one of the biggest and most influential designers in sixties fashions. Her use of colour, innovative fabrics and daring designs became not only her trademark, but that of the era as well. Born on the 11th February 1930 in Blackheath London, Quant grew up in a modest household with her educationalist parents. Of Welsh heritage, Quant always had an inkling towards fashion and design, however her parents forbade her to study in this field. Instead she was allowed to study illustration, and did so at Goldsmiths College in London. It was while she was studying that she met her future husband, and aristocratic man whom she married in 1953. The couple later went on to have one child, Orlando, in 1970.

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At the completion of her university course, Quant took on an apprenticeship with high end milliner Erik in London. Here she was able to use her creative skill set, with her passion for design and fun fashions growing even more. In 1955 her husband purchased a store on Kings Road in London, and together the couple set up their first store called Bazaar. It stocked many of the current fashion trends of the era, with an increasing audience crying out for more. After Quant began to receive recognition and enquiries about her own clothing that she wore in the store, she decided that she would start making some of the garments herself, adding her own personality to everything she touched.

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It wasn’t long until Quant had cornered the market. Her designs were easy, youthful and simple, clothing you could actually move in. She worked in the store by day, and at night took classes on cutting. Shopping at Bazaar was a totally different experience for those who dared to be so bold. Loud music, free drinks and late opening hours was something that attracted many of the ‘Chelsea Set’ during the sixties. Quant used a method of production in the early years known as hand to mouth. By day she would sell her clothes and make a profit, and then by night she would use that profit to purchase more fabric and produce new garments by morning. It was an exhausting way to live, but ensured that Quant was always ahead of the pack with new designs stocking the racks daily. By 1966, the business had grown so much that Quant was now employing manufactures to do this work for her. She had eighteen in total.

Being innovative and opinionated, it’s no surprise that Quant is credited with developing one of the biggest fashion items of all time. The miniskirt was born in the Swinging Sixties, and has remained a constant in fashion in one way or another every decade to follow. Out went the modest knee length hemlines of the fifties, and in came this daring short length. Often paired with bright coloured tights during the freezing British winters, the miniskirt became largely popular. Iconic sixties model Twiggy also help to grow the acceptance of the style, and it soon became a staple of any young, modernist fashionista. Another innovation from Quant was the cheeky and seductive hotpants. Remaining popular into the early 1970’s the hotpant was another design element that struck the fashion world head on! The use of PVC as a fabric also gave Quant a point of difference in her designs, using it for clothing and footwear.

Known for playing with scale and proportion in her designs, Quant also drew inspiration from the Victorian era. She designed garments that replicated Victorian undergarments, such as knickerbockers, but made them from modern fabrics, and promoted them as outerwear. Dancers, musicians and almost anyone from the arts sector in some way influenced Quant and her designs. Over the years, Bazaar grew to entail three stores in London. In 1962, Quant signed up for one of the biggest deals she ever completed, with American department store JC Penney. She also diversified her brand further in the 1970’s, introducing swimwear, hosiery, jewellery, make up and skin care. Interior design was also a side business, with linens, carpets, paint and wallpaper all part of it. A diffusion line of fashion also arose in the seventies called Ginger Group.

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The success of Mary Quant can never be doubted. While still caught up in the heat of it all, in 1966 she was awarded an OBE for her contribution to the industry. In 1988, she worked with car manufacturer Mini to design the interior of their famous little car. And in 2015, Mary Quant became a Dame, recognised furthermore for her everlasting impact of the history of fashion. The Swinging Sixties would not have been as colourful, bright, cheeky or empowering as they were had it not been for Mary Quant!

Love Always, Anastacia Rose xx

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“It is what a woman leaves off, not what she puts on, that gives her cachet” – Paul Poiret

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If you are looking for an icon of nineteen twenties fashion, then you will absolutely cross paths with the name Poiret. Known in the industry for cultivating some of the biggest and most sensational changes to women’s fashion, Poiret was a modernist in its first and purest form. He dominated the fashion scene in Paris and abroad from the mid 1900’s until he closed his House at the end of the twenties. He is credited with giving women more freedom in their fashions, and introduced colour, opulence and international flavours to his designs. What a time it would have been to be alive!

Paul Poiret is one of the greatest couturiers that France ever produced. Born in April 1879, he lived on both sides of luxury and poverty in his 65 years. His father was a cloth merchant, and when Poiret was old enough to work, sent him to apprentice in an umbrella factory. Whilst working in the factory, Poiret would collect the scraps of silk from the cutting room floor, and fashion them into outfits for his sister’s dolls. He had a knack for sketching and loved to design, and began to take a portfolio of his work around to couture houses in Paris. He sold many of his designs and then in 1896, was hired by Jacques Doucet. Here Poiret began to nurture his skills of design, and learnt many new techniques from the great couturier. Poiret then moved onto the House of Worth, where his flamboyant designs were too much for this classic fashion brand and clientele.

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Finally in 1903, Poiret open his own House where he could be as creative and Avant Garde as he pleased. Poiret not only established himself in women’s clothing, but also as a great business man. He introduced things previously not seen or heard of by fashion designers, and became an entrepreneur before we even knew the word existed. He became known for lavish window displays of his latest creations, and threw some of the most sensational parties of the time. He opened his home, a mansion in Paris, and invited everyone who was on society’s it list. Poiret used his muse and wife to showcase his latest designs at these parties, with no expense spared. Think Gatsby, and that’s the kind of soiree that Poiret was known for giving!

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There are some notable developments in fashion history which we can thank Poiret for. One of the best known innovations was that of freeing women from their corsets. Poiret changed the silhouette of fashion dramatically when he started to use draping techniques and free flowing fabrics. No longer did women’s busts ooze over the top, but a much more flat and comfortable style was adopted. The empire line was a style that Poiret favoured, raising the waist line to just below the bust, and allowing the fabric to be fluid from this point on. Fabrics such as muslin, lightweight silk and satin, and tulle were all used, and a vibrant colour pallet was introduced.

A lot of the inspiration for Poiret’s designs came from oriental influences. The use of colour and pattern was inspiring to Poiret, and he became known for his kimono coats when he first opened his House. Poiret travelled to many places to draw further on his inspiration, and we began to see tassels, feathers, Batik, Persian and ropes of pearls all come through in his work. Design innovations such as the hobble skirt, a skirt with a very narrow hem which significantly impeded the wearing from walking, was another of Poiret’s creations. Harem pants are another staple of Poiret, which are a baggy trouser cinched in at the ankle. As you can imagine, women did not wear trousers in the early twentieth century, so Poiret created a frenzy with his new ‘Style Sultane’ silhouette. The ‘Lampshade’ tunic also came from the House of Poiret, which as the name suggests, was a tunic with a wide hem line encasing a wire structure to give it more definition and make the shape more dramatic. Poiret also drew inspiration from the Ballet Russes, and frequently used draping in his work. This draping technique lead his designs to herald a somewhat Hellenic influence, which saw a departure from the traditional tailoring and patternmaking from couturiers before.

In 1911, Poiret further established his brand with the introduction of a fragrance. He was the first French couturier to do so. The same year, he also developed a home décor division, and the Poiret brand started to become known as a whole lifestyle, not just something affluent women could wear, but something they could also decorate their homes with.   The lavish and luxurious lifestyle that Poiret, his wife and five children had become accustom to, started to slow down at the beginning of the First World War. Like many French men, Poiret had to serve for his country, and as a result, his fashion empire had to close. Upon re-entering the trade in 1919, Poiret struck difficulties, and found rivals in the likes of Chanel. While Chanel was establishing herself as another great French couturier, Poiret was unable to keep up. His garments while they had been revolutionary and opulent, were not fine examples of construction. They looked dazzling from afar, but if you got too close, you could see the flaws. Women were starting to become accustom to not only great design, but fine sewing and finishing. Poiret sadly never regained his place at the top of the scene, and after struggling for a few years, closed his doors in 1929. What was left of his stock was sold off as rags.

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Paul Poiret lived out the remained of his live on a much more discreet level than he had previously. On the verge of poverty, having lost everything, Poiret died in 1944, aged sixty five. By the time of his death, most in the fashion world had forgotten all about him and the tremendous things he contributed when at the top of his game. His close friend, Elsa Schiaparelli, was the one who paid for his burial service. It took some years before the industry finaly recognised the achievements of Poiret, and since then, many exhibitions have been held in his honour. Being the first designer to publish a look book, create a logo and dive into costume design as well, Poiret really was an innovator.

After ninety years lying dormant, the Poiret brand has been revived by Beijing born designer Yiqing Yin, and will showcase its first collection for Fall 2018. It seems that fashion will always remain attached to its past! For a man that stabilised the French Couture industry, Poiret’s legacy will live on. Not only a designer, but a poet, a painter, a musician and a well-travelled individual, Paul Poiret and his quirky creations will forever hold their place in the history of fashion.

Love Always, Anastacia Rose xx

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I am brave, I am bruised, this is who I’m meant to be …This is me!


So this next blog is going to take a slightly different approach than most of my previous ones. Usually I’m telling you all about my favourite designers, different eras in fashion history, places that are iconic or people who inspire me. But today I feel like I should tell you a bit more about myself and the person I’ve become along this journey. I’ve previously given snippets of my path in fashion and how I got to where I am, but something inside me says that I should delve deeper and give more. So here goes! Stick with me on this one if you can, I’ll try and keep it fun and as fashionable as possible!

Discovering that I had a love and talent for fashion came as a surprise to me, as it did too many others I’m sure. I think I was about 15, and it was the first time I’d ever sat in front of a sewing machine. I had seen my mother sew for my brother and me as a child, but had no interest in it what so ever. It wasn’t something that the kids at school considered cool, so of course I was never going to be honest and say that I actually liked it when I first started. But I soon discovered that I was essentially pretty good at it, and started receiving recognition for the few items of clothing I began to whip up on the machine. It grew for here and I soon discovered that apparently you could make money out of this, so bam!! I was going to enter the rag trade! By the time my final high school year arrived, I was firm in my knowing that I was off to university to study fashion and design and start living the dream, or so I thought.

It didn’t take long to figure out there was so much more to it, and it was so competitive. But my years at uni and living in the big smoke were awesome. I learnt so much, developed new skills, found my niche in vintage fashion, and opened my eyes to the big wide world. At times it was scary, I wanted to come home to everyone and everything I knew, but persistence pays off. If you really want something, you’ve just got to go for it. Sacrifices were made, as were some tough decisions, but when my models walked out onto the catwalk at my final year graduation parade, I’d never felt so much excitement, adrenaline and love from all those around me.

And then the real hard work started! Study was a breeze compared to finding a job in the industry. Nobody wants to know you unless you’ve had a few years’ experience, but how do you get experience if no one wants to give you a chance? The one thing I don’t think uni prepared me for was just how tough it was going to be. A qualification on a piece of paper means nothing. You’ve got to prove yourself. I slogged it out in a retail job to begin with before I thought I’d hit the jackpot and landed a job within a local fashion business. Again, no one tells you all the bad stuff that you might encounter, how ruthless people can be, and what it can do to your state of mind. So needless to say that first year out in the industry was tough, the kind of stuff that can break a person, or make you stronger. I’d like to think it was the second option, but I sadly don’t think it was.


After feeling sad and sorry for myself, and being unemployed for six months, my break finally came. I applied for a job out of the Sunday paper, in a small dressmaking and alterations business. I got it! And five years later when I left, I’d worked my way through the business to the top rung. It was basic to start with, altering the suits of wealthy business men, and sewing the hems on new eveningwear purchases. But my role developed, and I was able to introduce a more custom made side to the business, with Spring Racing Carnival our busiest time of year. Like many people do in their jobs, I became stale, and the calling to be closer to my family was stronger than ever.


Ten years after I left my country home town, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life and chose to go back home. The city life had been amazing, so many things to do and see. So many amazing people and opportunities. The nightlife was amazing, the art galleries, the shops, the bars and restaurants were world class. But nothing says home more like family, so back to mine I went. Have I ever regretted it, absolutely not! It was exactly what I needed at that time in my life.

It was here that my journey in fashion kind of stalled for a little while. Country towns like mine don’t really have a need for a now experienced fashionista (unlike Dungatar and Tilly Dunnage)! So a different path I took, again in retail to give myself an income, to save some money and hopefully down the track the alluring lights of the runway would come calling again. Did it happen like this, not so much! I took a break from sewing for a while, and pondered what I really wanted. I’d always had this thing for writing, for putting stuff down on paper. I also had been thinking for a long time about having my own fashion blog, but it seemed way too scary to even start. But just over twelve months ago now start is what I did, and loved it I have! I’m still navigating this whole blogging thing, not entirely sure if I’m doing it right, but then I don’t think there is a right way, just what works for you. I’ve discovered that being brave isn’t something that comes naturally to me, I have to work on it. Why is it when women reach a certain point in their life and they don’t have all the things society expects, that we give ourselves a hard time. F*@# You Society!!

So where am I now? I’m right here, writing this story and not entirely sure if it will ever see the light of day! I’ve been trying to put more time and energy into my blog, to develop it, to let the world know that it exists, and to try and drum up some more business for my small yet hopeful dressmaking atelier that I operate from my home. I work a full time job that has opened many doors for me and helped me to develop my own personal skills in leadership. I’ve made some terrific friends who I know I’ll have for life, and I’ve discovered a new found passion to do what I love.

So what’s the end goal, what’s the dream now? Well I’ve got two! The first would be to get myself a sugar daddy and spend my summers on a yacht in St Tropez! The other slightly more appropriate one, is to be a costume designer to honour my love for vintage fashion. Am I working towards it? Slowly but surely. What else do I want from this thing called life? I want to love, I want to smile every day, I want to surround myself with family and friends. I want to travel the world, sip champagne under the Eifel Tower (again!), own a pair of Jimmy Choo’s and fill my home with books and photographs that I’ve collected along the way. I want those around me to succeed. I want women to feel strong and to be brave, bold and go after what you want. We are all worth it!


I’ll leave you with a quote that I discovered the other day from Apple Inc, and it truly struck a chord with me – “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rule. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”  Let’s all be crazy together!

Love Always, Anastacia Rose xx


“A woman can carry a bag, but it’s the shoe that carries the woman” – Christian Louboutin

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Who doesn’t love a pair of heels? They not only make any outfit look good, but they make you feel good too. They may not always be practical, but then stilettos were never meant to be! That feeling when you pull your new shoes out of the box and try them on at home for the first time is liberating. How many of you have stood in front of the mirror and just admired them on your feet, and the way they make your body feel? I know I have many times. A great pair of shoes can give you confidence, they can lift your spirits and make you feel sensual. They can complement any outfit and give you the urge to strut your stuff! Oh for the love of shoes, yes, I think I have a fetish like many of you do!

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One man who can be credited with giving women this lustrous feeling about themselves and what’s on their feet is Christian Louboutin. The French shoe designer has been decorating women’s feet for over twenty years now, and has certainly cemented his place in fashion history. Born and raised in Paris’ 12th arrondissment on January 7th 1964, Louboutin was the only son of a cabinet maker and stay at home mum. He had three sisters and spent most of his younger years surrounded by these women. Louboutin was fascinated during his childhood with the country Egypt, and it’s been reported that only a few years ago he discovered that his biological father was in fact Egyptian. Not being much of an academic, Louboutin was often expelled from school or failed to show up in the first place. By the age of twelve, he had taken inspiration from a Sophia Loren interview about her sister leaving school early and going on to achieve success. Louboutin follow suit with no doubt in his mind that his life would turn out just fine.Louboutin 2

After leaving school, Louboutin found work at the famed Foiles Bergeres cabaret club in Paris. Here he experienced many things as a young boy, and became known as a bit of a party lad around town, cruising the scene with the likes of Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol. He also spent some time abroad, in Egypt and in India, before returning to Paris and setting his sights on shoes. His fascination with shoes came from a visit to a museum when he was a young boy, where there was a sign displaying no high heels to be worn inside the museum for fear of damaging the floor. With little formal training, Louboutin compiled a portfolio of shoe designs that he set off to show some of the couture houses in Paris. From these initial meetings, Louboutin was fortunate enough to impress Charles Jourdan, who gave him his first job as a shoe designer. It wasn’t long after this that he moved on to apprentice in the atelier of the renowned Roger Vivier, who had designed shoes for Christian Dior in the 1950’s.Louboutin 5

After learning many skills and encouraging what was his natural abilities, Louboutin became a freelance shoe designer himself. He designed collections for Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Maud Frizon. After taking a short break form designing, Louboutin found the calling too strong, and in 1991 with the help of two backers, set up his own business. One of his first clients was Princess Caroline of Monaco, who just happened to be in the store at the same time as a journalist. This meeting set the scene for Louboutin and he has never looked backed. There are many famous women who have fallen in love with the red soled shoes, including Catherine Deneuve, Joan Collins, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker and Blake Lively. One of Louboutin’s biggest fans is reported to be Danielle Steel, who is said to have over six thousand pairs of Louboutin’s in her wardrobe!

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Christian Louboutin has been credited with bringing the stiletto back to life. His heels are around one hundred and twenty millimetres high, and are recognised the world over for the flaming red sole. The idea for the coloured sole came about when Louboutin was looking for something to liven up his designs. His assistant was painting her nails a vibrant shade of red next to him one day in the studio, and Louboutin stole the bottle and painted the sole of his latest creation. He knew in an instant that it would become his trademark! The colour has its own unique Pantone code of 18-1663 TPX. The majority of Louboutin’s shoes are aimed at the upmarket dressy fashionista. They are adorned with all sorts of embellishments depending of the inspiration for the season. Jewels, bows, feathers and patent leather are all featured on some of his more sensual designs. Know amongst the elite as the “Sammy red soled shoes”, Louboutin’s signature was created in 1993, and over the years the designer has fought many battles to keep this design feature exclusively his.

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Christian Louboutin has achieved immense success since the start up of his business. In his first year of trading he sold about two hundred pairs of shoes, and by 2012, was turning over around 700,000 pairs! Of the $300 million in annual revenue, almost 95% of it comes from shoe sales alone. The United States is by far the biggest market for the stunning red soles, making up 52% of the company’s sales. The majority of the shoes are produced in a factory in Milan, where Louboutin employs about four hundred and twenty staff. Known as Loubis Angels, the staff work tirelessly to bring his creations to life. For a long time Christian Louboutin resisted the calls for him to design other luxury goods. In 2003 he developed his first line of handbags and purses, and has since branched out into men’s footwear, luxury beauty products (including a red nail varnish), and fragrance. He has also been involved in many side projects over the years as well, including partnership with Disney, Mattel, Apple, and a photo exhibit with David Lynch.

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So if you’re the kind of woman who loves the feel of a well crafter pair of shoes on her feet, and you’ve got between $400 to $6000, then maybe a pair of Louboutin’s is what you need! With the desire to make women feel sexy and flirtatious, Christian Louboutin has certainly achieved this many times over. Striking, iconic, and damn right hot, the Louboutin brand of shoes with their lively red sole is certainly something I will be striving to own in my vast shoe collection.

Love Always, Anastacia Rose xx

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Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten – Savile Row

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Tailoring is a pure craft, a skill that requires time and talent. A trade that takes hours of intense labour to achieve a stunning result. It takes patience, a gentle touch and a knowing authority. It is a form of fashion that I well and truly fell in love with, and have remained so ever since. I first fell in love with the art of tailoring when I started my fashion degree. It was a wardrobe in the rag trade that I had not yet opened. I knew little of it, and had no appreciation for it. But as soon as I opened that door and dove right in, I was surrounded by such art, such magic, and some of the finest fabrics money can buy! Yes, I fell in love hard, and have never looked back.

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If you look up the definition of tailoring in any fashion dictionary, it will say the activity or trade of a tailor, or the style or cut of a garment. So what is a tailor? A tailor is well skilled in the area of making, mending or altering clothing, especially suits, coats and other outer wear garments. In history, tailors have been predominantly male, learning their craft as apprentices on the cutting room floor. It is still a trade in the fashion scene that is mainly occupied by men, although there are many women who have, or are, making themselves known in this trade. It takes a lot of time to truly custom make a suit, with the client being involved in most processes. From taking intricate measurements to choosing the fabric and trims, having a suit or other garment custom made for yourself is one of the greatest pleasures you can have. And it will be a wardrobe staple that will last you a lifetime!

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Through my love of this craft, I learnt about the coveted street in London called Savile Row. And I was lucky enough to visit it when I travelled to England a few years ago. The prestige and pomp of Savile Row was breathtaking. The heritage listed buildings and their lavish facades makes the section of street in the Westminster district something us old school fashionistas can swoon over. It still has an air of grandeur over it, even though the modern world has started to creep in over the last few years. Traditionally, the tailoring establishments on Savile Row would have their showroom on ground level, where clients would come in to be measured up, and their cutting room in the basement. The street dates back to 1731 when it was first appeared, and was completed in 1735. Tailors started to move onto the Row around 1803, when they were primarily constructing suits for military officer and politicians. As more businesses began to set up, the houses were altered to allow more natural light in on the ground floor. The Row got its name from Lady Dorothy Savile, the wife of one of the then estate owners. It was a region highly populated by affluent society, and has kept this air about it for all these years.

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The Row has seen many changes come and go over the years. Some of it was destroyed in World War Two, but was later rebuilt. Many of the original buildings still on the Row have now been heritage listed. Tailoring is a trade that began to lose its way in the 1960’s, due to the introduction of ready to wear clothing labels. In 1969, Nutters of Saville Row was established, to maintain this grand tradition, but to modernise its style and approach. Headed by designers Richard James, Ozwald Boateng, and Timothy Everest, the group fought to keep the Row alive, but introduced new ways to do so.

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There are some famous names who have been regular clients of the Row over the years, including Napoleon 3rd, Prince Charles and Winston Churchill. The Beatles also occupied a space at number three Savile Row that they used as a recording studio. It was here that they recorded the track ‘Let it be’, and their final live performance was staged on the rooftop of number three in January 1969. The term bespoke is believed to have originated on the Row. For a garment to be classified as bespoke, it must primarily be cut and sewn by hand. The restrictions around this term however have been loosened over the years, with bespoke tailoring now allowed to be machine sewn, as long as it is still made to measure. It’s estimated that about fifty hours of hand labor per suit is required to achieve the perfect result.

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Known as the Golden Mile of Tailoring, Savile Row has in recent years seen the resurgence of the traditional tailor back on its streets. In the 1950’s there were roughly forty tailors occupying the Row, including the greats Henry Poole and Co, and Gieves & Hawkes. This number dropped radically in the early noughties to only nineteen businesses. But by 2014, the Row was flourishing again with forty four ateliers on the scene. There is now also a mix of modern eateries scattered along the Row, and some big name department stores have also managed to filter in.

If you ever get the opportunity to have something tailor made for yourself, then it’s a must do! You will never regret the feeling of opulence and pride when wearing a made to measure garment. The fine craftsmanship, the impeccable cut and the unlimited selections that will be present to you is something of bucket list quality. Tailoring is a true form of art and skill, one that must be appreciated and understood by the wearer to reach its ultimate potential. Let’s hope this magnificent tradition is never lost.

Love Always, Anastacia Rose xx


“When a woman smiles, her dress must smile with her” – Vionnet

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The jazz age of the 1920’s was a fabulous time. A time of new found freedom after the restraints of World War One. It was a time to enjoy yourself, to let your hair down and dance the night away to some hot jazz in an underground speakeasy. And it was a time when women’s fashion also became less restrained. For many years women had been forced into the confines of a corset, or many layers of petticoats and folds of fabric. But with new designers like Vionnet on the scene in Paris, women began to know what freedom really felt like! With a much more sleek and flowing style, the 1920’s became an era of progression, with many fringes, beading and tassels ornamenting the much loved flapper style. It was a new modern influence that was oh so fun, and is still seen in fashion today.

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One of the largest contributors in twenties fashion fantasies was Madeleine Vionnet. Born in Chilleurs-aux Bois, France on June 22nd 1876, Vionnet found her feet early in the fashion stakes, and continued to refine her skills until they triumphed in the 1920’s. Not being born into privilege, Vionnet worked hard to earn her place. At only twelve years old, Vionnet was forced into work like many young girls of the era, and began an apprenticeship as a seamstress. She was confident in her work, with natural abilities. By the age of eighteen, Vionnet had been married, and suffered the loss of an infant. After such tragedy, she chose to up and leave her current life, and moved to London in search of a better storyline. Whilst in London, she continued to work as a seamstress, and was fortunate to be employed as an assistant to Court dressmaker Kate Reilly. Reilly was contracted to dress the Royal family, and Vionnet must have learnt tremendously under her guidance. After a few years abroad, Vionnet decided to head back to Paris, which was already becoming the centre of haute couture. She began working for the Callot Soeurs, a famous couture house in Paris, and for the next six years made toiles for all of their innovative designs. Following this success, Vionnet changed scenes and took a position with Jacques Doucet, from 1907 – 1911. By this time, Vionnet was starting to discover her own unique style and way of dressmaking, which didn’t always coincide with that of her employer.

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The following year, amongst the onset of World War One, Vionnet took the brave step of opening her own House. Finally she could design what she wanted. The House was only attainable for two years however, and in 1914, Vionnet had to close the doors. The war had proved too much of an obstacle for many in Paris couture to overcome, with other great designers like Chanel also succumbing to the German advances. Like many, Vionnet fled Paris to safer grounds, and returned after the war was over. In 1920, the House of Vionnet returned to the couture scene, and by 1923, it was so successful that it moved to a larger premises on the famed Avenue Montaigne. Vionnet once again started producing her innovate designs that freed women from their corsets. By 1925, Vionnet had crossed the Atlantic, and opened her first boutique in New York, selling ‘off the peg’ designs to the fashion forward American. Many Hollywood starlets of the time became supporters of this new found luxury brand, including Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Hepburn and Greta Garbo. By 1930, Vionnet was still going strong, with her ingénue techniques of draping and bias cutting largely contributing.

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The bias cut was not something new when Vionnet started showcasing it, but the designer is largely credited with making it so well known. Cut on a forty five degree angle to both the warp and weft of the fabric, the bias techniques allows the fabric to drape and wrap around the models body. Coup en Bias as the French refer to it, is a free flowing style that displays the natural curves of the female form. With such a linear silhouette, the wearer has no need for a corset or petticoat. There is also no stiffeners used to structure the fabric, and no padding is required either. Many of Vionnet’s gowns that encompassed this style also had no requirements for buttons or other fasteners. One could easily slip the ensemble on over your head. Previously the bias technique had only been used on hemlines, but Vionnet started using it to create entire gowns, which is why she had to order her fabrics two yards wider than usual. These fabrics were purchased by the bolt, and consisted of crepe, crepe de chine, gabardine and silk satin.


Vionnet continued to be an innovator over the 1920’s and 1930’s. Other design concepts that can be attributed to Vionnet, and that still appear in fashion today, are the handkerchief hem, the cowl neckline and the halter top. Vionnet was a perfectionist like many of us designers are. She used to create her samples on miniature dolls to ensure the right look before it went onto larger scale production. At the top of her empire, Vionnet employed one thousand staff in over twenty six ateliers. She remained for her entire life, very much a private person. Choosing to complete her work away from her ateliers, Vionnet spent most of her time in her private study. Here she would have her head seamstresses visit her to go over design ideas and options. It was very rare that Madame Vionnet was ever seen in her atelier! Due to the huge success of her new style, it was inevitable that Vionnet had her designs copied. It was a well know trade in the 1920’s that many leading designers had their styles ripped off and sold overseas for a much lower price. Vionnet tried her hardest to stop this from occurring, and would even personally fingerprint all of her garment labels to prove their originality. Vionnet also fought for her workers rights during her reign in fashion. She fought hard to introduce better labor practices and fairer conditions. Health care for her employees was one of her achievements, as too was maternity leave. Dining halls and canteens were first scene in Vionnet’s ateliers before other designs adopted the same benefits for their employees.

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Known in the industry as the “architect among dressmakers”, Vionnet crafted a career full of success. In 1939, once again due to the threat of war, Madame Vionnet closed her House for good. She officially retired in 1940. Having popularised many styles still evident today, Vionnet was a designer of immense talent and charge. The influence of the 1920’s would have been a completely different scene had it not been for Vionnet striving to give women independence and freedom in their fashion choices. The grand couturier passed away at almost one hundred years old, in March 1975. What a legacy she left behind!

Love Always, Anastacia Rose xx

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