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Lourdes Font

(b Bourne, Lincs, Oct 13, 1825; d Paris, March 10, 1895)

English-born French dress designer ( see fig. ). Considered the founding father of haute couture, Worth is also remembered as couturier to the Empress Eugénie (1826–1920) during the Second Empire. A fabric salesman turned fashion designer, and a man in what had been a woman’s profession, Worth sought to elevate dressmaking to the status of art.

Worth was born into a middle-class family in northern England. His education was interrupted by the age of 13, when he began an apprenticeship at a dry-goods store in London. Dry-goods stores sold textiles, fashion accessories and some ready-to-wear and custom-made clothing. Worth worked as a salesman at two stores, Swan & Edgar and Lewis & Allenby, the latter suppliers to Queen Victoria. Around 1846 he left for Paris and found employment at A la Ville de Paris, one of the city’s magasins de nouveautés, equivalent to London’s dry-goods stores. Around 1848...


Pamela Roskin

(b Yokohama, Oct 3, 1943).

Japanese fashion designer ( see fig. ). Yamamoto’s influential designs combined traditional Japanese silhouettes with notions of architectural forms and impeccable tailoring. The collections from the designer’s early years were often in dark, muted colours and featured unstructured oversized layers that evoked the uncut philosophy of the Japanese kimono. Later in his career, he incorporated splashes of bright colour into his pieces.

Yamamoto’s father, a soldier, died in World War II. His mother was a seamstress. Yamamoto received a degree in law in 1966 before graduating in 1969 from the Bunkafukuso Gakuin, a prestigious Tokyo fashion school. That same year he won two fashion design awards, the So-en and Endo. He then lived in Paris for two years where he became familiar with European ideals in fashion. The juxtaposition of high style amidst the French student riots, anti-war protests and the women’s rights movement had a profound effect on his work. In an interview with ...