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Cassandra Gero

Futurism was an Italian art movement that defined modernity as motion, speed and dynamism. It began in 1909 with the first manifesto about the Futurist aesthetic and included such artists as Umberto Boccioni, Luigi Russolo, Carlo Carrà and Giacomo Balla. Futurists believed that the same principles that informed their art should extend to the clothing they made for themselves and promoted for everyone else through their writing. They embraced fashion and believed it to be an art form as it suited several of their ideals: promoting the new and discarding the old, blurring the line between art and industry and providing the opportunity to make both social and aesthetic statements. The Futurists did not envision clothes that would last for years, indeed the ideal Futurist fashion would be fleeting. This built-in obsolescence would require constant creativity on the part of the designer, provide novelty to the wearer and help to stimulate the Italian economy. Futurist colours were bright, bold and clashing—joyful but at the same time aggressive. Fabrics were sometimes metallic and shimmering, often with patterns juxtaposing geometric forms. Futurist clothing was light, breathable and offered the wearer freedom of movement. Gone were symmetry, harmony, logic, order and tradition. Jackets were asymmetric with changeable shapes. Shoes were sometimes unmatched. The Futurists were out to shock and even annoy people, and free them from what they viewed as stuffy traditions....

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Amy Widmayer

(b Strasbourg, 1948).

French fashion designer. A daring, avant-garde designer, Mugler is best known for his futuristic, body-conscious and sexually charged collections, his theatrical catwalk shows and his popular fragrance, Angel. Born in the Alsace-Lorraine region of eastern France, as a child he studied at the Ecole supérieure des Arts décoratifs de Strasbourg and, at the age of 14, while still a student, joined the corps de ballet of the Opéra National du Rhin. Mugler’s experience as a dancer taught him about the importance of the body in relation to clothing, in particular the shoulders and legs.

In 1968, at the age of 20, Mugler moved to Paris, first taking a job as a window-dresser and shortly afterward as the assistant designer at Gudule, a trendy boutique on the Rue de Buci. Wanting to explore other opportunities, he moved to London the following year where he designed for André Peters and between 1970...

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Cassandra Gero

[ Rabaneda y Cuervo, Francisco ]

(b Pasagés de San Pedro, Feb 18, 1934).

Spanish-born, Paris-based fashion designer. Along with Pierre Cardin and André Courrèges , Rabanne was considered one of the Futurists in Paris fashion in the mid-1960s who revolutionized and challenged the haute couture fashion. He experimented with new materials, making dresses from plastic discs and wire.

Rabanne was born in the Basque region of Spain. His mother had worked for Cristobal Balenciaga in the 1920s. Rabanne originally trained as an architect at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, but he admired the freedom that designing fashion allowed. In the 1950s, he began to design buttons, embroideries and fashion accessories for couture houses, eventually making jewellery for Christian Dior and metal belts and headpieces for Hubert de Givenchy .

Rabanne’s first fashion collection, entitled ‘12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials’, premiered in Paris on 1 February 1966. The dresses were made from Rhodoid plastic discs held together by metal links. The models walked barefoot, since Rabanne could not afford to provide them with shoes. Critics in Paris, the centre of couture, were appalled by the show. However, the collection was received quite well by American journalists and buyers, and Rabanne quickly became a media darling in the United States....