Fashion Biography

Christian Lacroix, Fashion Designer


Christian Lacroix was born on May 16, 1951 in Arles, France, under the highly symbolic sign of Taurus. He spent his solitary childhood between the Camargue beaches and the Alpilles pine forests, amongst the Gallo Roman ruins and the remnants of the 1944 WWII bombings, attending bullfighting events and theater or opera festivals, immersed in both Provencal and Gypsy traditions, and enjoying museum paintings and attic books. During his adolescence, he discovered a passion for Oscar Wilde and the Beatles" England as well as Barcelona and Venice. He later studied Art History at the University of Montpellier. In 1973, he continued his studies in Paris at both the Sorbonne and the Ecole du Louvre, with the ambition to become a museum curator.

He then met individuals that would influence his destiny : Francoise, his future wife, who introduced him to the secrets of Paris and encouraged him to draw ; Jean Jacques Picart, a press attache and advisor to several Designers and Haute Couture Houses, who found him a job at Hermes in 1978, then with Guy Paulin in 1980.

In 1981, he began working at the Jean Patou House. Here, in collaboration with Jean Jacques Picart, he took up the challenge of Haute Couture, a profession that certain individuals claimed to be on the decline. Season after season, the two designers succeeded in defining the 1980s with their bright colors, extravagance and luxuriance. In 1986, their work was awarded with their first De d"Or, after which they received the Award for the most influential foreign designer, given by the CFDA in New York in January 1987.

In October 2002, together with the presentation of spring summer 2003 collections and the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Couture House, Christian Lacroix received the insignia of Chevalier de la Legion d"Honneur from Mr. Bernard Arnault, Chairman of LVMH.

Today, the Christian Lacroix House boasts approximately 60 points of sale in France (either Christian Lacroix boutiques or sales areas within a department store). Christian Lacroix fashion products and brands are sold in over 1,000 points of sale throughout the world.

2002 : Christian Lacroix is appointed Artistic Director of the Florentine fashion house EMILIO PUCCI (starting at the Milan Fashion Week in October 2002 for the spring summer 2003 collection).

The Christian Lacroix House

At that time Christian Lacroix met Bernard Arnault, who founded the house of CHRISTIAN LACROIX , which is located in a private mansion at 73, rue du Faubourg Saint Honore in Paris. The first collection, in July 1987, highlighted eccentricity in opposition to the minimalism that was then in style. The second collection, in January 1988, was awarded a De d"Or.

In March, 1988, Christian Lacroix created his first ready to wear collection, drawing his inspiration from diverse cultures.

1989 was characterized by his first line of accessories (jewelry, handbags, shoes, glasses, scarves and ties) as well as the opening of boutiques in Paris, Arles, Aix en Provence, Toulouse, London, Geneva and Japan.

In 1994, Christian Lacroix created his Bazar "line, in addition to both his Ready to wear and Haute Couture lines, a collection based more than any other on folklore and historical time periods.

1995 : launch of the CL linen and towel collection, designed in the same spirit, according to which fashion and lifestyle are two sides of the same coin.

1996 : creation of the Jeans "line: a collection that embraces the past, present and future, and was inspired from popular and ethnic arts and traditions throughout the world.

1997 : Creation of the Christian Lacroix Art de la Table "collection in collaboration with the Christofle House.
This same year, he signed a licensing agreement with Pronuptia for the manufacture and distribution of his Christian Lacroix Mariee "line.

1999 : launch of the Christian Lacroix Perfume (floral ambergris).

2000 : launch of a silver and semiprecious stone jewelry line, which completed his novelty accessories.

2001 : A Christian Lacroix children"s wear line was launched.

2002 : Launch of the Bazar perfume for woman and men.

2003 : Christian Lacroix has been selected by Air France to design the company"news uniforms.

2004 : launch of a Lingerie Collection & launch of the Christian Lacroix menswear line

Theater, Opera and Illustration

In addition to his ongoing preoccupation with current fashions, style and the future, Christian Lacroix continues to draw as well as create costumes for stage productions.
1987 : Tarnished Angels "for Karol Armiatge at the Paris Opera.
1988 : La Ga”te Parisienne "for Mikha‘l Baryshnikov at the Metropolitan Opera in New York
1989 : Carmen "at the N”mes arena.
1990 : he illustrated a book written by Patrick Mauries called Pele Mele ".
1992 : L"as tu revue "at the Opera Comique.
1994, he collaborated with Patrick Mauries a second time, drawing illustrations for his book Styles d"Aujourd"hui "
1994 : Les Caprices de Marianne "for Lambert Wilson at the Bouffes du Nord.
1995 : Othello "at the The‰tre 14.
1995 : Phedre "at the Comedie Francaise, for which he was given a Moliere "award for best costume designer.
1996 : Le Journal d"une Collection ", an in depth study of the complex creation of Haute Couture collections
1997 : Don Juan "by Montherlant at the The‰tre de Nantes and Les Enfants du Paradis "at the The‰tre du Rond Point.
1997 and 1998 : La Valse des Bonbons "and Le Beau Danube Bleu ", ballets for the New Year in Wienna. Balanchine"s Theme and variation at the Vienna Opera.
1999 : Les Enfants du Paradis "for Juliette Binoche and Beno”t Magimel in Diane Kurys" film. Cindarella and the Ballet for the New Millenium with the Vienna Opera.
2000 : created the sign for the La Beaute en Avignon exposition, commissioned by the Mission 2000 in France, placed under the authority of the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
2000 : Christian Lacroix decorated the first new TGV Mediterranean train, 8 decorated "cars, designed and presented as Haute Couture dresses.
2000 : stage decors and ballet costumes for Les Joyaux by Balanchine, at the Opera Garnier.
2001 : Berenice by Racine, directed by Lambert Wilson, with Kristin Scott Thomas and Didier Sandre (Avignon Theatre Festival Chaillot Theatre/Paris).
2001 : Ballet Sheherazade by Bianca Li at the Opera de Paris.
2003 : Il Re Pastore "by Mozart, directed by Vincent Boussard, The‰tre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels.
2004 : Eliogabalo "by Francesco Cavalli, directed by Vincent Boussard, The‰tre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels.
2004 : Creation of a corset for Madonna for her Re Invention World Tour 2004 ".
2005 : Illustration of the cover and the headlines for the centenary edition of the Petit Larousse Illustre "dictionary.

Activities and Brands

Mediterranean, curious, contemporary : Christian Lacroix is a man firmly entrenched in his era, who views the past with tenderness and admiration, fully devours the present and imagines the future with a kaleidoscopic spirit. Highly influenced by contemporary art, today Christian Lacroix designs his creations using a more graphic and pure style.

Haute Couture :
A perpetual creation, an explosion of colors, the chance to be fully free in his designs and to create totally unique pieces.
Ready to wear :
Weaving, crossing and combining colors are the key words that best describe these collections. The inspiration for his clothing is drawn from numerous provencial, ethnic and baroque styles, portraying newly found femininity and intimate luxury. He loves to mix and match all different styles and fabrics. His ready to wear lines are vivacious, created in emblematic colors.
Bazar :
A fully unique collection that is based on concepts of mismatching and zapping, between jeans and luxury ready to wear styles.
Jeans :
Lacroix"s jeans are an unexpected paradox. Jeans can be seen everywhere. They are universal and will remain one of the emblematic articles of clothing of the 20th century. Lacroix has chosen to personalize them, not change them.
Accessories :
With each new collection, Lacroix creates accessories that reflect the season"s designs. Leather goods, jewelry, glasses, scarves and shoes are all essential elements that must not be dissociated from the clothing. His jewelry, floral or abstract, is the inspiration of his fantasies. His shoes offer the finishing touch for women"s legs, lengthening them, with their frequent high heels. Playful and vivacious, his handbags twirl around the feminine silhouette.
Table Art :
Highly attached to the Home decor, Christian Lacroix has created his Table Art collections that combine his likes, his taste for the unexpected and his talent for mixing and matching materials and colors. Similarly to fashion, I like to combine time periods with the concepts of baroque and simplicity ".
Bridal wear
This wedding gown line reflects poetry and audacity, humor and blissfulness.
Children"s wear
The children"s line for girls ages 0 to 16, reflects energy and freshness. As fully expected, the collection is joyful, audacious and colorful, as well as perfectly apt and specialized. Christian Lacroix certainly did not create this line as a miniature woman"s line. This collection was made specially for children.
Perfume :
Name : Christian Lacroix
Creation date : 1999
Bottle : this bottle is dedicated to the sea, close to his native Camargue. Inspired by the Biot glass factory, this shell is in the shape of a glass conch.
Packaging : an allusion to Haute Couture, the case is covered in red fabric. The central embossing, with its theatrical interpretation, elegantly reflects Arles and its monuments.

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