Thursday, 11 April 2013

Elegance is a state of mind













Oleg Cassini’s designs for Jaqueline Kennedy - "The Jackie Look" - were described by none other than the great Hollywood costumier Edith Head as the "single biggest fashion influence in history".

Alex Witchel in the The New York Times described him thus: "His name has always suggested glamour, champagne, polo ponies, a box at the opera, he was married to a movie star, and engaged to Grace Kelly before she became a princess. The son of Russian aristocrats banished to Europe after the revolution...he designs clothes that betray a lifelong ache for lost grandeur, there is about him in every gesture from knocking ash from his cigar to straightening his tie an echo of old world distinction."

Mr Cassini - whose first wife was that great style icon Gene Tierney, and among whose other myriad clients were Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable, Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood and Gina Lollobrigida - was the fashionista behind such fashions as the A-line skirt, Sheath dress and Empire Strapless gown.

It is his centenary, and even now, on the catwalks of the 21st century, his influence is everywhere.

"Fashion anticipates, and elegance is a state of mind... a mirror of the time in which we live, a translation of the future, and should never be static."

Oleg Cassini (11th April 1913 – 17th March 2006)

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