Fast French Fashion Facts For Bastille Day

14th Jul 2012 / By Jillian Dauer
Bastille Day Feature Image

Happy Bastille Day, francophones! In honor of France’s Fete Nationale, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14, 1789, (starting the French Revolution), I decided to pay homage to some of the country’s most influential fashion houses. Similar to our 4th of July holiday, the French celebrate this occasion with such patriotic festivities as fireworks and a military parade (the oldest and largest in Europe!) on Paris’ famed Champs-Elysees avenue. But enough about tradition. Let’s break out the champagne and say ‘Salut‘ to these iconic designers.


Founded: December 16, 1946

He Should Have Been: A diplomat

Signature Style: Voluptuous shapes and silhouettes that flare out from the waist to enhance women’s curves.

Name Game: He called his first collection Corolle. Translation: Circle of flower petals.

Quote: “I have designed flower women.”

Current Creator: Raf Simons



Founded: 1854

Leader Of The Pack: World’s most valuable luxury brand for seven consecutive years (2006-2012)

Revolutionary: First designer to create flat-bottom trunks made of trianon canvas. They were airtight, lightweight and stackable – ideal for travel.

Take A Hike: He moved to Paris from his hometown of Jura, France, in 1835. The journey was 250 miles. He made it on foot.

Signature Style: Brand’s iconic monogram

Current Creator: Marc Jacobs



Founded: 1962

Claim To Fame: Introduced the tuxedo suit for women – Le Smoking

Revolutionary: First designer to use ethnic models in his runway shows

Small World: He was the head designer of Christian Dior at age 21

Trend Maker: Popularized the ‘beatnik’ look, safari jackets, tight pants and thigh high boots

Current Creator: Hedi Slimane



Founded: 1952

Signature Style: Modern and ladylike

Claim To Fame: Designed Audrey Hepburn’s on- and off-screen wardrobe

In The Driver’s Seat: Ford offered a Givenchy edition of its Continental Mark luxury cars from 1976-1983.

Current Creator: Riccardo Tisci



Founded: 1909

Like Mother, Like Daughter: Rich folks noticed the beautiful clothes she made for her daughter and ordered similar dresses for themselves and their children.

Signature Style: Intricate trimmings, virtuoso embroideries, beaded decorations in pastel colors

Current Creator: Alber Elbaz



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