Fashion Flashback: Herve L. Leroux

                             Image courtesy of harpersbazaar.com/Getty Images

Fashion Reverie looks back at Herve L.Leroux. Herve L. Leroux passed away at the age of 60 on October 9, 2017. Herve L. Leroux became a household for creating the ‘bandage’ dress which was worn in the early 90s and through out his fashion career by celebrities ranging from Beyonce, Rihanna, Serena Williams, and Carmen Electra to Kim Kardashian, Victoria Justice, and Paris Hilton. Additionally, a slew of models from Jessica White, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to Miranda Kerr, Karen Mulder, and Kate Upton have donned the ‘bandage’ dress.Born in the northern French town of Bapaume, Herve Peugnet started his career as a hairdresser doing hair backstage for Chloe fashion shows in the late 1970s. Leger started his fashion career making handbags and hats for Tan Giudicelli. Later, Leger secured an assistant designer job with Karl Lagerfeld for Chloe, and later at Chanel. Leger also worked as a freelance designer for Lanvin and Diane von Furstenberg, as well as designing accessories for Daniel Swarovski and shoes at Charles Jourdan.

Herver Leger launched his label in 1985, creating the iconic ‘bandage’ dress in 1990. Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune called Herve Leger’s early collections a “recipe for the Nineties.” And that Leger “molded his fabric to the female form, rather than draping and cutting it.”

                                                      Images courtesy of lollipuff.com

“The story of the dress is a very simple one,” Mr. Leroux said in a New York Times article. “Before I started making clothes, I was a hairdresser, then a hat maker. One day in a factory I found some bands that were headed for the garbage. They gave me the idea of taking those bands and putting them next to one another as one does making a hat.”In 1998, Leger’s company was acquired by Los Angeles–based company BCBG Max Azria. Leger lost control of his company and the commercial use of his name in the late 1990s and founded his independently owned couture house, Herve L. Leroux in 2000 with his atelier still located at the Rue de Jacob in Paris.

                            2013 Herve Leger Paris exhibit courtesy of nytimes.com

There has been much debate over Leger creating the ‘bandage’ dress with Herve Leger giving credit to American ex-patriate Charles James creating the first commercially manufactured ‘bandage’ in the early 1950s. Leger claimed that the ‘bandage’ dress goes back to antiquity with Cleopatra wearing one of the first ‘bandage’ dress.From 2004–2006 Herve Leger was the creative director of the French couture house Guy Laroche, dressing Hilary Swank for the 2005 Academy Awards Hilary Swank in a memorable backless midnight-blue jersey gown. Leger showed his collection in 2013 during the Paris couture shows after a 12-year absence.

Herve L. Leroux apparently died from a brain aneurysm.

—Staff

 

 

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