Fashion Flashback: We Miss You Dear Friends

The fashion industry experienced huge losses in 2022. From Andre Leon Talley to Issey Miyake to Vivienne Westwood, 2022 was a year that several fashion luminaries transitioned to another spiritual plane. These fashion luminaries helped change the industry.

Fashion Reverie understands and puts into practice honoring those fashion groundbreakers who have paved the way for many of us. This roundup celebrates those fashion luminaries who have given so much to the fashion industry. May their memory forever burn bright!!

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Andre Leon Talley

No fashion personality has caused consumers to stop, listen, and consider their personal style more than Andre Leon Talley. From his fashion commentary to his wit and personality on “America’s Next Top Model” to his unique analogy of haute couture fashion, fashion editor extraordinaire Andre Leon Talley proved that aspirational fashion could be accessible. His extensive fashion knowledge served the publications that employed him well, from his early career at Warhol’s Interview magazine to his tenure at French Vogue to his last posts at Vogue stateside. Talley’s witty repartee and animated commentary is missed.

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Vivienne Westwood

When fashion designers of her ilk were beginning to bow to corporate entities, Vivienne Westwood remained an independent entity inspired by Great Britain’s rebellious youth culture of the 1970’s. For five decades Westwood merged what was going on in the street (new wave and punk fashion) with aspirational fashion. And she was one of the few popular fashion designers that understood that fashion has a voice and can be a commentary on political and social movements.

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Issey Miyake

From starting his own fashion company in Japan in 1970 to continuing in the fashion industry in his 80s, Issey Miyake has continuously combined technology with innovative, fashion-forward designs. Known for geometric and architectural collections, Miyake in the 80s began to experiment with pleating.

In the 90s, Miyake was one of the first fashion designers to collaborate with artists. His Guest Artists series created an interactive relationship between fashion and people who love art. These collaborations produced what came to be known as wearable art.

Issey Miyake died from cancer in August of 2022.

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Elsa Klensch

If you are old enough to remember CNN’s “Style with Elsa Klensch,” you look forward to Klensch distillation on fashion every Saturday morning for more than 20 years. Klensch produced and hosted the 30-minute show, and “Style with Elsa Klensch” was broadcast into 142 countries with 2.5 million viewing households in the US.

Based in New York City, Klensch traveled to the major fashion capitals of the world, reporting on fashion weeks, and style in all the major global fashion centers. It was estimated that the show had 200 million viewers worldwide.

Klensch chose to leave CNN in 2001, two years before the end of her contract. In later years she wrote mystery novels. Klensch died on March 4, at the age of 92.

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Patrick Demarchelier

“Call Patrick.” Do you remember Miranda Priestly yelling that instruction in “Devil Wears Prada”? Of course, you do!

Though born in France, Patrick Demarchelier started his fashion career in New York City in 1975. And though he is best known for his photographic portraits of Princess Diana, Demarchelier was a highly respected fashion photographer working for Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Vogue, Mademoiselle, and Glamour.

Demarchelier has shot fashion campaigns for Dior, Tommy Hilfiger, TAG Heuer, Chanel, Donna Karan, Yves Saint Laurent, Carolina Herrera, Vera Wang, Zara, Louis Vuitton, Celine, Lacoste, Calvin Klein, Moschino, Blumarine, Longchamps, Ralph Lauren, and many others. In 2007 he was made an Officer of the Arts and Literature by the French Minister of Culture.

Demarchelier died in March 2022. He was 78.

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Thierry Mugler

When sexy, vixen, in-your-face fashion comes to mind, constructed to show off feminine curves, there I no need to look any further than Thierry Mugler. With the advent of era of supermodels, no other luxury designers showed off their skill in the runway than Thierry Mugler.

Mugler originally started his professional life as a ballet dancer, soon after he designed clothing for London boutiques and the French fashion house Karim. Mugler designed his first collection, “Café de Paris” in 1973 and in 1978 he opened his first boutique at the Place de Victoires.

In the 1980s and 90s, Mugler was known for his very structured women’s suits. His collections were a commercial success. However, by 2003, Mugler’s company was having significant financial losses.

Mugler left the fashion industry in the early 2000s while keeping his fragrance brands on the market. “Fashion is beautiful, 3-D art on a human being. But it wasn’t enough, which is why I went on to create in other ways. For me, it wasn’t the right tool anymore. But perfume still interests me,” explained Mugler.

Though Mugler’s fashion brand continues under various creative directors, Mugler moved on to other creative ventures including creating stage costumes for Beyonce’s “I am … World Tour.” Mugler died of natural causes on January 23, 2022.

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Roxanne Lowit

After a successful career working as a textile designer in the early 1970s, working with Donna Karan, Lowit began photographing the backstage goings on at New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week with her 110 Instamatic camera.  “I paint and there were people who I wanted to sit for me but had no time, so I started taking pictures of them. I liked the gratification of getting the instant image, so I traded in my paintbrushes for a camera,” detailed Lowit.

Lowit was one of the first photographer to photograph Yves Saint Laurent’s backstage and have the images published. Because of this Lowit formed a lasting relationship with Yves Saint Laurent. “I think the most memorable for me was when I was his photographer for 25 Years [of Design] at the Met,” she told W at the time. “It was the first time anybody did something for a living designer, and I was his personal, private photographer for the whole thing. My feet didn’t touch the ground the whole two weeks. We just had this wonderful rapport together, we liked being in each other’s company and we liked each other. From day one it was like that.”

Lowit popularized backstage images from the global era of Fashion Week. And her images of supermodels for the golden age of fashion will never be forgotten.

Lowit died on September 13, 2022. Roxanne Lowit was 80 years old.

William S. Gooch





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