Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jacques Tiffeau -- Master of Modernism

While reviewing the gowns worn to the Academy Awards I realized that there's nothing more attention getting than elegant simplicity. (Case in point, Angelina Jolie) Some designers just get it. According to Diana Vreeland, Jacques Tiffeau was "in tune" with designs that created heightened visual impact based on color, cut and design. Jacques Tiffeau (1927-1988) was one of the more popular designers in the heyday of the miniskirt. His design to the left (a vintage 1960's pattern from McCall's) is stunningly simple. It's constructed of six panels with a bias fold-over collar, pockets in the side seam line and a zipper in the back center seam line. Plain and simple, yet modern , easy and elegant. He said, "The secret of good clothes is to keep taking off, simplifying, trimming down—yet to capture the shape of the human body." As tastes changed in the 1970s Tiffeau was accused of merely "rehashing" his old styles and was never again able to regain the spotlight. He ended his days quietly as a fashion design instructor.

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