Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fashion quotes and tips from the Master

Half the women in this country should throw away their girdles. Unless a woman has a really bad body, there's no excuse for that elastic girdling and feather boning. It gives a staid, stiff unnatural look. It's time for women's bodies to look like women's bodies. Women don't have to be all pinched in and squeezed tight. A woman can be completely covered yet you get an idea of what's going on underneath. - April 1952

If a woman doesn't like what she is wearing, she won't look good no matter how smart or chic the outfit might be. She will feel uneasy and uncomfortable and it will show in her posture. She'll slump and slouch. Women who buy something merely because it is fashionable, even though they don't think much of the style, are making a great mistake. Clothes make the woman but, more importantly, a woman makes the clothes. If a girl is really enthusiastic about a dress, she displays that pride in the way she wears it. her exuberance lends a special quality to the gown She is sold on its beauty and she manages to sell the same idea to all who see her. - May 1953

I make all of my models in size 16. It's too easy to make an attractive size 8. If I can do it in a 16, the 8 will take care of itself." - July 1957

Clothes for the majority are camouflage. Showing up the the better parts of a figure and concealing the little faults almost every woman has. There is no figure that can't wear clothes -- to a point. - February 1958

It's not always that they are temperamental,but many of them wore a style 20 years ago that they insist upon wearing today and it is just not for them -- anymore. I've seen some actresses stand in front of a mirror for three hours just trying different scarves on a dress, to hide a wrinkle in their neck. And then some of them just don't have good taste and this you can't do a thing about. - February 1958

I insist my clothes be feminine and deliberately attractive. A small waist-line should be shown - not hidden. A woman's curves should be tastefully suggested-not flaunted. The ultimate for any designer is to achieve the perfect marriage of design and fabric. - October 1959

Fabric determines the personality of a dress. - September 1960

If the dress is right to begin with, it can be scaled down to fit any figure - March 1961

When you know the big eye of the camera is looking at you, you concentrate on the line first. - March 1961

When I get away from the competitive world of fashion, all my old ideas are washed out of my system. And when I come back, without hardly know it, I star with a new approach. - February 1962

Every woman should take time to look through clothes racks carefully, try on different silhouettes and avoid fashion ruts. Some of the very best dresses in my collections do worst in the store because they don't have hanger appeal. Sometimes I end up not selling my favorite creation. - February 1962

I like to believe that every dress I design encourages the woman who wears it to look her best. The woman of today leads a demanding active life, but she is also very fashionable. There must be a real progress in design, a really fresh approach to please her. - September 1963

I use a dummy, padded at the hip and breast. That way I can produce a collection so varied that there is something in it for almost every woman. If I were working with a live girl, the dress would be for her only. - February 1965

I won't ruin a design to sell a dress. - February 1965

The days of beads and spangles is over. Formality in dress should compliment true femininity with dignity and grace, light fluid lines and classic beauty. - August 1965

A well-dressed, well-groomed woman creates an illusion of perfection because no woman has an absolutely perfect face and figure. But wherever liens are in proportion to the figure and created to enhance it and the character of the gown is in tune with that of the owner's good taste, the whole effect is one of subtle beauty. If a dress doesn't do this for a woman, it can cost thousand and still be worthless to her. - December 1965

Elegance is never static. - March 1966

I like totally opaque stockings worn with short clothes. The shorter the length, the more covered you must be -- to be a lady. I firmly believe that women should be feminine and beautiful -- but always ladies. - September 1967

I quit designing for movies eight years ago because I tired of trying to dress Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell and Betty Grable to reveal as much as possible to make them sexy and exciting--and still pass the censors. Now nobody worries about the censors. - May 1968

I admire Donald Brooks, Galanos is one of the great designers. Donald is groovy...Trigere is magnificent. - September 1968

A woman has to be a person of changeable moods--like a cat. That's why I like cats; they're unpredictable. People say to me: 'Why don't you get a dog?' A dog is in a rut. He always does the same thing when you praise him--wags his tail. - September 1969

Free thought, or uninhibited thought, will do more for moment than all the dress designers in the world. That's why I like what the kids are doing today. They're as changeable and uncertain as cats. If a woman can put on all kinds of affectations and get away with it--all the way emulating Cleopatra to slave girl to Mme. Pompadour, depending on the occasion and what she's trying to get away with--it means she's returning to her own form of purely feminine ways to make herself appealing to men. She's abandoning business competition to the males and this is what we need. You'll see a lot of women happier when they start acting and looking the way men are supposed to act and look...the female of the species, uncertain, unpredictable, never the same, always changing in mood, clothes, attitude. It's a feminine approach that drove me crazy for centuries. - September 1969

Nudity has about run its course. We wear clothes for one reason now--to become more interesting. If you show everything, you've had it. Most women know that so far as men are concerned, secrecy is the thing. With nudity, allure vanishes. There's no need for perfume to heighten the chase. Nudity isn't disgusting, merely tiresome. - September 1969

It's an old rule that mystery, not diamonds, is a girl's best friend. - September 1969

Pretty clothes are what women want and they will pay for well-constructed, beautiful clothes. - November 1970

The body has to be clothed to be really seductive. - November 1970

We designers have opened the world to women to be beautiful in many ways. You can be completely different woman wearing the full print skirt with lace bodice and curly hair one night and the next wear the bias crepe evening gown with slicked-back hair. - March 1971

When I left here in 1971, no one needed chiffon. No one needed to be pretty. Now it's the reverse. L.A is one of the few markets that offers pretty clothes. - January 1976

Paris women in general have dirty hair and their applied color is often inconsistent. Maybe I'm fussy but I like hair that is soft, silky and clean... - June 1978

I get amused by the press and all the references to unconstructed clothes. I think they mean soft clothes. Believe me, those bias-cuts are constructed. There are twelve pattern pieces in the simplest of styles. But I love it because it means we're back to honest-to-God dressmaking. - August 1977

A bias-cut gown with long sleeves and a high neck-line is the sexist style there is. - October 1981

Fashion is so diverse, I'd have no customers if I didn't have my own signature style.There isn't one big fashion statement now. No one can say a woman is wrong to wear minis or mid-calf lengths, square shoulders or puff shoulders, ruffles or no ruffles. - March 1982

Keep it simple. The less you spend on an outfit, the simpler it should be. - March 1982

There's nothing better than seeing a woman with a gorgeous complexion, red lips and a simple black dress. - March 1982

Don't draw it if you can't drape it. There is more to design than producing an exciting beautiful sketch. You must be able to drape it into reality. (advice to fashion students) - May 1983

I get my ideas by going away from my work. - March 1984

Femininity is the biggest weapon a woman can have. - September 1987

Glamour is projection. It has to come from inside. It takes more than just a body. The old time movie stars were coached day and night. They were trained in classes for all kinds of makeup, hair, dancing, elocution, singing....And they were told, 'You are beautiful. When Joan Crawford pulled into the studio with her white Cadillac convertible filled with poodles, you knew that was a star! She was glamorous. Authority. Power. It's a shame there's no inside buildup today. - June 1990

Designing is the same as drawing. It's all lines. - September 1990

My kind of clothes weren't needed. It was a bad scene for women. (referring to 1970s hiatus.) - September 1990

My clothes reflect my love for women. I want women to be pretty. That's how I dressed Marilyn. She was totally covered, not revealed. In all of the films Marilyn has done, she has never been vulgar in clothes. - September 1990

I won't go see them. I don't like to see their fashions. I have no interest. I get my ideas by going away from fashion. (referring other designer's shows) - September 1990

Ladies grab me and ask, 'Do you like what I'm wearing?' I love being with people who take me as I am. - September 1990

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