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Special Features Index  

 
Spotlight Fashion Design and Designers
 
  Fashion The association between homosexuality and Fashion is multifaceted, ranging from the role of clothes as signifiers of sexual orientation to the immense contributions gay men have made at all levels of the fashion industry.  
 
 
  Sir Hardy Amies (1909-2003) was official dress maker to the Queen of England for 48 years. He was known for his restrained, conservative, but beautifully tailored suits and dresses.  
 
 
  Giorgio Armani Giorgio Armani (b. 1934) is an Italian fashion designer who has made his name synonymous with sophisticated and elegant fashion, but even as he achieved spectacular success in business, he suffered the grievous loss of his partner from complications of AIDS.  
 
 
  Cristóbal Balenciaga (1895-1972) is the best known Spanish fashion designer and is regarded as a master of twentieth-century fashion.  
 
 
  Leigh Bowery Leigh Bowery (1961-1994) was a club host, fashion designer, face about town, and artists' muse who transformed his body into a centerpiece of his performance art.  
 
 
  Ossie Clark (1942-1996) helped define the fashion mood of 1960s London.  
 
 
  Christian Dior (1905-1957) was a French designer who revitalized haute couture after World War II, creating luxurious designs characterized by a feminine classic elegance.  
 
 
  Dolce and Gabbana logo Dolce and Gabbana is an Italian luxury fashion house founded by business partners Domenico Dolce (b. 1958) and Stefano Gabbana (b. 1962). The design duo are known for their sexy, glamorous women's clothing and sharp men's tailoring, all of which embody a distinctively southern Italian feel.  
 
 
  Perry Ellis (1940-1986) was an American fashion designer who achieved spectacular success based on his clean-cut, casual, yet often whimsical designs. His career was cut short by his early death, rumored to have been the result of complications from AIDS.  
 
 
  Erté (Romain de Tirtoff, 1892-1990), one of the most innovative designers of the twentieth century, created striking Art Deco fashion designs.  
 
 
  Tom Ford Tom Ford (b. 1961) is an American-born fashion designer who worked as creative director at both Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. The multi-talented designer also directed A Single Man (2009), a film based on Christopher Ishwerwood's 1964 novel.  
 
 
  John Galliano (b. 1960) is a British fashion designer whose highly theatrical style probably reflects his personal style as an openly gay man.  
 
 
  Jean-Paul Gaultier Jean-Paul Gaultier (b. 1952) incorporates elements of gay style into his clothes that typically fuse classic fashion with unconventional elements and challenge traditional notions of masculinity.  
 
 
  Costumes designed by Rudi Gernreich Rudi Gernreich (1922-1985) is associated particularly with the 1960s fashion revolution, and was one of the great modernists of fashion design, making his clothes futuristic both technically and stylistically.  
 
 
  Halston (Roy Halston Frowick, 1932-1990), the first international fashion superstar, was a master of cut, detail, and finish. He dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women including Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, and Bianca Jagger.  
 
 
  Sir Norman Hartnell Norman Hartnell (1901-1979) served as official dress maker to Queen Elizabeth II, the late Queen Mother, and occasionally, Queen Mary. He is best known for the intricately and lavishly decorated gowns he created for the royal family.  
 
 
  Calvin Klein (b. 1942) is an American designer who has created an extraordinarily successful fashion empire through his simple and elegant designs and his skilful employment of provocative advertising campaigns that are saturated with homoeroticism.  
 
 
  Marie Laurençin Marie Laurençin (1883-1956) is best known as a painter and portraitist, but she also designed costumes and sets for the Ballets Russes.  
 
 
  Costumes by William Ivey Long William Ivey Long (b. ca 1947) is among the most prolific and respected contemporary costume designers in America. In 2002, he developed a well-received ready-to-wear women's fashion line with partner Wendy Wasserstein, but the project died because of production and manufacturing problems.  
 
 
  Alexander McQueen Alexander McQueen (1969-2010), the youngest designer to achieve the coveted "British Designer of the Year" award, was a fashion innovator and provocateur.  
 
 
  Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008) is one of the seminal fashion designers of our era. He not only created a venerable fashion empire, but has also inspired many other designers.  
 
 
  Set and Costume Design for film and stage are fields that have often attracted gay men and lesbians. Some of the costume designers of Hollywood's Golden Age were considered on a par with world class couturiers and fashion designers and had a palpable influence on public taste.  
 
 
  Willi Smith (1948-1987) has been called "the most successful black designer in fashion history."  
 
 
  Versace home in Miami Gianni Versace (1946-1997) was renowned not only for his lavish tailoring and frequently ostentatious body-hugging garments, but also for his exuberant personal taste. Though some predicted that the house of Versace would die after the designer was murdered at his home in Miami, Florida, it continues to thrive.  
 
 
 

 
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