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15-10-2007
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1883-1970 Nina Ricci


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Nina Ricci (1883-1970) was an Italian fashion designer.

Born Maria Nielli in Turin, Italy in 1883, she moved to Florence with her family at age 5 and then to France in 1895 at age 12. At the age of 13, she began an apprenticeship at a dressmaker. She continued to pursue her love of fashion throughout her teenage years. She married jeweler Luigi Ricci in 1904, and then became Maria Ricci. They had a child named Robert. In 1908 Nina joined the house of Raffin as a designer and remained there for 20 years. She became his partner, and then moved on to create her own design house in 1932.

The house of Nina Ricci was founded by Maria Ricci and her son Robert in Paris in 1932. Maria was 50, and after working at Raffin for so many years was itching to design her own creations. Madame Ricci designed gowns while Robert managed the business and finances. She worked with the fabrics directly on the mannequin to ensure they had shape once they were finished. Nina Ricci designs soon became known for the refined, romantic, always feminine feeling Maria adds to all of her collections.

In 1945, with the war over, designers were casting about for a way to revive the infatuation women had formerly had with haute couture, while raising money for war relief. Robert Ricci had an idea which Lucien Lelong, President of the Chambre, put into action. Over 150 mannequins from 40 Paris couturiers, including Balenciaga and Madame Gres, were dressed in the labels' best fashions and were placed in an exhibition held at the Louvre, in Paris. After a huge success in Paris it toured Europe and then the USA.

By the early 50s Nina Ricci was nearing 70 and she slowly she ceased to take an active role in design, choosing to just keep an eye on the house. Her son chose the new head designer in 1954, the Belgian Jules-Francois Crahay.

Maria Ricci died on November 30, 1970 at the age of 88.
More biographical information here.

viewimages.com . wikipedia.org

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Last edited by SomethingElse; 15-10-2007 at 01:17 AM.
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15-10-2007
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I love these old articles... it makes me feel like I'm there!

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"Return to Normalcy"

After a first look at the new Paris styles, a veteran U.S. fashion specialist made his critique: "Hooray, they've finally put things—principally the bosom—back where they belong." That they had. At the annual spring fashion showings in Paris last week, the big news from dressmakers was the "return to normalcy."

Gone were the shroudlike lines of the chemise and the rib-pinching high waists of the Empire line. In their place was a natural, gaily colored (mint green, bright red and blue, fuchsia and violet) silhouette with lines round enough to brighten the dullest male eye.

Waists: Down. By tradition (and the essential limitations of design), fashion rings up changes in three areas: hemline, waist and shoulders. For 1959, hemlines and waists are lower. The trend is to nicely bloused tops, wider shoulderlines, sleeves that hover near the elbow level, big collars, plenty of pleats and button-downs—provided the top three buttons stay unbuttoned.

Though there are some eddies of eccentricity among a few designers, e.g., evening dresses with a "hula hoop'' motif, all the big houses have done their best to please the women who last year looked boxy and sexless in sack dresses—and complained about it so loudly that the new trend in bathing suits is the Italian bikini.

Up: Ricci. The loudest cheer was not for Dior, Chanel, Manguin and other big names but for an almost unknown couturier. His collection of neat suits and petite bell-skirted dresses had the buyers raving over "the exciting new house"—and buying. The house is Nina Ricci (pronounced reachy), in business for 27 years in a modest establishment far from the fashionable couture neighborhood. The designer is little (5 ft. 6 in., 154 lbs.), blond Jules-François Crahay, 41, who "merely did what I've been doing all my life." The Paris-trained son of a Belgian dressmaker, he settled at Madame Ricci's after three years of military service and five years in German prison camps had wrecked his own business in Belgium, has been designing clothes ever since. Says Crahay: "Couturiers can make a living only if the ready-to-wear buyers purchase their things; so we have to design for the woman in the street. Isn't it pleasant, after all, that you can make a whole street pretty?" Concentrating on simple morning suits and handsome evening dresses ("I have no use for the afternoon -that hour when women sit together and sip tea"), Crahay splits his styles into X and Y lines: the X with bloused top, narrow waist, padded hips; the Y with wide shoulders and a dizzying décolletage swooping down to the waist. Prices : about $300 for an evening dress, $120 for a daytime dress. The U.S. buyers, who had been wary of last year's styles and had held down buying, were stepping it up again. As Macy's Fashion Coordinator Marjorie Reich said:"Because the clothes are so wearable they'll sell thousands and thousands of a model. I don't think the collections could be better for America."
"Isn't it pleasant, after all, that you can make a whole street pretty?"

time.com published 9 February 1959


Last edited by SomethingElse; 15-10-2007 at 01:29 AM.
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15-10-2007
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edentaylor.com

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03-11-2007
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Same dress as post #3

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Nina Ricci (Italy, 1883 - 1970)
Woman’s Two-Piece Dinner Dress, circa 1938
Costume/clothing principle attire/lower body; Costume/clothing principle attire/upper body, Silk and metallic thread embroidery, beads, and spangles on silk velvet
lacma.org
Attached Images
File Type: jpg M63_46side2.jpg (40.6 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg M63_46.jpg (80.0 KB, 4 views)

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30-12-2007
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Ball gown, laate 1970s or early 80s, labelled, of black wild silk, the boned bodice fastening over one shoulder with a bow and a white organza rose, the stiffened skirt panels adorned with vertical bands of appliquéd black and silver flowerheads adorned with pastes and large crystal beads, over narrow inner skirt of white guipure.




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27-07-2008
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Quote:
Nina Ricci Black Ingenue Dress
French, 1960s
The low waisted body of jersey, long fitted kimono sleeve, creme satin low pointed collar and cuffs, pale pink dressmakers flower at center neck, pleated black taffeta skirt with rows of black velvet ribbon trim at hem, organdy lining, labeled: Nina Ricci Boutique.
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27-07-2008
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wow...this is so beautiful!!!!!!!!!

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28-07-2008
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Quote:
Nina Ricci Metallic Gold Lace Cocktail Dress
French, 1950s
The pleated sleeveless bodice with bateau neckline, sunburst pleated full skirt with self belt, the whole with underlayer of pleated silk chiffon in stripes of turquoise, azure, violet and acid green, with metallic gold lace overlay, labeled: Nina Ricci/Paris.
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11-08-2008
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Quote:
Model Wearing Evening Ensemble from Nina Ricci Collection
Original caption: Tailored flamboyance...Called "Java," this glamorous evening ensemble created by Gerard Pipart for the Nina Ricci Spring 1965 collection shows a suavely-draped abbreviated bodice in black shantung teamed to a tailored long white linen skirt. Over the two-piece evening costume goes a trailing orange linen coat lined in a giant black and white polka dot silk.
Date Photographed: February 12, 1965
Location Information: Paris, France

corbis.com

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Model Posing in Blue Suit with Matching Scarf
Original caption: Paris: The "Tomboy" look presented by Jules Crahay of Nina Ricci is done in Peacock blue shuntug with a short, boyish jacket and straight skirt. The dramatic scarf is striped in green to match the big-brimmed, high-crowned hat.
Date Photographed: 1962
Location Information: Paris, France

corbis.com

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