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05-09-2010
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1990-1992 Lanvin Haute Couture by Claude Montana
Claude Montana's tenure at the House of Lanvin was short-lived -- it spanned just two years and consisted of only five Haute Couture collections. But during that two-year period, Montana was awarded the prestigious Golden Thimble Award ("Le Dé d'Or") two consecutive times.
His designs for Lanvin had an aesthetic that was elegant, austere, and futuristic, similar to the designs from his own label.

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26 Jul 1990, Paris, France --- French designer Claude Montana displays his women's haute couture line for Lanvin at the 1990-1991 Autumn-Winter fashion show in Paris. He his holding the Golden Thimble award, which he won for his creations.


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31 Jan 1991, Paris, France --- Bernadette Chirac (L) presents French fashion designer Claude Montana (2nd from the R) with the Golden Thimble Award, or "Le Dé d'Or". Bernadette Chirac is the wife of French Prime Minister, and later President, Jacques Chirac. Carla Bruni (R) modeled Montana's haute couture collection for the Lanvin fashion house during the spring-summer 1991 fashion show in Paris.



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05-09-2010
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There was a time, in the Eighties, when the technical skill and futuristic beauty with which Claude Montana constructed his clothes was so widely admired and so influential that Mr Yves Saint Laurent himself considered the young designer his obvious heir: the new king of Paris couture. Indeed, during that decade Christian Dior approached him with a view to taking over at the house; but it was Lanvin who secured him as their couturier, where he became the first and only designer to win the Golden Thimble, haute couture's most prized award, two years in a row. By this point, Montana's own menswear and womenswear had already defined the severe, powerful, angular silhouette of broad shoulders and a high, narrow waist that dominated the early Eighties. In those days, Montana ruled Paris -- and, therefore, the entire world of fashion at its highest end.
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The Eighties were a period of triumph for Claude Montana; but as he says, "You can't really be a designer without doing couture."
Christian Dior approached him in the late Eighties with a view to him taking over after the shock dismissal of Marc Bohan from the house, but Montana declined; he was too busy with his own label at the time, he said, and they wanted him to look after ready-to-wear as well as haute couture, which didn't interest him. The job went to Gianfranco Ferré instead, in 1989. By then, the house of Lanvin was in talks with Montana, eventually offering him the couture-only contract he wanted. He smiles modestly and silently when asked about the Golden Thimble awards he won in his two years at Lanvin. "That was a wonderful experience, fabulous. I was given total freedom."
Ideally he would have liked to have stayed longer, but there was renewed pressure for him to take on ready-to-wear and management of the fragrance licenses, "And I didn't like being told what to do."
The additional workload also had a detrimental effect on his own label: in July 1991 his menswear show was cancelled with only four days' notice because he was too busy working on Lanvin couture.

"Musing with Montana", Pop magazine, Sept. 2008

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06-09-2010
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July 1990


January 1991



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06-09-2010
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S/S 1990




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12-09-2010
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S/S 1990




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12-09-2010
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oh the early 90s...

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15-09-2010
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Such a talented man. So grateful to see this.

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19-09-2010
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Originally Posted by Street_a_Licious View Post
oh the early 90s...
Indeed. It was a truly amazing period in the fashion world. Several major designers were at their peak at that time.

And unfortunately there's been nothing like it since.

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19-09-2010
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Montana Takes Clout to Lanvin
October 20, 1989

Paris designer Claude Montana is going into the haute couture business. He's been named the new designer for the House of Lanvin and will show his first collection next January. Montana's own ready-to-wear collections have made him a fashion star since he went into business 10 years ago. And there have been rumors that he was offered the couturier's position at Christian Dior, as well as Jean Patou, before he accepted the Lanvin offer. He says he chose Lanvin because he likes the new chairman, Leon Bressler, who took over operations there when the money-losing house ($15.8 million in 1988) was recently recapitalized by Midland Bank.
articles.latimes.com/1989-10-20

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19-09-2010
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S/S 1990





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19-09-2010
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23 Jan 1990, Paris, France --- Former fashion model Ines de la Fressange, her husband Luigi d'Urso, and designer Jean-Paul Gaultier attend the Lanvin spring-summer 1990 fashion show in Paris. French designer Claude Montana presented his women's haute couture collection at the show.



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19-09-2010
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A Chic Outsider

Profile: Superstar designer Claude Montana leads an uneasy life in fashion's spotlight. But the tortured perfectionist now has creative freedom many would envy.

January 26, 1990|ANNE BOGART

PARIS — Claude Montana, the new designer for the couture house of Lanvin, first catapulted to fame in the late '70s as king of the soaring shoulder pads and tough-chic leather looks.

He is still a pouting, albeit 40-year-old, rebel in jeans and cowboy boots who hides behind the hulking shoulders of his own, ever-present leather blouson jacket with a camera-shy smile but a steady gaze of steel.

Consistently ranked among the top designers in the world, Montana is famed for the spectacular, MGM-style scope of his fashion shows, always one of the hottest tickets in town, and the shadowy film noir of his backstage life.

Over the years, he has built his image as a shy and tortured perfectionist. "He is always anguished" says Montana's sister, Jacqueline, who is also his publicity director. "That's just a normal character trait for him."

He has been known to stay up all night before a fashion show, checking for loose threads and throwing a sleeve-ripping, foot-stamping tantrum if it means getting the garment right.

He tends to steer clear of large social gatherings, even when he is the guest of honor. In Tokyo this fall, during a fashion week where he was among five leading designers whose work was featured, Montana declined an invitation to a gala dinner and was seen instead at a night club where he reportedly lingered until 6 o'clock in the morning.

Nor has he ever discouraged his image as an "outsider" in his own profession. Before his deal with Lanvin was set last October, he already had turned down offers from other houses--most notably Christian Dior, which proceeded to import Italian Gianfranco Ferre under a cloud of headline-stealing controversy. (The French weren't sure they liked the idea of a non-Frenchman joining the ranks of the haute couture .)

Such appointments are always a matter of some discussion in a country that takes serious patriotic pride in its apparel industry--a multimillion-dollar business which, combined with the rest of the French luxury market, is second only to defense in exports.

Montana's unprecedented, no-strings-attached contract says he must create only the haute couture collection twice a year, with absolutely no responsibilities for Lanvin's ready-to-wear or other products. He will continue to design his own luxury ready-to-wear labels for women and men.

Two other new young French designers, Eric Bergere and Adeline Andre, are already at work on the Lanvin ready-to-wear collection for Fall, 1990, which will be shown to buyers for the first time in March.

Lanvin president Leon Bressler says he is taking the gamble that Montana's haute couture creations, available only to a select few wealthy clients who order them on a custom-made basis, will, nevertheless, "irrigate" the rest of the company with inspiration and ideas and provide a much-needed jolt of energy to the foundering house, which reported losses of more than $15 million last year.

The Lanvin family, descendants of the original 1889 founder, Jeanne Lanvin, retained control of the house until last year, when the British-owned Midlands Bank bought it. Maryll Lanvin resigned as designer for the house last June, four months before Montana was named to take her place.

"For me, haute couture is a symbol of freedom," Montana said when the Lanvin agreement was first announced. "I'm finally going to have the power to give free rein to my imagination without submitting to the constraints of mass production." The idea of doing his first haute couture collection gave him, he said, "a crazy energy."

Whatever his motivations, Montana insists he is not just doing it for the money. His own burgeoning fashion empire--which includes clothes for men and women clothes, a dozen offshoot licenses from shoes to ties, and a best-selling perfume--reported a total turnover of $98 million for 1989. He is president and the major stockholder of his privately owned, 10-year-old corporation.

He lives in a huge, dramatically decorated Left Bank apartment with a view of the Seine River and the Musee D'Orsay, and he recently bought a 17th-Century country villa not far from Paris for the weekends.

"Montana has a tremendous need to express himself," says Lanvin's Bressler. "He pays extreme attention to detail . . . the search for perfection is inside of him."

Jacqueline Montana explains: "Haute couture means creation without borders. For example, Claude would take a beautiful cashmere fabric and make a coat, but everybody says, 'Do you know how much fabric you need for that? Do you know how expensive that will be when it finally gets to the store?' Well, Claude does it anyway because Claude is Claude."

Couture customers are more willing to pay the price for such extravagances. They comprise a milieu far from the one in which Montana got his start, crafting papier-mache bracelets out of toilet paper in 1969, because toilet paper, he once admitted, was the only thing he could afford. After running away from his Paris home as a teen-ager, he found himself penniless and living in a cold-water flat in London. The jewelry, painted and glued with rhinestones, was featured in an English Vogue article and he was able to eke out a living for six more months, until he was asked to leave England because he didn't have a work permit.

He worked as a free-lance designer in France under several other ready-to-wear labels before launching out on his own in 1979. His innovative leather fashion, including the use of bright multicolors, embroidery and studs, made his first fashion headlines--and also his first scandals.

Though he vigorously denied the references, he was accused by some of dressing his women in over-the-top raunchy "neo-Nazi" looks after he sent models down the runway in studded black leather jackets, vests and pants with provocative black leather motorcycle caps, studded belts and heavy make-up.

"When you meet Claude you get the impression that he has been burned badly," says one American journalist living in Paris. "He's very sensitive and kind. But he remembers everything. He's still hurt by things that happened years ago."

Throughout the '80s, Montana won accolades for his aggressive, androgynous streamlined silhouettes for women and his strong, mostly solid colors, with combinations like black and navy or his signature intense cobalt "Montana" blue.

But most of all, Montana is credited, or cursed, as a pioneer of the ubiquitous shoulder pad, perhaps the most important influence on the fashion silhouettes of the late '70s and the '80s.

In 1978, he excitedly told Women's Wear Daily, the fashion trade publication: "Next season everything will have the biggest shoulders I can make." So big, retailers later complained, the clothes kept coasting off the hangers.

The late '80s marked a turning point for Montana, who began to soften his lines with a new emphasis on groups of sexy knitwear, soft flared or draped coats, and flowing palazzo pants instead of leather jeans.

"He has very strong direction, and he is widely copied. You can see his influence eventually trickle all the way down to J. C. Penney," says Herb Fink, the owner of the only free-standing Montana boutique in the U.S., located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

It will be an unusual life, a double life, for Montana from now on. He must continue to please the impatient, street-chic sensibilities of the trend-setting Montana client. This he will do from his headquarters on the rue St. Denis in the Les Halles district, a low-rent red-light area punctuated by youthful fashion boutiques and cafes. He is apparently sentimental about the hopelessly cramped, black-carpeted and windowless work studio, the same one where he designed his first collections. Here he is buffered by a protective and loyal corps of design staff and administrators--many of whom have been with him since the beginning.

Meanwhile, Lanvin, occupying a grand structure in the heart of one of the chicquest shopping districts on the rue du Faubourg St. Honore, is like an elegant Old-World lady who has not been aging so well lately.

Jeanne Lanvin's original Art Deco offices, her priceless archives, antique fabric samples and a heavy shadow of history contribute to the ambience.

Lanvin is just a few metro stops from Montana, yet a universe away.
articles.latimes.com/1990-01-26/news/vw-893_1_designer-claude-montana

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26-09-2010
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The milliner Stephen Jones standing in front of a Lanvin Couture outfit (from the S/S 1990 collection) at the Mode Museum in Antwerp, Belgium.




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08-10-2010
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A video of Stephen Jones talking about Claude's two years at Lanvin.


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S/S 1990






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