Tanja's Culture


Fashion Designers and Their Muses

There has always been something so alluring about the connection between a fashion designer and his muse. 

By Chanoa Chen

Earlier muses typically held a greater influence over design inspirations while today’s muses seem to have more of an influence on ad campaigns, fragrances and accessories.

Hubert De Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn are arguably one of the most influential pairs in the history of the fashion muse. Hepburn selected significant pieces from Givenchy’s collections and brought them to life for starring roles in such iconic films as “Funny Face” (1957), “Sabrina” (1954) and of course “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961). Audrey believed Givenchy’s designs gave her acting added depth and material while Givenchy marveled at the life and energy the actress gave his designs on film. The timelessly chic styling is still highly sought after and relevant after all of these years.

Modern muses often come from similar sources – actresses, singers, top models and socialites. If there’s a designer today who is in love with the idea of the muse it is Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel and Fendi fame. The brilliant fashion designer has had a small army of muses over the years including Diane Kruger, Vanessa Paradis and Nicole Kidman. The creativity and inspiration flowing between Lagerfeld and Kidman were one of the most captivating elements of a rare look into his world in the documentary, Lagerfeld: Confidential. The Hollywood actress and former model has been the star of Chanel ad campaigns for such iconic products as Chanel No. 5.

Not every client will have the opportunity to become a muse of inspiration but the designer-muse dynamic may be compared to the exclusivity of the atelier shopping experience. Minds merge between clients and designers, rapports are established and personalized style journeys begin.

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