Betty Halbreich is one of New York’s many icons – an icon of personal shopping.
Must known fashion person #51: Betty Halbreich
Today we’ll introduce you to Betty Halbreich, an American personal shopper who was born in 1928 in Chicago. Born into a wealthy family in Chicago, she married a rich hotel businessman at a young age with whom she moved to New York. Here she spent her time shopping in expensive fashion boutiques and living within the high society. After the divorce from her husband, Halbreich put her experience to use and became a personal shopper, first at Geoffrey Beene later at Bergdorf Goodman.
Working with very rich clientele and various A-list celebrities, Halbreich developed a reputation as a frighteningly direct yet extremely knowledgeable personal shopper. Celebrities such as Joan Rivers and Elizabeth Taylor were amongst her regular clients.
The Elder Statesman sources the finest cashmere for its American-made pieces. This sumptuously soft tunic has draped dolman sleeves and a loose, boxy fit. Wear it now with bare legs and ankle boots, adding leggings when the weather cools.
Who doesn’t know them, the top 5 fashion icons? Here is our pick.
In case you are missing one of your favorites or would love to dive deeper into the realm of fashion icons a bit deeper, check out FAD – The Ultimate Fashion Dictionary. Our very own iPhone Fashion App lists all notable fashion individuals in great detail.
Gabrielle Bonheur ‘Coco’ Chanel, French fashion designer, lived from 1883 to 1971. Coco Chanel made history as the most risk taking designer of her time. With her futuristic philosophy of combining menswear items with chic and sophisticated women’s fashion, she became one of the most iconic fashion figures of all times. Chanel, who established her namesake brand in 1909 in Paris, has been credited with liberating the conservative women’s fashion post World War I. Throughout her life, Chanel’s sense of good taste and visionary entrepreneurship helped to grow the brand to one of the biggest and most influential fashion houses up to this day. By now, Chanel sells everything fashion related from handbags to accessories and fragrances. Chanel’s perfume creation ‘Chanel No. 5′ remains one of the most iconic fragrances ever made. The brand, still headquartered in Paris, sells its products in more than 300 locations around the world. At present, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is acting as Chanel’s Creative Director.
Diana Vreeland, fashion editor, lived from 1903 to 1989. Vreeland was well known as a fashion icon during the 20th century. In 1965, the fashion editor who not only worked for the fashion magazines Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue but also for the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.
Elsa Schiaparelli, Italian fashion designer, lived from 1890 to 1973. Alongside ‘Coco Chanel‘, the Italian designer is recognized as one of the most influential fashion figures in the 1920s and 1930s. Schiaparelli started off with a collection of knitwear in 1927, in which she used a certain double layered stitching technique that was created by Armenian fugitives. Besides her knitwear approach, Schiaparelli was particularly influenced by Surrealists like the famous painter Salvador Dalí. Hence, she became the first designer ever to feature sweaters with surrealist trompe l’oeil images. After Schiaparelli’s career came to an abrupt stillstand during World War II, the Italian designer couldn’t quite adjust to the changes in fashion after 1945, which by then was mainly influenced due to Christian Dior’s ‘New Look‘. As a result, Schiaparelli terminated her business in 1954.
Iris Apfel, American fashion icon, born 1921 in New York. After studying art at the University of Wisconsin, Apfel moved back to her hometown New York where she started working for the interior designer Elinor Johnson and Women’s Wear Daily. With her husband Carl Apfel she founded a textile company and started working on various design projects. Over the time Apfel became very well known for her style and huge round glasses. Today, she spreads the message of style around the US lecturing at universities and continues to be one of fashions biggest icons.
Jeanne Lanvin, French fashion designer, lived from 1867 to 1946. Lanvin founded her namesake fashion house in 1885 in Paris. The fashion house is one of the most ancient in haute couture and the founder herself was one of the most influential designers of the 1920s and ’30s. Her skillful use of beaded appliques, trimmings, exquisite fabrics and floral colors became a Lanvin trademark. The success of the fashion house was extraordinary and went on after her death in 1946 under the leadership of her daughter Marguerite di Pietro. The fashion house of Lanvin went finally to Alber Elbaz in October 2001 after several changes of the ownership. He is now the artistic director for all activities, including interiors.
Imperial’s jeans have been expertly made from white stretch-denim. They’re shredded at the thigh, knees and back pockets for a cool, pre-worn look. Channel the brand’s effortless approach with a striped sweater and ankle boots.
Sophia Webster’s playful ‘Nicole’ sandals are crafted from printed taupe leather. Lightly cushioned for long-lasting comfort, they’re fitted with a double ankle strap for a supportive fit. Keep them in focus against high hemlines.
Since the 19th century, clothing has been primarily divided into day wear and evening wear, categories governed by specific dress codes. In general, longer sleeves and higher necklines were meant for the day. Shorter sleeves and lower necklines were considered appropriate for the evening. These rules remained in force throughout the 19th century and even beyond.
While the rise of capitalism and democracy men’s fashion become more sober, but women’s clothing continued to be decorative. The making and selling of clothes changed dramatically ever the course of the 19th century, as traditional crafts gave way, on one hand to rise of read-made clothing and on the other hand to the development of the haute couture.
Fashion magazines, patterns and department stores made stylish clothing available to an ever-expanding population of costumes. Paris was the capital of women’s fashion, as London was of men’s.
This video underneath shows a great summery of Fashion History from 1700 to 1900: