Christian Marie Lacroix - The Master Of French Haute Couture

Christian Marie Marc Lacroix is a French legend. The haute couture house he founded more than three decades ago is one of the most famous in the world.

This legendary French couture house is known for its masterful use of extravagant details, eccentricity, and perfect craftsmanship. Lacroix is renowned for his exceptional creations, which are inspired by the beautiful landscapes of Provence, Venice, Spain, and also fairy tales.

The French designer was a big fan of Mediterranean colors and made fantasy creations with elements from other centuries, such as the crinoline and corset, and from folklore from almost every corner of the world combined together.
Christian Marie Lacroix - The Master Of French Haute Couture jewelry
Let's explore together the history of Christian Marie Marc Lacroix and the House he founded.

Discover Christian Marie Lacroix - The Haute Couture Master

Christian Marie Lacroix was born on 16 May 1951 in Arles, Bouches-du-Rhone, in the south of France, under the powerful zodiac sign of Taurus. From an early age, he started sketching historical costumes and fashion clothes, it was obvious he was destined for a glorious future in the fashion world.

During his childhood, he spent his time between the Camargue beaches and the Alpilles pine forest, among the Gallo Roman ruins and the remains of World War II bombings. He enjoyed reading books and participated in events like bullfights, theatre, and opera, immersed in Romany traditions.

When he was a teenager, Lacroix had a passion for Oscar Wilde and The Beatles. He also loved the cities of England, Venice, and Barcelona.

Christian Marie Lacroix graduated from high school in 1969 and then moved to Montpellier to study Art History at the University of Montpellier. He later continued his studies in Paris at Sorbonne.

While working on his dissertation, making a dress inspired by the French eighteenth century, he also enrolled in a course at the Ecole du Louvre, developing the ambition of becoming a museum curator.

During this time he met Françoise Rosenthiel, whom he married in 1974. His wife greatly influenced his destiny, encouraged Lacroix to draw, and showed him the mysteries and beauty of Paris.

The future master of haute couture then met Jean-Jacques Picart, a press attaché and advisor to several haute couture designers and fashion houses. Not long after they met, he arranged for Marie Lacroix to get a job at Hermes in 1978 as an illustrator, focusing on color schemes and design execution. In 1980, he began working as an assistant to French designer Guy Paulin.

After graduating from the Louvre School, in 1981, he took a job at the fashion house Jean Patou, where he worked until 1987. With the help of Jean-Jacques Picart, Christian Lacroix took up the challenge of working as a lead haute couture designer, a profession that some claimed was in decline.

Season after season, the two designers succeeded in defining the 1980s, with its bright hues, extravagance, and luxury. Christian Lacroix and Picart were very popular designers at the time, so it's no surprise that in  1986, their work was awarded a De d 'Or. Marie Lacroix later won the CFDA's "Most Influential Foreign Designer" Award in January 1987.

The Birth Of Christian Marie Lacroix's Haute Couture House

The year 1987 marked the opening of Christian Marie Lacroix's own haute couture house, located in a private mansion on rue du Faubourg Saint Honore in Paris. Reinvigorating the Parisian dress style, Christian began using a textural mix with a theatrical flair.

Experienced in making historical costumes, he managed to make the front pages of fashion magazines with the whimsy, opulence, and introduction of the puffball skirt rose and floral prints and deep necklines.

The first collection, in July 1987, emphasized eccentricity as opposed to the minimalism that was then in style. The second collection, in January 1988, was awarded a De d 'Or.

He started selling ready-to-wear clothes in March 1988, drawing inspiration from various cultures. Some fashion critics at that time got confused and said that Lacroix didn't understand what kind of clothes working women wanted.

The next year, Christian Marie Lacroix started his first line of accessories - jewelry, bags, shoes, sunglasses, ties, and scarves. He also extended his business by opening stores in Japan, Geneva, Paris, Arles, Aix-en-Provence, Toulouse, and London.

In 1994, he created the Bazar line, in addition to the two ready-to-wear and haute couture lines, a collection based more than any other on folklore and historical time periods.

The haute couture designer later launched a jeans line - a collection that embraces the past, present, and future, inspired by folk and ethnic arts and traditions from around the world.

The Christian Lacroix Mariee Line

In 1997 came the creation of the "Christian Lacroix Art de la Table" line in collaboration with the House of Christofle. The same year, Lacroix signed a licensing agreement with Pronuptia for the manufacture and distribution of his "Christian Lacroix Mariee" line.
Christian Mariee Lacroix Couture Crystal Pearl Earrings
In 1999, the fashion world witnessed the first Christian Lacroix perfume. In 2000, Lacroix launched a line of silver and semi-precious stone jewelry, in 2001 a children's line, and the next year the Bazar perfume for women and men.

Christian Marie Lacroix was appointed Artistic Director of the famous fashion house Emilio Pucci, where he worked from 2002 to 2005, during which time he designed the new Air France crew uniform.

In October 2002, together with the presentation of the Spring/Summer 2003 collection and the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the couture house, Christian Lacroix received the legion of honor distinction from Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH.

The year 2004 saw the presentation of a lingerie collection for the Lacroix men's line.

Christian Marie Lacroix returned to haute couture in 2007, to the delight of fashion enthusiasts around the world.

The Moment Marie Lacroix Left The Haute Couture Industry

In 2009, the French designer left the haute couture industry and devoted himself mainly to theatre and opera, for which he has created sumptuous costumes, often made in vivid colors.

In September 2019 after an absence of more than 10 years from the catwalks, Christian Marie Lacroix made a spectacular comeback at Paris Fashion Week with Belgian Dries Van Noten, with whom he collaborated in secret on a clothing collection inspired by the universe of the film "Barry Lyndon", AFP noted at the time.

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