We Moved!

We Moved! We Moved! We Moved!

Please reset your bookmarks and follow the new blog:


Ted Lapidus has died

From the Telegraph.co.uk

Ted Lapidus, the fashion designer who died on Monday aged 79, popularised the safari jacket in the 1960s and brought the unisex look to the catwalk, earning him the accolade of "the poet of French couture".

His fashion house became a favourite of such 1960s celebrities as The Beatles, Jean Seberg and Brigitte Bardot. Numbering the wives of French presidents as well as starlets among his clients, Lapidus produced designs that were admired for their impeccable tailoring, unrivalled cut and high-quality finish.

Boyish-faced and wild-haired, he seldom failed to surprise. Lapidus was the first to introduce jeans to haute couture, while his finishing touches included collars and cuffs made in aluminium; he once showed a blouse of silver paper.

His mass market fashion lines included miniskirts worn under coats, and he pioneered the military look, designing army-style greatcoats for women that featured brass buttons and epaulettes. But the modernist Lapidus style came to be epitomized by his sand-colored safari suit, which swept the international fashion scene in the 1960s and 1970s. Paying homage to Lapidus, President Nicolas Sarkozy was moved to declare that the designer had "democratized French elegance and classicism" and "made fashion accessible to men and women in the street".

While Lapidus did indeed focus on ready-to-wear and accessories such as sunglasses, watches, pens and scents towards the end of his career, at the height of his success in the 1970s he presided over a three-tier operation, the uppermost catering to the exclusive couture trade – making bespoke wardrobes for the rich and famous. Then came his ready-to-wear range sold through his own shops, and finally other clothes designed by him but made and sold under licence.

In London Lapidus opened a shop in Bond Street in 1975, built to his own futuristic design and featuring stainless steel, glass and mirrors. It was the 36th in a worldwide chain, his customers encouraged by the remarkable Lapidus boast: "My clothes make anyone look 10 pounds slimmer and 10 years younger."

Edmond Lapidus was born on June 23 1929 in Paris, the son of a Russian immigrant tailor, and educated at lycées in Marseilles and Paris. He went on to study Medicine at the University of Paris, but at the same time was teaching himself fashion design and at the end of the Second World War became a part-time designer in Paris.

He studied for a time in Tokyo, learning the principles of standardized production before joining the Dior company in 1949. Having created his own label in 1951, Lapidus opened his first haute couture salon in 1957, the year in which he also opened his first unisex boutique, Tedd, backed by the singer Charles Aznavour, and one of the first to offer top of the range ready-to-wear fashions for men, aimed at younger, more upmarket customers.

In 1963 he presented his first fashion collection in Paris. No sooner had he joined the prestigious club that controls the Parisian designer sector, La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, than the ever-unpredictable Lapidus scandalized the elite of the fashion world by opening a mass-market boutique within the Belle Jardinière department store.

The following year he caught the attention of The Daily Telegraph for the first time and in February 1965 the paper covered his debut London collection, which had a My Fair Lady theme. Lapidus opened a bigger salon in Paris a year later, and the Duchess of Bedford was among those there for the presentation of its fruits – lauded by the Telegraph as "the gayest show of the week". Lapidus was unfazed when the Duchess's husband, the 13th Duke, refused at the last minute to model his 1967 menswear line.

In 1969 Lapidus pulled off a remarkable deal with the Israeli government whereby (in return for half his business) he took artistic control of Israel's entire fashion industry, including uniforms for the Israeli women's army. The contract meant that by the end of 1970 the whole of Israel's ready-to-wear industry was stamped with the Ted Lapidus trademark.

His son Olivier Lapidus succeeded him in the 1980s and became artistic director of the House of Lapidus. Ted's younger sister, Rose Torrente-Mett, founded her own thriving fashion house, Torrente, at the age of 23.

Befitting the poet of French couture, Lapidus left a 700-page book of his own verse.

Ted Lapidus, who was twice married, is survived by three sons and a daughter.


If you are a die hard vintage celebrity follower you probably immediately thought of Nicole Ritchie, who single handedly brought the Lapidus name back into the spotlight for a whole new generation of girls when she was spotted repeatedly in her vintage Lapidus sunglasses

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ted Lapidus' designs are legendary. I really want to get a pair of his sunglasses from http://www.love-worn.com

Web Analytics