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Byline: Etta Froio
THEY SAID IT
Out of the mouths of babesand celebrities, designers, tycoons, artists, writers and socialitesofttimes come gems. And in its rich 100-year history, WWD has recorded a vast number of these gems, culled from thousands of interviews with some of the most exciting, intelligent and outrageous personalities of the centuryfrom Patti Smith to Lady Gaga, Paul Poiret to Ralph Lauren, Diana Vreeland to Helen Gurley Brown, Fiorello LaGuardia to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Step back in time with these quotable notables to learn a lot about fashion, but also what Coco Chanel thought of the mini; Mae West's reflection on praying; how the Duchess of Windsor exercised, and Brooke Astor's view of money.
"Every woman, you see, must discover her own individuality and dress in her own style. Some can wear crinolines and others cannot and must not wear them. The majority of women follow a single thought in dress, instead of paying more attention to their own individuality, and it is most extraordinary to find in women a desire to be original or distinct."
PAUL POIRET, SEPTEMBER 1913
"Clothing women is the greatest mission in the world"
RICHARD J. HICKSON, PRESIDENT OF HICKSON INC., SEPTEMBER 1915
"Certain dressmakers desire to pass for an artist. I have one ambition: that is to have good taste"
JEAN PATOU, APRIL 1920
"When I take hold of a new part, the very first thing I do is to visualize it, and I do this almost entirely by clothes. That is, I shut my eyes and I see color and line.... It is not at all so much a question of being well dressed on the stage, as it is vital to be appropriately or expressively dressed.... The chief role of the costume is to interpret some of the psychology of the part, and I know of nothing more disconcerting than to have to wear unsuitable frocks."
ESTELLE WINWOOD, MARCH 1922
"I do love vivid colors and I think all women should wear them. The dress of men is so somber and uninteresting that women should do their part in establishing the brilliant note in costume. And, of course, like most other people, I do not practice what I preach. I wear nothing but dark clothes."
KATHARINE CORNELL, JANUARY 1923
"It is undeniable that sports have greatly influenced the fashions of recent years. The young woman of our day cannot stand anything annoying her, for example, she has given up her grandmother's stays.... She requires practical clothes that allow her to move with freedom, ease and harmony."
JEAN PATOU, OCTOBER 1924
"Just as I am against the usual and the banal, so am I also opposed to uncontrolled flights of fancy and extravagances of any sort committed in the name of originality."
LUCIEN LELONG, AUGUST 1927
"I do not design for photographers and reporters."
COCO CHANEL, SEPTEMBER 1957
"When one says 'feminine,' it brings up a vision of ruffles and fussy ornamentation. Interesting is a better word, for that is what clothes are becoming."
EDWARD H. MOLYNEUX, DECEMBER 1927
"America makes clothes for American women, Paris makes clothes for Parisiennes. Both have to go their own way. American designers are fine for the job they have to do. But replacing French designers? There is no need for it, for over there they will keep on designing and selling fashions. No, mon ami, nothing replaces nothing."
ELSA SCHIAPARELLI, OCTOBER 1940
"Paris remains the center of creation, and nobody seems to understand why, any more than we understand why a woman is successful who is not even pretty."
GENEVIEVE FATH, JULY 1956
"Only in Paris do couture workers, from seamstress to mannequin, worship and treat a dress like a baby.... In New York, when a bell rings, the needle is left in the dressin Paris, when the day is over, our girls are willing to stay and sacrifice their comfort to produce something of beauty."
PIERRE BALMAIN, JULY 1956
"WHEN A WOMAN WALKS THE DRESS MUST WALK, WHEN SHE DANCES THE DRESS MUST DANCE, WHEN SHE RAISES HER ARM THE JACKET SHOULD MOVE DISCREETLY."
CRISTOBAL BALENCIAGA, JULY 1958
"One of the principal, cardinal points of fashion is to keep moving. [Jackie Kennedy's] clothes will be based on her ability to demand and my ability to produce, but the decisions will be here. It is like Dante without a goal until inspired by Beatrice."
OLEG CASSINI, JANUARY 1961
"It's time women took off their eye makeupit's gone on too long. Soon we'll look at photographs and feel the eyes of today were beyond any joke. It's fine for someone like Saint Laurent to have his model girls painted in an abstract waybut not for life. Soap is my message for 1963."
CECIL BEATON, MARCH 1963
"I DON'T BELIEVE IN THE JET SET...AS A SOLID ORGANIZATION, IT IS AS VALID AS SANTA CLAUS."
EUGENIA SHEPPARD, MARCH 1963
"More people buy clothes in this country than in all the rest of the world put together. We want them to have the right kind of clothes. We want to inspire South American fashions."
MAYOR FIORELLO LAGUARDIA, AUGUST 1940
"Who is truly elegant among the personalities? After Audrey Hepburn, I really can't think of anyone. I've seen Miss Hepburn arrive for a fitting at Western Costume wearing Levi's, a simple shirt and a 98-cent kerchiefand she looked great. She had to be born with that elegance."
RAY AGHAYAN, JUNE 1963
"I've found out it's the little things that are important...I pick up papers...Kleenex...make sure there's sand in the ash trays...and generally look out for all those details that keep up a store's image. I agree with that old Spanish proverb'The eye of the owner makes the cow grow fat.'"
ANDREW GOODMAN, MAY 1964
"Main [Mainbocher] is more than a designer. There's something about his clothes that brings out the best in you. He's never let me down. I get the same pleasure from his clothes that I do from my jewels. They last."
GLORIA VANDERBILT, MAY 1964
"Elegance is so elusivewomen are elegant in so many different ways. Yet it's also definiteyou can't miss it if it's there, like Mrs. William Paley or Mrs. Loel Guinness or the Duchess of Windsor. I believe they're the most elegant of all the elegants I've ever met."
MME. POTOK, JULY 1964
"Honesty in everything is the first quality. I don't like people to put on a front and try to play a part. I like to live with people who are natural and down to earth. For that I have only to remain with my mother for a week and I am back where I like to be."
SOPHIA LOREN, JANUARY 1965
"Camp is an outrageous thing, usually a person who is outrageous in either clothes or personality. Examples: Bert Savoy (an outrageous Campa female impersonator)...a few young men on 42nd Street with bleached blonde hair and false lashesthat's A Camp....Valeska Suratt, a vamp of the 1920s, and my favorite [model] Dorine wearing Claudia's dress 12 inches above her kneesthat's really Camp."
NORMAN NORELL, AUGUST 1965
"About this complex America supposedly has on being culturally inferior to Europe. This has always existed, this super-sensitivity about being born in 1620 when Europe was already swinging. Let's face it, all we had was a turkey, a rock and some Indians while Europe was already a few hundred years old."
JUDY PEABODY, SEPTEMBER 1965
"I don't think there is a battle between the sexes. A better word is negotiation. I think the only battle that ever exists is between somebody and himself. It's a battle of narcissism, a battle of self-image."
JULES FEIFFER, SEPTEMBER 1965
"The difficult thing for me to be on my own show is Ida Hostess. I tense up when I have to introduce people ... So I've hired an announcer to introduce the guests. His name is Lyle Waggoner. He's the handsomest man you've ever seen. He's got shoulders like Joan Crawford."
CAROL BURNETT, JUNE 1967
"A woman should be a walking, talking human instead of a make-up counter."
GEORGE HAMILTON, OCTOBER 1967
"The absolute and frank truth is I'm lost when it comes to fashion today. Ten years ago, women dressed well and looked dignified. Today, if you dress like a decent person, you are made to feel you're a million years old. If you dress young, you look like an idiot. What choice is there?
GLORIA GUINNESS, JANUARY 1968
"The longer one works in cosmetics, the more one thinks how archaic it is to paint one's face."
MARY QUANT, …