Sunday, November 11, 2007


one of fashion's most endearing personalities, jean charles de castelbajac gained notoriety during the eighties for marrying exquisite french luxury with a childlike sense of humour by adding cartoon characters to his designs, notably the tweety bird sweaters he designed for iceberg in 1982. during the decade of stephen sprouse, andy warhol, and keith harring, castelbajac became the fashion world's answer to the decade's pop art influence with his work worn on the backs of people as diverse as farrah fawcett to the pope himself. his most memorable piece was a coat made out of fifty teddy bears that was worn by madonna at the height of his fame. despite his immense popularity during the eighties, the minimalism of the nineties and the new sombre mood it brought clouded some of the optimism of castelbajac's ideas and dimmed some of his shine. however with london's newly revived youthquake movement and the popularity of artists such as m.i.a., the klaxons, and the grime movement who are opting for a more colourful, individual style, castelbajac once again became relevant, influencing younger designers such as carrie mundane of cassette playa, jeremy scott, and bernard willhelm. a recent retrospective at the victoria and albert in london not only refreshed his memory to the fashion world, but also earned him a legion of new fans.

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