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Vintage Designer History, Jacques Fath

Jacques Fath is one of the names you hear spoken about when people are referring to the big fashion houses of the 1940′s and 50′s. Born in France in 1912, Fath had a relatively short fashion career, as he passed away in 1954 only 17 years after his name had become known in the fashion world.

Coming from a creative family background (dressmakers, illustrators and painters), Fath taught himself how to design, he never sketched his work, preferring to drape material straight on to the body. Although he was originally trained as a milliner, he soon became more interested in design and showed his first clothing collection in Paris in 1937. He was well known and sought after due to his ability to flatter the female form, with fitted bodices that emphasized the curve of the bust and hip. He favored bright colors and his dresses often featured asymmetrical necklines and added drapery or pleats in the skirts for added movement.

It has been said that it was his work that inspired Dior's New Look in 1947, although that was something that Dior always denied. He designed Rita Hayworth's wedding dress for her wedding to Prince Aly Khan and ironically the model he used to make the dress would later be responsible for the break up of their also employed some very talented assistants that would later go on to open their own fashion houses. Hubert de Givenchy, Guy Laroche, and Valentino Garavani.

Fath was very good looking, as was his wife, a former model and secretary for Coco Chanel. They were both huge socialites and extremely well liked in social circles. His constant partying was one of the reasons he was never given as much credibility among some of the other fashion circles. Sadly his life ended at the age of 42 due to leukemia.

His wife took over the company after his death in 54 but it stopped producing fashion lines in 1957. Since then the brand name has been bought by several different companies (including Loreal in 1992) has produced many fragrances and accessories. It was most recently purchased by French Conglomerate Alliance Designers Group and plans to release a new collection of handbags in 2011.