Sacrilegious: Lacroix Made to Carry the Cross

Stop what you're doing! Christian Lacroix has been “reduced to a licensing operation, after attempts to find a buyer failed” according to Vogue.Com. I’m not quite sure what this means, but it's seemingly the fashion equivalent to a mastectomy or failing heart bypass surgery. So shocked the fashion world seems to be that Vogue’s online piece was laden with rush-job typos and dramatic quotations of despair cried out from shop assistants on the phone, presumably as the sobbing typist’s fingers slid and skidded across blurring letters as diamond-shaped tears sloshed heartfully onto the keypad before her at Vogue House. “It’s Lacroix darling! Christian Lacroix!” Those famous words of Edina Monsoon, the fashion house’s most fabulous and fictitious client.

Lacroix is famous for his decadent and loud haute couture shows, and perhaps it his reluctance to offer greater affordability during the recession that has caused the arrival of hard times. Whereas some designers have tightened their belts, or sold out to middle-range department stores, Lacroix has ploughed relentlessly through the noughties with grandeur, prancing from semi-precious jewellery accessories to First Class flight nighties on Air France.

Lacroix himself, whose costume designs enjoyed a major exhibition in Singapore this year, will no doubt be absolutely fine. The media is full of these credit crunch bust stories, but I’m sure for the major labels it’s simply a paparazzi flash in the pan. Lacroix has been a big player in high-end fashion for over 30 years now, ever since his first major position at Hermés in ’78. He studied History of Art at the University of Montpellier (my favourite French city outside of Paris) as well as training at the Louvre. With a sound education, a remarkable track record and an impeccable eye for colour, surely Lacroix will rise again.
Releasing this story in the run-up to Christmas is no merry coincidence.

Above: Is haute couture a dying French tradition? And who is that page boy on the left? Ouch!

Below: At January's haute couture show, Ivana is the sort of client Lacroix wants to keep if he's to trump the recession.


  1. I think the company went bust a while ago. So he produced this ridiculous couture collection as a final 'fuck you' to his debt collectors. I remember reading about it and apparently it's because he never branched out into accessories, like handbags, which is how most fashion houses make most of their money.

  2. Elli, as informative as ever! Yeah handbags and perfume, i.e. plastic and water, you can mark them up 1500%!

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