King George V was the grandson of the late Queen Victoria AND the grandfather of our dear Queen today, Queen Elizabeth II. As he was born third in line to the throne, George did not expect to become King and he started to carve out a “career” in the Royal Navy. George was born during the reign of Queen Victoria (his grandmother), with Prince Albert Edward (his father) being next in line to the throne and Prince Albert Victor “Eddy” (his older brother) being second in line. During King George V’s reign, there was the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, the Irish Republicanism and the Indian independence movement --- all of which changed the political landscape of the British Empire. In 1917, King George V became the first monarch of the House of Windsor, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha because of the anti-German public ‘feeling’ during World War One.
Who was Karl Lagerfield? He was another “giant” in The Fashion World and his name is known worldwide. Karl Lagerfield had his own ‘label’ and was a major creative force behind Tommy Hilfiger, Chanel and Fendi, as well as being able to speak four languages --- German, English, French and Spanish. He had a renaissance-like intelligence.
Another well-known name in The Fashion World, Yves Saint-Laurent has impacted the fashion industry in the 1960’s but also even to the present day. He is seen as being one of the foremost fashion designers of the 20th Century. Was this designer born into wealth? What was his life? How did Yves Saint-Laurent become so popular?
Vivienne Westwood is a name we associate with the punk world and New Wave Music. Her designs are unusual and ‘out of the box’ but they are interesting and very popular. Many of us know the name but just how did Vivienne Westwood make her name and how did her designs become so popular?
We know the name “Chanel” very well, mainly for its beautiful little black dresses and perfumes. It’s a name that’s been around for a long time (well, as long as I can remember), and like Christian Dior, “Chanel” symbolizes ‘chic’ in every sense of the word. But who was Coco Chanel? And how did her company become a worldwide and household name?
Who is Charles Frederick Worth? Have you ever heard of him? How is he connected to “The Fashion World”?
Charles Frederick Worth was born on 13th October, 1825, in Bourne, Lincolnshire, to William and Ann Worth. William was a solicitor who was described as a “dissolute” and who ruined the family finances, eventually leaving Ann without financial support and impoverished. Charles went out to work at eleven years of age at a printer’s shop. When a year had gone by, he moved to London to become an apprentice at Swan & Edgar department store in Piccadilly. Seven years later, the leading British textile store, Lewis & Allenby, employed Charles.