Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre passed away on Sunday, June 17, at 62. Known as the "architect of fashion" (because of his structural design and an architecture degree), he was the man behind Christian Dior from 1989 to 1997. (A giant coup for a non-Frenchman to head a French house.)
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Women wearing his designs were always chic and well turned out -- even a little edgy -- but never trendy or victims of the times. Ferre made clothes for women who were confident in themselves and in their positions in the boardroom.
As Donatalla Versace told WWD: "He was a gentleman of another time. He was a great couturier that knew how to create absolute chic with details that I'll never tire of looking at and that will remain a part of the history of fashion."
Here's a slide show of his last collection, for fall 2007. (via Style.com)