'Outsider' Philipp Plein is breaking the rules of fashion Hervé Leroux, the French designer whose famous form-fitting dresses were beloved by stars in the ’90s and early aughts, unexpectedly passed away on Friday at age 60. His iconic bandage dress — constructed from strips of elastic fabric and sold under the label Hervé Léger — became a supermodel uniform and went on to hug legions of celebrity curves in all the right places. “I would literally save up all my paychecks and go wait, stalk the girls that worked at Hervé and just get all the new colors,” Kim Kardashian wrote on her blog in 2016. The bandage dress first made its appearance as the finale of the designer’s 1989 show, where it was dubbed “the bender” because it molded the body into the “perfect” female form, like a modern-day corset. At the peak of its popularity, the dress was a must-have for any club-going seductress looking to exude sex appeal — from A-list stars such as Beyoncé and Mariah Carey to party girls like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. A marked departure from the shoulder pads and other exaggerated silhouettes of the ’80s meant to empower women in the workforce, the new, stripped-down style was also controversial. According to the Design Museum’s “50 Dresses That Changed the World,” some thought it represented a desire to “reform and deform women’s bodies,” though others called it “a postfeminist celebration of the female form.” Leroux launched the Hervé Léger label in 1985 and, in 1999, it was purchased by LA-based BCBG Max Azria, which carried on Leroux’s legacy of curve-hugging ensembles. After he sold his company, Leroux didn’t stop designing. He kept creating dresses for his celebrity clientele out of his atelier in Paris. One of Leroux’s closest friends and clients, Dita Von Teese, took to Instagram to pay tribute to the late designer. “He made the most exquisite dresses that showcased a woman’s beauty, rather than distracting from it,” Von Teese wrote.
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