Oleg Cassini

Legendary Designer Oleg Cassini Dies at 92

An American designer and manufacturer, Cassini was born in 1913 to a Russian count and his wife. His career in fashion started at Patou as a sketch artist. He opened Cassini Studios in Rome in the 1930s, closing it and moving to NY in 1936. Several positions and a divorce later, he move to California, where he was hired by Paramount as an assistant to Edith Head.

In California, Cassini married Gene Tierney in 1941(divorced 1952), designing her costumes for The Razor's Edge among others. With partner Paul Portanova, he ran a company called Casanova that sold ready to wear suits. Relocating to New York again in 1950, he opened Oleg Cassini, specializing in ready-to-wear and was an immediate success. His early designs are very feminine and romantic with taffeta, chiffon, lace, and minute waistlines. Cassini became known for Glamour. He also used military details.

Cassini began his collaboration with Jacqueline Kenney in 1961. He became her primary designer as First Lady. The two of them had an enormous influence on the dress of American women. His designs simplified and became much easier in fit, featuring boxy jackets, straight lines, sleeveless shells, restrained use of trim, often self fabric buttons and small details.

Since the mid 1960s, he has done little top line ready-to-wear and has licensed his name extensively in swimwear, hosiery, foundations, sportswear, fur, and costume jewelry, to name but a few.

Film credits: solo : 1941 - 1967. Tales of Manhattan, Born to Speed, It's a Joke, Son, Repeat Performance, The Mating Season, Rampage, The Ambushers. with Royer: The Shanghai Gesture. with Charles LeMaire: The Razor's Edge, That Wonderful Urge, Whirlpool, Where the Sidewalk Ends, On the Riviera (also with Travilla).


Courtesy of pastperfectvintage.com & fuzzylizzie.com. Originally published for the VFG Label Resource.

Shop for Oleg Cassini designs from VFG members on eBay and at the Babylon Mall.