- (1891-1974)An Irish-born aristocrat who was an officer in the Duke of Wellington's regiment, Molyneux studied art with the hope of becoming a painter but his drawings led him into the fashion world. He started his career at age seventeen as an illustrator in New York, Chicago, and London. He moved to Paris and, in 1919, opened his salon. While fashion during the 1920s often depicted women wearing fringed flapper dresses for evening, Molyneux and his French contemporaries, Madeleine Vionnet, Paul Poiret, and Jeanne Lanvin were creating some of the most beautiful evening gowns for couture. Molyneux was very connected to Paris society. His client list included many international café society types such as Countess Mona Bismarck, who was the wife of Harrison Williams, the richest man in America. He also designed the trousseau and wedding dress for Princess Marina of Greece for her marriage to the Duke of Kent. Molyneux lived a very lush lifestyle, owning villas in France and even opening a Paris nightclub with American columnist, Elsa Maxwell, in 1921.During the Nazi occupation of France, Molyneux returned to England in 1939. He headed the Fashion Group of Great Britain's war effort to create designs in response to the rationing of cloth and trims—the British Civilian Clothing Order CC41—along with contemporaries Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies. Molyneux returned to Paris in 1949 and is most known for his printed silk suits with pleated skirts. He broadened his collection to include millinery, furs, lingerie, and fragrances. Due to ill health, he turned his company over to Jacques Griffe in 1950. In 1965, Molyneux returned to Paris and opened a ready-to-wear collection called Studio Moly-neux. However, the collection was unsuccessful and he retired soon thereafter.
Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. Francesca Sterlacci and Joanne Arbuckle.
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