With the death of legendary fashion designer Robert Pattinson earlier this year, the world was robbed of one of its great talents. While many of us will remember Pattinson for his incredible hand-drawn fashion plates that graced the pages of Vogue and other high-profile fashion magazines, there was so much more to him. He was a fashion visionary whose genius is only now being fully appreciated. In honour of his legacy, luxury goods company Diors are celebrating the creative spirit that was Robert Pattinson by reviving one of his greatest contributions to the world of fashion – the creation of the Led Zeppelin collection.

The Man Behind The Design

From Vogue to Rolling Stone, we take a trip back in time to discover the man behind the design – the designer whose genius gave birth to the legendary Led Zeppelin collection.

Born in London in 1958, the son of the late media mogul Robert Worsley, Pattinson grew up in a world of high-end fashion. After studying art history at London’s King’s College, he launched his solo fashion career in the mid-1970s and began working for some of the biggest fashion houses in the world including Burberry and Dior. He went on to found his own fashion house in 1991 and was subsequently named Creative Director of Dior. As well as being in charge of the company’s menswear and women’s wear designs, he created the iconic Dior wristwatch, which continues to be a company stalwart decades after it was first unveiled.

From Page To PA Page

It was in 1979 when Page and Plant first met. The two had crossed paths previously, with Page performing in London and Plant visiting Paris for the first time. The English guitarist had even met with Led Zeppelin’s manager, Peter Grant, at his house in St Barts. It was there that Page had played him an acoustic version of ‘Stairway To Heaven’, which he had written alongside his friend, John Paul Jones. Grant would go on to manage Page’s solo career, which eventually became one of the most prominent of the 1960s and ‘70s. It was a golden era for the guitar legend. After playing a few secret shows in London, Page decided to finally put a band together. He called upon his old friend and fellow guitarist Jones, who he had first met in 1967. Together, Page and Jones created what would become known as the ‘classic’ line-up of Led Zeppelin.

The guitarist had been working on new material for years and wanted to share his creations with the world. As well as being the driving creative force behind the collection, designer Pattinson would also play a key part in its creation. He would spend hours in his studio, coming up with unique designs for the collection. Sometimes he would bring the finished product straight to the band’s drummer, John Bonham, who would lay down his perfect, double-chimey beat.

It was a natural fit for a designer whose work often took inspiration from the world of fashion and artists. As well as using famous faces from the worlds of art and design, such as Warhol and Stella, for inspiration, Pattinson would also draw upon his own life experiences. The designer would often visit places from his childhood, such as Spain, and incorporate their colours and scents into his designs. So much so that the people of Majorca would even ask him if he was “from Barcelona”. After Barcelona, Pattinson’s favourite place to visit was Paris, the city of his birth. For the fashion house Diors, which he later co-founded, he created custom-made instruments, including a vintage guitar for Jimmy Page. As well as designing the unique guitar, he also designed an electric guitar that was a one-of-a kind creation.

Fashion Royalty

The brand is synonymous with style and class and was originally created by a couple of Hollywood’s most prominent designers – Bruce Weber and MaryAnne Mattingly. In 1960, the two friends opened a men’s clothing store in Hollywood, called Perry Ellis. The name, which means “one percent of the population” in Latin, was chosen because it was the percentage of women wearing their hair in curls at the time. Weber and Mattingly had a falling out shortly after the store opened and Mattingly – a strong feminist at the time – opted to go her own way and establish the Perry Ellis Young Women’s boutique. It was there that she first sold the designs of young Dutch designer, Ann Smit. The two women became like mother and daughter and Mattingly would go on to become a major force in the fashion industry, establishing her own house, Mattingly Smith.

Weber and Ellis were inspired by the London fashion scene of the 1960s and decided to bring that same spirit to Hollywood, naming their new fashion house after the most famous resident of Piccadilly Circus – the London street that brings together the British Museum, the National Gallery and the Victoria Tube station. The designers had also taken an interest in the work of French sculptor Aristide Maillol and named their first collection of men’s suits after his famous work,, “The Parasol”. The French artist had been a pioneer of using warm hues and soft, rounded contours in his work and is best known for his architectural sculpture, including the famous “Papillons”, which can still be found in the botanical gardens of Paris.

Ellis, who had worked with Dior earlier in his career, presented the design house’s first collection within the space, which continues to be used today for the company’s runway shows and high-profile events. The venue is famous for its wooden escalators and winding staircases, giving it a warm and cosy atmosphere. What was originally two separate spaces connected by a common wall is now an iconic Hollywood landmark.

It was in 1961 that Dior opened its doors for the first time. After seven years of designing for Perry Ellis, Weber and Diors decided to create a women’s ready-to-wear collection for the Parisian fashion house. The designers had both grown tired of the restrictions of the male-dominated fashion industry and decided to put their own spin on ready-to-wear. What they came up with was a collection that fused the best of British and French design and fashion – a true expression of their unique blend of sophistication and exuberance.

“Dior represents a unique spirit, which is why we wanted to put our own spin on Ready-to-wear”, says Mary Anne Mattingly, designer of the original British-French fashion house. “To us, it was about celebrating the unique spirit of British and French design and fashion. We are very proud to have been a part of reinventing modern style and dressing women for the modern age.”