C.Z. Guest

Born: Boston, US, 1920
Died: Brookville, US, 2003

Bearing a striking resemblance to Grace Kelly, C.Z. Guest is hailed as the ultimate fashion icon of the 1950s. Her clear sophistication and polished refinement leaves her unparalled in the fashion stakes, and leaves her one of the most notable style icons to date. Her clean cut sense of fashion has made history, and has been passed down to her daughter, Cornelia. Her style has also been immortalised in the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1959.

Though C.Z’s sense of fashion was unique and minimalistic, it is one that is easily attainable. Simplicity is key, and Guest had enough elegance to make whatever she wore chic and classic. Light coloured floral dresses with a string of double pearls was a classic of Guest’s, with a matching jacket casually draped over the shoulders. Yet mismatching items she would also make work, including a midi red pencil skirt and a plain white t-shirt, which exuded a simplistic femininity. Guest’s colour palette was always one of a sophisticated feminist style, yet never too girly. Creams, golds, pinks and reds dominated her wardrobe, giving her a definitive air of elegance.

Though mainly a style icon and socialite, Guest was often photographed and painted by some of the world’s most famous faces, including Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and Diego Rivera.  In addition to this, she also released a book titled ‘First Garden’ which depicted her love of gardening, and later on in her career published many more. In 1990 she also released a fragrant insect repellent called C.Z.’s Bug Spray and a collection of her own gardening merchandise including hand-blown clay garden ornaments.

Guest is also known for her love of simplistic yet elegant brands. Mainbocher was undoubtedly Guest’s go to brand, and she remained loyal to him until he closed the brand in 1971. In 1985 Guest designed a fashion collection that mainly included cashmere jumpers, which was showcased at an Adolfo Dominguez show.

C.Z. Guest Biography

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Written by Sabina Rouse

Sabina Rouse, current English Literature student at the University of Reading in her second year. She enjoys writing for the Fashion and Beauty sections of the University Newspaper Spark* in addition to contributing to the online magazine Lust and Found. Sabina writes for the Biographies section of Catwalk Yourself.

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