He was educated at Port Regis School and Bryanston School in the 1970s. He also studied at the Parsons School of Art and Design in New York, US
Jasper Conran's first collection was for Henri Bendel New York. In 1979, aged 19, he designed his first womenswear collection under his own name. The following year he was elected to the London Designer collections. Conran designed his first menswear collection in 1985.
In 1999, he began designing a signature range of stemware for Stuart Crystal and later for Waterford. In 2001, he launched a fine bone china tableware collection for Wedgwood.
In 1996, he launched his exclusive J line womenswear range for the Debenhams chain of UK department stores. Today that association has grown to include women's accessories, lingerie, hosiery, menswear, men's accessories, childrenswear, homeware and Luggage.
In 1994, he designed Lady Sarah Chatto's wedding and bridesmaid dresses. He also designed wedding dresses for Jasmine Guinness and Paula Yates. Conran launched his own made to measure bridal collection in 2007.
1996, Evening Dress. Black silk and viscose devoré velvet high-waisted and bias-cut evening dress with a gentle flare. Exhibition: The Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion 1947-1997 (V&A 06/03/1997-27/07/1997)
2006, Man's suit ensemble. Given by Christopher Breward. A single breasted dark grey ground jacket and matching trousers which is flecked with small sky blue and white stitches giving the appearance of dots. A sky blue and white shirt completes the outfit. The jacket has a flat collar and revers extending to a single button fastening centre front. There are flapped pockets at hip level that extend to the side seam. A welted pocket is found on the LH breast along with two vertical seams. There is padding at the shoulder seam, the sleeves are cut on the circular and have four black plastic buttons at the cuff. The rear of the jacket is constructed from two vertical panels with a seam running down the CB. The lower part of the jacket opens out to a flap. The jacket is lined with sky blue silk, cut in a curvilinear pattern with white piping. The trousers have have inset pockets at the side seams. There is a zipper fly and waist tab with two hook and eyes and an inner button of black mother of pearl. There are three mother of pearl buttons on both the RH and LH side seams of the waistband. The button to the rear of the waistband is attached to a semi-circular tab. The sky blue and white shirt fastens with six cream mother of pearl buttons. It has a collar and plackets from each single-button cuff. Worn by Christopher Breward for his civil partnership ceremony with James Brook, 18 August 2006. The suit, which is from Kilgour's ready to wear range, was purchased in the Kilgour shop on Savile Row, London. Exhibition: Unveiled: 200 years of wedding glamour from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. (Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington 17/12/2011-22/04/2012); The White Wedding Dress: 200 Years of Wedding Fashions (Bendigo Art Gallery 01/08/2011-06/11/2011)
Jasper Conran released furnishing fabric and wallpaper collections for Designers Guild as well as a range of signature fragrances in 2003. A year later, he designed and launched a three range fireplace collection for Chesney's. By 2005, he was designing a collection of luggage for Tripp and in 2008 launched his Jasper Conran Optical range with Specsavers.
He published his first book, Jasper Conran Country, in 2010. This 300 page photographic essay was captured during a year of exploration around the English countryside.
Conran is the chairman and chief executive of Jasper Conran Holdings Ltd. He is also a non executive director of Conran Holdings Ltd.
Throughout his career, Jasper Conran has pursued his passion for the performing arts. He has designed costumes and sets for fourteen ballet, opera and theatre productions.
He collaborated closely with David Bintley on the Royal Ballet's production of "Tombeaux" at Covent Garden and the Birmingham Royal Ballet's "The Nutcracker Sweeties", "Brahms/Handel Variations", "The Shakespeare Suite" and "Arthur Part I & II" . He also designed the set and costumes for David Bintley's "The Compleat Consort" for the Bayerisches Staatsballett in Munich.
Other works include "My Fair Lady" directed by Simon Callow, Donzetti's opera "Maria Stuarda" for ENO and Galina Samsova's "Swan Lake" and "Sleeping Beauty" for the Scottish Ballet.
In 1991 Jasper Conran won a The Laurence Olivier Award for Costume Design for Jean Anouilh's "The Rehearsal" at the Almeida Theatre in London.
Jasper Conran is an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Heriot-Watt University, and a Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts London and an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law at the University of East Anglia. He is also a Governor of Bryanston School and has served several times on the British Fashion Council.
Conran is a Patron of the Work-Life Balance Trust – of which his mother is President. He is also a Trustee of the Wallace Collection and the Architecture Foundation.
He is openly gay. In 2009, he was ranked number 66 in the annual Pink List of 100 influential gay and lesbian people in Britain published by The Independent on Sunday. In 2010, this list described him as a 'National Treasure'.
Numbered among his lovers was Bruce Chatwin. Around 1980, Chatwin contracted HIV. With his condition deteriorating rapidly, Chatwin and his wife went to live in the South of France at the house belonging to Shirley Conran, the mother of his one-time lover, Jasper Conran. There, during his final months, Chatwin was nursed by both his wife and Shirley Conran. He died in Nice in 1989 at age 48.
Country by Jasper Conran
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Conran (May 5, 2010)
Jasper Conran's Country is unlike any lifestyle book you've ever seen. It's neither a catalog of perfectly decorated spaces nor a how-to compendium of design problems and solutions. Rather, it is a deeply moving vision of the pleasures of country life and an intensely felt celebration, in pictures and text, of all things rural-the landscapes, the people, the houses, the traditions.
Country's captivating photographs delight the eye as Conran uses the landscape and homes that are familiar to him to explore universal themes as he travels through the seasons, moving from indoors to outdoors while lovingly documenting country life as it is lived today. It's not a book to "refer to" for help or advice this project or that. It is a book to spend a good long time with as you weave your own dreams for that universally desired life-one lived well, and in the country.
Bruce Chatwin: A Biography by Nicholas Shakespeare
Paperback: 672 pages
Publisher: Anchor (July 17, 2001)
Amazon: Bruce Chatwin: A Biography
Award-winning novelist Nicholas Shakespeare has written the definitive biography of one of the most influential literary figures of our time: Bruce Chatwin, whose works’ strangely compelling combination of research, first-hand experience, myth, and mystification may have been the real substance of his seemingly contradictory life.
Chatwin’s first book, In Patagonia, became an international bestseller, revived the art of travel writing, and inspired a generation to set out in search of adventure. Chatwin became a celebrity, while remaining a conundrum. With little formal education, he had become a director of Sotheby’s. An avid collector, he eschewed material things and revered the nomadic life. Married for twenty-three years, he had male lovers throughout the world. And only at his death did his personal myth fail him. Nicholas Shakespeare, who was given unrestricted access to his papers, spent eight years retracing Chatwin’s steps and interviewing the people who knew him. The result is a biography that is at once sympathetic and revelatory.
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