Photo: Manuel Pertegaz
Spanish fashion designer Manuel Pertegaz died before dawn Saturday in Barcelona, his design studio told told Efe. He was 96.
His funeral will be held at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the mortuary in the Sant Gervasi district.
High fashion has lost one of its greatest masters.
Pertegaz, who had lived in Barcelona from the time he was 9 years old, crowned one of the longest, most admired careers of any Spanish artist with a design project that would be the dream of any couturier: the wedding dress for a future queen.
He designed the gown Queen Letizia wore when she married Felipe VI in May 2004, a commission he considered a great honor.
Pertegaz was 13 when he began working at a tailor’s shop in Barcelona that subsequently opened a women’s clothing department, and he soon discovered that designing women’s wear was what he liked best. It was the start of a meteoric career that established him as a master of high fashion.
The name of Manuel Pertegaz will ever be associated with great actresses of Hollywood’s golden age like Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn and Paulette Goddard, with such figures of high society as Jacqueline Kennedy, Aline de Romanones and Bibis Samaranch, and with royalty, including Queen Sofia when she was still a princess and the Duchess of Windsor.
His mastery even won him an offer to succeed Christian Dior in heading the House of Dior, but he always chose to remain in this Barcelona studio.
After the wedding of Spain’s current king and queen, Pertegaz began to ease into retirement, but at age 90 he still had time to present his first jewelry collection in Barcelona.
The couturier retired to his home outside Barcelona, but until the last moment he never stopped visiting his internationally renowned studio.