In the 60s she was dubbed as “the feminine Courrèges”.
She married a wealthy man, and began frequenting the fashion shows and ateliers of Balenciaga and Dior during the post war years.
Her marriage ended and she was left with no money and a young son. She didn’t want to stop wearing beautiful dresses and needed to make a living so she decided to take what she had learned from all her years of “studying” the great designers she used to wear. She hired some seamstresses and brought her designs to life, opening up her first shop in 1958.
Marella Agnelli and Lee Radziwill at Truman Capote's Black and White Ball wearing Mila Schön.
Her label took off, and she began dressing socialites and celebrities including Mariella Agnelli, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill, Farah Diba and Imelda Marcos.
Her designs were inspired by contemporary art, interpreting Lucio Fontana’s holes and slashes and Kenneth Noland’s chevrons into wearable works of art. Her designs were often monochromatic and geometric, or high contrast with unique colour combinations. She turned Klimt’s paintings into beautiful embroideries, Calder’s mobiles as prints and Vasarely’s geometric paintings became patterned coats and suits. Her designs were modern and futuristic, she was dubbed the feminine Courrèges.
She started her own textile factory and developed the double-faced fabric that eliminated the need for facings and linings. Many of her designs are made from double faced wool.
Verushka photographed in Mila Schön
In 1965, the father of Italian fashion Giovanni Battista Giorgio invited her to showcase a collection at Florence’s Palazzo Pitti. Schön presented 25 different variations of violet including shades of lilac, mauve, wisteria. In 1966 she received the Neiman Marcus award and rose to international fame. She opened a new atelier in Milan that featured a futuristic all-white catwalk to hold fashion shows.
She also notably designed the costumes for legendary Italian horror film The Red Queen Kills Seven Times, by Emilio Miraglia.
Schön’s empire grew with lines of accessories and perfumes, and in the ‘70s she also designed the hostess uniforms for Alitalia and Iran Air.