Born in 1933, Adolfo Sardina started his foray into fashion as a milliner, working in the hat workshops of Balenciaga and Chanel. Expected to become a lawyer, Adolfo instead became a designer, after being influenced by an aunt who was fond of French couture. In 1953, he received a Coty Fashion Award for his innovative millinery designs and returned to Paris to apprentice at the House of Chanel. Bill Blass helped to finance Adolfo’s first millinery house under his own name and in the 1960s he began designing clothing for clients like Nancy Regan.
Pictured above is a 1970s Adolfo hand painted organza pinafore ball gown. Visit 1stdibs for more information.