October 2, 2023


Unique & Classy

Chicago fashion designer Thierry Andre Roger, whose clients included violinist Rachel Barton Pine, dies at 60

5 min read

Following answering an not known variety on his cell, the obstacle of a lifetime was laid out right before Chicago fashion designer Thierry Andre Roger.

Environment-renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine was on the line.

Just about every ball gown in her closet was dazzling, classy, and, all of a sudden, ineffective.

For yrs, they’d flowed and swayed as she stood on stage with the help of a prosthetic leg and played her violin. 

But Pine had just suffered a clinical setback that still left her unable to walk, at minimum for a while, and the flowing material that created the robes lovely now posed a risk of finding caught less than the scooter that carried her to heart stage.

Her common dressmaker could not take on this sort of a shorter-observe job.

It was an emergency. Could he assist? Mr. Roger stated yes. 

His husband, Steven Martin-Roger, sat nearby as the cell phone simply call played out.

“It’s amusing due to the fact I recall hearing pieces of this, and then Thierry acquired off the cellphone and said ‘You’re not going to feel the discussion I just experienced with another person.’ And I grabbed her CD off the bookshelf, due to the fact I’m a significant lover, and showed it to him and was like ‘Are you chatting about Rachel Barton Pine?’ … He did not know who she was,” Martin-Roger said with a giggle.

Pine had been in an accident that severed her leg and mangled her remaining foot in 1995. The strap of her violin case acquired caught in the closing doorways of a Metra prepare as it left a station in Winnetka and dragged her hundreds of feet. She’d defeat adversity, yrs of medical procedures, and received even more acclaim as she played the environment more than, which include together with musical greats such as Jimmy Website page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin.

Chicago manner designer Thierry Andre Roger with violinist Rachel Barton Pine just after a show she performed final yr at Millennium Park though putting on a dress developed by Mr. Roger.

Her ask for was difficult: A slimmer design for a seated consumer that would continue to move with the athletic moves of a violinist’s arms and again, and pop from a distance, as effectively as search wonderful up close.

“It also experienced to drape in this sort of a way that it continue to felt like the kind of princess gown you want when you’re doing a violin concerto, but with a minimal plenty of amount of material that it was appropriate with sitting in the electrical scooter,” she mentioned.

“He made a truly progressive, two-piece gown that designed it 10 instances less complicated to get in than a regular a single-piece dress. But what was definitely intelligent, truly genius, was he manufactured it appear as though it was a a single-piece dress,” Pine explained.

He built 4 this sort of clothes for Pine and was setting up on a different batch when a battle with most cancers claimed his lifestyle.

Mr. Roger died May well 8 at his home in the Mayfair community on the Northwest Side. He was 60. 

Rachel Barton Pine performs in one of the dresses that Thierry Andre Roger made for her.

Rachel Barton Pine performs in just one of the attire that Thierry Andre Roger manufactured for her.

“It was so amazing that I obtained to know him and have him in my lifetime, even if it was considerably too short,” she said.

Mr. Roger — pronounced Rozhay — and his husband observed Pine perform in the dresses several situations, which includes last summer season at Millennium Park.

“He was extremely humble. He experienced heaps of clients,” Mr. Roger’s spouse claimed.

“He labored difficult on social media and maintaining up his internet site but by no means experienced to market. It was a lot more referrals, ladies expressing ‘Where did you get that costume?’ at parties, and he’d get a new shopper that way. He was very regular,” Martin-Roger reported.

“He’d been approached by producers of ‘Project Runway’ about becoming on the demonstrate as a contestant, but it was under no circumstances some thing that was an interest to him. He did not want to be a massive huge well-known star. He wanted to make his just one-of-a-kind items for his customers and make them satisfied, and have a great, delighted marriage.”

Mr. Roger was born in Switzerland to a German father and a French mother and split time involving the two countries — together with time finding out vogue in Paris — in advance of shifting to the United States in 1990.

Before concentrating on private clientele and performing out of his house studio less than his Thierry Roger Couturier label, he owned and operated a smaller Roscoe Village boutique named Assortment Privée.

He was identified with cancer at the outset of the pandemic and — with the trend small business on ice for a even though as people stayed home — he centered his time and efforts on earning 1000’s of masks with the reams of cloth he had in his basement.

Mr. Roger posted about the masks on Fb and would depart bags of masks outdoors his front door for any one who despatched him a concept expressing a want.

“And anyone on employees in the chemo ward at Swedish Covenant Hospital, in which he been given treatment method, obtained a single of his masks,” his partner stated. “It was a way to concentrate on other individuals and not on his personal problems.”

“You would locate them trendy, but it’s just for the reason that which is what he had on hand. He didn’t sew his label into it or nearly anything,” his partner reported.

The kindness was met with kindness, as people remaining baskets of baked items, boxes of sanitary wipes and rolls of rest room paper on their front stoop. 

“He only commenced charging for the masks when he ran out of materials, and materials grew to become difficult to get. But it was not to make income,” he claimed.

All the applications of his trade are becoming donated to Columbia Faculty Chicago. Spouse and children and good friends have commenced a scholarship fund in Mr. Roger’s name. Donations can be made at his website thierryroger.com.

Services have been held.

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