From 1962-1964 Keyvan Khosrovani was in Paris on a grant from the French government to continue his studies at Ecole Superieure Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Through his girlfriend Cassandre, a famous top model of Pierre Balmain, he meets Balmain, one of the most talented haute couture designers of his time and interestingly he was trained as an architect. This was Keyvan’s entrance into the world of Parisian Haute Couture where he collaborated on several projects for the annual festivities of Sainte Catherine in Balmain’s Maison de la haute couture.
Upon his return to Iran, Keyvan was approached by the Empress Farah Pahlavi to help create her official wardrobe using local crafts. The decision was admirable but Keyvan was conscious that the quality of Iranian crafts was not as advanced as the crafts of India, Thailand, China, Korea, Japan or the oriental republics of Soviet Union. Every Sari of Indian women, Keyvan used to say is a masterpiece of silk weaving and brocade. The task was thus very difficult. He began by researching the embroideries of Baluchestan, brocade, batik of Oskoo, Ghalamkar and Sokmeh & Cheshmeh Douzi [needle works] of Esfahan.
In the course of the next thirteen years Keyvan achieved what had not been done before in Iran. Even today in those countries with high quality of crafts, it requires diligence and creativity to bring crafts to the level of Haute Couture. Worn by Empress Farah Pahlavi with great allure, it was for her a distinct source of pride representing both unique creations made for her but also the first exclusive haute couture of her own country.
It was Keyvan’s ideal to create professional schools in the respective places throughout Iran where his research into the crafts had led to such innovative products but unfortunately he did not receive the necessary support. For the festivities of Persepolis in 1971, Keyvan created nineteen gowns and robes. It is noteworthy that Keyvan did not receive any financial remuneration for the thirteen years of his involvement with the wardrobe of Empress Farah Diba. Nevertheless, without the royal wardrobe it would not have been possible to have developed such high innovation of Persian handicrafts.
To the list of his creations the official gown of ladies as ambassadors, ministers, vice minister with a fan on gold handle to replace the gentlemen’s hat and sward, mayor of Tehran’s official robe as well as, Farabi University, Aryamehr University and the uniforms for hostesses and stewards of Iran Air should be added.