Christiane Bailly was part of the pret-a-porter revolution of the 1960s. Bailly began her career as a model for Balenciaga, Chanel and Dior in 1957.
Her interest in fashion developed and she entered design, working on more approachable clothes than those she had been wearing at the grand couture houses.
In 1961 she started designing for Chloé and, after two years, moved on to work with Michele Rosier.
In 1962 Bailly formed a company with Emmanuelle Khanh, and both were assisted by a young Paco Rabanne. Their label, Emma Christie, produced revolutionary designs to critical acclaim and poor commercial success, but their role in the birth of French pret was an important one.
Her radical methods included experimenting with synthetic fabrics such as silver plastic and `cigarette paper`. She took the stiff interlinings out of jackets for a more supple silhouette, and cut close-fitting clothes from black ciré in 1962.