Six degrees

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 January, 2011, 12:00am

David Furnish (above), the sophisticated yang to Elton John's flamboyant yin, has become a 'mother', according to an American registrar's documents. The former advertising executive has been credited with saving the career of his ageing pop-star partner and the 17-year relationship has seen the Canadian mould the one-time cocaine-addled alcoholic into A-list royalty - and, now, a parent. The only non-family guest at the couple's wedding was, along with her then husband, Sam Taylor-Wood ...

The British artist has enjoyed a colourful life since her mother enrolled the family into a saffron-robe-wearing commune when she was nine. A celebrated photographer, Taylor-Wood's Crying Men series consisted of pictures of famous males weeping. Among the vulnerable were Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Daniel Craig and Paul Newman. Last year, her John Lennon biopic, Nowhere Boy - starring the youthful father of her youngest child - was nominated for four Bafta awards, an achievement matched by another biopic, about Coco Chanel ...

Born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in 1883 to a market stallholder and a laundrywoman, the designer began learning her craft while living at an orphanage. Her influence was to become such that she was the only couturier to appear on Time's 100 most important people of the 20th century list. She never married but the founder of the house of Chanel had many influential lovers, including, allegedly, the composer Igor Stravinsky ...

The Russian also had a troubled childhood, before going on to become one of the most revered composers of his generation. Stravinsky was a tireless consumer of all the arts and, after becoming a naturalised American, regularly hosted notable British literary figures such as Dylan Thomas and W.H. Auden, and formed an attachment to writer Christopher Isherwood ...

Isherwood escaped the confines of his straight- laced youth and immersed himself in a hedonistic homosexual lifestyle in free-wheeling 1920s Berlin. The work Isherwood produced in Germany was to inspire the broadway show and, later, film Cabaret. Among his most famed works is A Single Man, which recently was given the silver-screen treatment, with Colin Firth in the lead role. The film was the directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford ...

Ford became a sartorial superstar after pulling fashion house Gucci back from the brink of extinction. As a young man, Ford dabbled in acting and was featured in 12 American advertising campaigns simultaneously. GQ magazine entered him on its 2011 best-dressed list at No7, one place behind David Furnish.


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