Thursday, October 30, 2003

Having a ‘FIT’:

Last evening, there was a cocktail party and dinner honoring the creative genius of Pierre Cardin and commemorating his 50 years in the fashion business. Given by the Alumni Association of FIT, it was also a celebration of their 50th anniversary, and an opportunity for the organization to bestow an Honorary Alumnus of FIT award on the 84 year old icon. By the way, he is the first designer to receive this honor, and in so doing, he returned the favor by bestowing his own scholarship fund.

The 200 or so guests milled around enjoying cocktails while watching a parade of models wearing some of Mr. Cardin’s vintage designs. After being seated for dinner, there was a formal fashion show which highlighted some of the signature designs for men and women the very influential designer made famous. While some admittedly looked rather dated, overly costumey and stylized, there were several dresses and outfits that could have easily walked off recent runways for fall/winter 2003 (which had many designers evoking an almost literal translation of the 60’s), there were also many numbers that stood the test of time and still look great today. And of course, some were testament to the brilliance of Pierre Cardin, as they were practically feats of architecture, engineering, and construction.

One disappointment was the attire chosen by those in attendance: they were asked to dress in ‘Black Tie or Cardin’- but the results were anything but creative or interesting. Most women chose uninspiring, boring black dresses, and many men looked as if they had just come from their offices. One standout (even though she was clad in black) was Vanity Fair’s Amy Fine Collins (who came with Tiffany’s Robert Ruffino). She showed up in a black confection that was modern and short, accessorizing her legs with fishnets and Manolo Blahniks. When I asked whom she was wearing, I knew the answer -of course - would be ‘Geoffrey Beene’. As the designer’s muse, she wears nobody else’s designs.

-Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

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