Tuesday, November 25, 2003

‘Best Dressed’ Memorial

The memorial held in honor of Eleanor Lambert, who passed away in October at the age of 100, was held, fittingly, at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, just across the street from where she had long resided. The one-hour tribute was a combination of remembrances, poems, and visuals, and was well attended by many bold- faced names - including those who have made the Best Dressed List founded by Lambert.

Among those who stood at the podium to pay homage to the amazing life and achievements that marked Ms. Lambert’s legacy, were Harold Koda, who observed that Eleanor “didn’t embrace trends” even though she was part of a world (fashion) that thrived on them, AND that she was “one of the first people to get a cell phone” (she was in her 80’s at the time, and until then, cell phones were basically the province of drug dealers, call girls, and other unsavory characters); her son, Bill Berkson, who remembered his mother’s love of the word “amazing”, and her “dazzling curiosity”, and read a poem he wrote that was written this past August to commemorate her 100th birthday ; Oscar de la Renta, who called his mentor - whom he met in 1963- a “super human being” even though he was at times “terrified of her because of her imperialistic manner”, and also spoke of how Eleanor did publicity for him at the beginning, without getting paid; Elsa Klensch and Joe Cicio who took the stage together (Elsa noting that “no one looked better in a turban than Eleanor- especially when she wore her Kenneth Jay Lane emerald jewelry” and Joe fondly remembering that she loved “shopping in Chinatown for spices and bargain priced- pajamas”); Hilary Weston reminded the audience of Eleanor’s “support for English and Irish designers”, which spoke volumes about her “Irish side- her Celtic spirit” also noting that she had “promotion in her blood”; Nadja Swarovkski, who admitted that Eleanor was “sometimes a bit frightening” and that she “taught her how to bring people together”.

But perhaps the biggest laughs came when John Loring related how he first met Eleanor 30 years ago at a Bloomingdale’s luncheon, where they were table mates, and she introduced herself by saying, “I’m Eleanor Lambert and if I were a young man in your position, I’d make friends with me.” He also noted that she loved to play cards and that she was not 100, but rather, “five 20 year olds”.

The most personal and heartfelt moment was at the end, when her grandson, Moses Berkson, took the stage to pay tribute to his beloved grandmother with a 6-minute video presentation, which captured the essence of the “Grand Dame of New York fashion”, who might have aged chronologically, but never in mind or spirit. And he cajoled the audience by observing that his energetic grandmother would have wanted everyone to get up and go back to work immediately following the proceedings.

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Friday, November 14, 2003

Photo Coverage of the Victoria's Secret 2003 Show:

For the 5th year in a row, lookonline's Randy Brooke photographed the show last night for us. For many of us we believe that his photos are the best found anywhere. 20 high resolution images are up in our photo library section.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Best Face Forward?

We all know that Fashion Wire Daily is about to undergo yet another facelift, and that according to WWD, the entire existing staff is about to be dismissed. In fact, the relaunch had apparently been planned for this past Monday, but if you go on to the beleagured website (which brazenly bills itself as "The First Word in Fashion"), you can see they are still in a state of flux.

REALLY, do you mean to tell me that the best they could do while they await their 'New Look' is that deardful, overblown picture of Kristanna Loken (?) with the headline, "Kristanna Loken Celebrates the Releasee of Terminator 3"? Yikes!

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Eleanor Lambert Memorial

Celebrating 100 years in the life of the late Eleanor Lambert. Monday November 24th 3PM at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. RSVP to CFDA 212-302-1821 ext 104 or fax 212-768-0515.

(Northwood University bio) Eleanor Lambert, the publicist noted for establishing the international stature of American fashion, is equally well known in all fields of the arts and luxury living. In private life she is Eleanor Lambert Berkson, widow of Seymour Berkson, American journalist (d.1959). Their son, William Berkson, is a recognized poet and art critic.

Born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, she was the first publicist to represent American art and its artists as personalities and international innovators. She introduced the Whitney Museum at its founding.

Her belief in fashion as an art form led to the recognition of many now famous designers including Claire McCardell, Adrian, Norman Norell, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin and Valentino. She organized the semi-annual Fashion Press Week, forerunner of the centralized showings in Milan, Paris and New York.

She founded the Coty Awards (1943-1979) and The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and received its Lifetime Achievement award in 1987 and 1993.

The U.S. government appointed Miss Lambert to introduce American fashion to the world through fashion shows in Russia, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Britain, Italy and Australia. She served on the National Council of the Arts (later National Endowment for the Arts) at its founding in 1965.

Her international Best Dressed poll, the traditional annual record of contemporary taste in dress, was established in 1941 and continues under her aegis.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

‘Brave New World?’

‘Bravehearts: Men in Skirts’, is the new exhibit- which runs through February 8th- at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Curated by Andrew Bolton, the museum’s associate curator, it is being touted as “A colorful salute to the growing numbers of the few, if proud, men in skirts.” This exhibit must have inspired Hamish Bowles when he decided to show off his legs last Thursday evening at Fashion Group International’s Annual Night of Stars (he wore a traditional black tuxedo with a knee length black kilt).

But there were no skirt - clad men in attendance at the museum’s late morning press preview - even Jean Paul Gaultier, who is sponsoring the exhibit, and who has certainly shown skirts for men on his runways, was on hand to field questions from the press conservatively dressed in a black t shirt and pants.

Greeting the guests at the museum’s 5th avenue entrance was a small and quiet group from PETA, wearing fur pelts and carrying placards saying (‘Only Cave People Wear Furs’). Were they demonstrating against Gaultier, who has long used furs in his collections, or did they know that Anna Wintour was going to attend? For the record, she toured the exhibit furless (well, after all, the weather was summer-like and balmy), though accompanied by bodyguards.

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner