Tuesday, October 29, 2013

In the Market Report: Vintage Shopping


It’s about "Time"

Miroslava Duma with her Charlotte Olympia clock purse
(Click on images for larger views)

I guess you could say I’ve got time on my mind; and it’s not only because next Saturday, we turn our clocks back. There’s a whole clock purse "thing" going on, and it’s caught my attention. I was recently struck by images of Russian fashion plate Miroslava Duma, carrying a graphic and whimsical Charlotte Olympia clock purse, during Paris Fashion Week. The bag, $1295, is completely sold out online by the way.


Marilyn Brooks 1980's clock purse


Concurrently, there were pictures of Diane Kruger, who always gets it right from a fashion standpoint, carrying the same purse to The Bridge screening in Germany on September 6th. And last Tuesday, Diane Von Furstenberg accessorized with a kitschy clock bag (label unknown) when she attended Fashion Group International’s "Night of Stars" Galaxy soiree. I became obsessed and was on a mission to find a similar version, and came across images of a clock purse made by the Canadian designer Marilyn Brooks in the 1980’s (www.marilynbrooks.com). According to the designer, the "Town Hall Clock Handbag", was designed in 1986 and put into production in 1987. It's a take off on the old night watchman's clock that was worn over the shoulder and set up on the hip as he did his rounds each evening. Hers has a battery, so the clock actually works, which is an added bonus. I emailed Ms. Brook who retired in 2003, to see if she had any pieces left. While alas, she does not, she did say she was hoping to get her manufacturer to produce some more in the near future and would keep me posted.

Vintage shopping is one of my most favorite guilty pleasures and pastimes. I especially look forward to the Manhattan Vintage Show (www.manhattanvintage.com). Held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, the most recent one was this past Friday and Saturday. (The next will be January 17th and 18th, and the Gentlemen’s Vintage Show will be November 15th). Now in its 12th year, and co-produced by David Ornstein and Maureen McGill, (39-year vintage veterans themselves), the show highlights clothing from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. But David, who has an informed eye and is knowledgeable in all areas of fashion, is especially adept at conception and marketing. He has been successful at merging the old with the new; bringing vintage into the current era, which is really what it’s all about.


Manhattan Vintage Big Chief print maxi skirt
Mara Hoffman Collection

One of his more inspired ideas this year was to involve Mara Hoffman, the New York City fashion designer who graduated from Parsons and attended the Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts and Design in London. She was asked to curate a collection which was available online from October 23 – October 25th.  Unsurprisingly, she was so spot on with her well-priced selections, almost everything immediately sold. Among the highlights: a 1960’s suede whiplash fringed skirt, $450; a 1980’s Christian Dior silk pants printed with the moon and the stars, $325; a 1970’s Big Chief print maxi skirt, $265.

In addition, long before the show, David approached Mary McFadden. He said he was struck by how “fresh” and modern her designs looked, and knew they would capture the attention of editors who would be attending. (In fact, they could not be more of the moment, considering we're in a fashion cycle which is celebrating all that is exotic, ethnic, and global, rich embellishments, and of course, pleats, all of which are McFadden trademarks). David contacted Mary and asked if she would lend some of her iconic designs to the show, and while her immediate response was “Why?” they were in fact featured in an installation, “Cultural Modernist”, and prominently displayed in the large reception area of the Metropolitan Pavillion, alongside several of her books, accessories, and South African artwork.

She was also profiled and interviewed by Laura McLaws Helms, in the show’s catalogue. Here’s an excerpt:
“The spellbinding and intricate designs of Mary McFadden occupy their own place within fashion. Laden with historical references, McFadden found a way to blend a vast array of inspirations into designs that appear timeless. While her clothes resonated perfectly with the period she was designing in (1970s-1990s), the use of classical line and form has allowed them to maintain their wearability today”.
In the meantime, I almost never leave this show empty-handed. These are a few of the things that caught my eye (at a range of prices and for very different reasons). And not surprisingly, I found them in booths of dealers I’ve traditionally gravitated to:


Lisa Victoria Vintage wool jacket with crystal trim

Lisa Victoria Vintage Clothing
201 488 2824
www.lisavictoriavintage.com
lisavictoria@verizon.net

Vintage cotton velvet Pucci cape

Augusta Auction’s amazing Emilio Pucci printed velvet maxi cape, and Pierre Cardin’s multi colored chiffon dress, both of which are part of an upcoming auction on November 13th.
www.augusta-auction.com
contact@augusta-auction.com
802 376 9988


Judith Lieber gold metal bag

Lulu’s Vintage Lovelies’ gold Judith Lieber purse ($650) which almost looks like binoculars;  Stephen Sprouse 80’s black wool biker jacket ($650);  a pristine black wool Chanel jacket with pearl buttons and white collar and cuffs, $2500;  a racy silver Rifat Uzbek jacket, $350.
www.luluvintage.com
nyluluvintage@gmail.com
212 684 7193


Vintage wicker guitar bag from the 60's


Deco Etc.’s vintage 1970’s straw guitar bag. Talk about a real conversation piece;, and how perfect for that boho hippie vibe that is so of the moment (not that it ever went away). It was priced at $950 but she said she would take $450!
212 675 3326; 347 423 6446
vanstrou@aol.com

Vintage Roberto Cavalli green fox maxi coat

Karen McWharter’s amazing Roberto Cavalli 90’s dyed forest green fox horizontally worked maxi coat with insets of black snakeskin, approximately $1300. (I just had to try it on, as did several other attendees). And her 60’s faux leopard coat with faux leather trim. In a sea of faux leopard coats, this one stood out because of its flattering fitted shape and the black leather trim. Plus, the price was hard to beat: $125.
 917 455 1002
warwithfun@verizon.net

Vintage maltese cross on a cord

De Jewels’ massive gold Monet Maltese cross $350, and an unlabeled version in gold with large white stones, on a black cord, $175 (very Dolce & Gabbana, or Chanel).
 212 228 6445
dgeary7@verizon.net

Vintage iconic Winston Salem pants

Carla & Carla Vintage’s 1970’s Winston Fancy Pants. Unisex with a drawstring waist, in 100% cotton, they feature an iconic and graphic Winston cigarette print. Made by the Winston Company they have the label Winston Fancy Pants inside. With slogans and graphics being so of the moment, not to mention uber cool pajama pants, these could not look more au courant, $150.

Carla & Carla Vintage
917 751 6757
www.carlaandcarla.com

Vintage leopard collar

Evolution’s oversized leopard printed collar, which can easily be added to any top just by fastening it on. Leopard is always ‘spot’ on and this piece happens to be brilliantly practical, $125.
1stdibs.com
513 560 1983
tony@insightbb.com




-Marilyn Kirschner



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fashion Group's Galaxy 30th Anniversary


All Photos Randy Brooke
(Click on images for larger views)

 The Fashion Group (www.fgi.org) was conceived at an informal luncheon in 1928, and became an organization in 1930, “with a place, a purpose, by-laws, officers and women eager to be members”. Each year, since, 1983, they have held their annual Night of Stars. But this year, to properly commemorate their 30th anniversary (gee, you don’t look a day older than 29!), it wasn’t just stars, but a veritable Galaxy. (Galaxy: A collection of stars held together by their mutual galaxy. All the stars in a galaxy are kept together by the gravity of all the other stars, as well as the invisible, mysterious dark matter).


Marc Jacobs & Sofia Coppola

 So, how many stars are in Fashion’s Galaxy? Who knows, but I do know that many of them, including one star of major proportions, (who would be the surprise guest at the end of the evening), turned out at Cipriani Wall Street last night. By the way, I know there are probably some who find the downtown location inconveniently out of the way. But I for one love it, as I live close enough, that I can actually walk to and from my home. Just think Conde Nasters, once your offices move down here, you will be able to do the same!

Robert Duffy

Just consider this impressive roster:

SUPERSTAR AWARD: Marc Jacobs and Robert Duffy

STAR HONOREES:
FASHION:
Christopher Kane
Angela Missoni
Alexander Wang

MEDIA: Carine Roitfeld 

BRAND VISIONARY:  Nadja Swarovski

BEAUTY:  Leslie Blodgett

INTERIOR DESIGN:  Jamie Drake

CORPORATE LEADERSHIP AWARD: Lew Frankfort

SUSTAINABILITY AWARD:  Gilles Andrier for Givaudan

HUMANITARIAN AWARD:  Evie Evangelou & Franca Sozzani for Fashion 4 Development

LORD & TAYLOR FASHION ORACLE AWARD: Deborah Needleman

The lead sponsor of this year’s event was Lord & Taylor. Participating sponsors: Arcade Marketing, Givaudan, InStyle, LIM College and Movado. And of course, once again, Simon Doonan was the Host, introducing the evening’s honorees (who he quipped, “include everyone in this room”) with a wild tale centered on his imaginary and often hilarious look back at where each one was 30 years ago. (“Could you ever imagine how far you’ve come in 30 years”? he asked.

Simon Doonan


Some highlights of the evening:

Diane Von Furstenberg presented Nadja Swarovski with her Brand Visionary Award calling her a force, a leader, a visionary, an inspiration, and our friend. She’s been the Godmother of the CFDA Awards for 10 years. Even though she is so busy, she still has time to give such a great commitment to philanthropies.

Nadja accepted the award by honoring her fellow honorees; “this evening is a testimony to your hard work and success” she said.

Mayor Bloomberg, a great personal friend of both Jamie Drake and Coach’s Lew Frankfort (who he was there for, to present the Corporate Leadership Award) took to the podium and joked that when he was first called by Fashion Group, he thought he was getting an award himself, not GIVING an award. In fact, he should be getting a fashion award for getting through his tenure as mayor with just “two pairs of shoes and two business suits”. (I guess penny pinching runs in his family. His daughter Emma was in The New York Post yesterday, because she prefers to borrow dresses from "Rent the Runway" instead of actually buying new ones. “Much more economical” he thought. I suppose that’s why he’s a billionaire).

Lew Frankfort: “We went from being known as a house of leather to a major fashion label. New York is in an integral part of the Coach DNA. By honoring me, you are honoring the entire Coach team”. And then he made the announcement that he was giving a gift of $15 million to help fund the redevelopment of the Hudson Yards on the far West Side (“the next big area” he called it).

Carine Roitfeld


The bodacious beauty, Kate Upton, there to give Carine Roitfeld her Media Award, observed that Carine was “the first editor to put me on the cover, and I actually wore clothing! Thank you for that”. She noted that Carine has been able to change the way people dress “through her own personal style”.For Carine, who was dressed in a skinny black tuxedo, the award and evening were highly emotional. She said fashion is all about “fragility and imagination” and she gave special thanks to Stephen Gan who helped “make my dreams come true”.


Hamish Bowles

Hamish Bowles, who presented Alexander Wang, with his Fashion Award, described the young designer’s aesthetic as “urban edgy” and noted that fashion is not just the clothes you wear, but what you eat, where you go, and the people around you. He said Alexander “works as hard as he plays” and described him as a “little boy with high heeled dreams, and he made his dreams come true”. Alexander Wang: “2013 has been an amazing year for me”.

Alexa Chung, presenting Christopher Kane with his Fashion Award, hailed him as “truly original, with dark elements to what he designs. Brilliant!”

Mario Batali, there to give Leslie Blodgett the Beauty Award, described her as an amazing mother, who has empowered young women and young men, helping them realize the inner beauty inside themselves. She did it with dignity. Though with all her success, she won’t cook” he joked. Leslie Blodgett: “I’ve been a beauty addict since I was a young girl on Long Island. I was once told “don’t worry; you’ll be pretty one day”.  I found myself early on, giving tips to young girls who had self-confidence issues. The beauty industry is so rewarding. I can’t think of doing anything else”.

Angela Missoni


Stefano Tonchi, prior to giving the Fashion Award to Angela Missoni, thanked New York for all the many foreign accents. (Certainly, with all the foreign honorees and presenters, there were many heavy accents during the course of the evening). As a proud Italian, he spoke of the importance of family and said that the Missonis are the “closest thing I have to family”. “Rosita and Tai (Ottavio) invented the Missoni style but Angela has made it contemporary. Going global has been her goal but she has not forgotten her roots. She is my best friend, and almost like a sister”.

Angela Missoni: “This is the Missoni’s third award from Fashion Group. My parents had a vision and they invented something. It was more than a zig zag. I am not afraid to take risks. My parents invented a style that is like a language but I have to take it forward”. She dedicated the award to her late father Tai, and her brother Vittorio, both of whom passed away this year.


Linda Fargo


Margaret Russell described Jamie Drake’s style as “bold and invigorating designs which make life better”. Jamie thanked the fashion industry for giving him “endless reasons to open my wallet and shop”. He said he wished he took the “same IPO course at Parsons that Marc Jacobs did” (they went to Parsons at the same time).

Deeda Blair, there to give Deborah Needleman the Oracle Award said she looked up the word Oracle and found these words: profit, expert and mastermind, “all of which accurately describe” the honoree. But she said she is also “eternally curious; a genius editor who is inclusive not exclusive”. Deborah Needleman: “I’m in a job that is, in itself, an honor. I was once told “You’re so bossy you should be an editor in chief. I get to share my curiosity about fashion, with a smart global audience.”

Glenda Bailey


But with all due respect, the best part was saved for last. Just as I was almost beginning to doze off towards the end of the evening, Simon Doonan came out once again and this time, he announced a real surprise that would surely excite the crowd. And he was right. Out came the great Aretha Franklin with her backup singers. She told the crowd that she was invited by Marc Jacobs, and was accompanied to the event by the great Clive Davis. “Raise your glasses to Marc and Clive” she said and then quickly began singing her famous anthem “Respect”, inviting everyone to “stand up and shake your hips” which almost everyone did.

Miley Cyrus

Then Miley Cyrus in a slinky beaded gown, stepped up and made a few quick remarks “I’m not the greatest person to give a short speech” (she talked about how she first met Marc and made it short and sweet). When Marc Jacobs stepped up on the podium, he said he was also speaking for Robert Duffy, and he wasted no time saying “respect is the operative word here”. (He was obviously making a symbolic statement with that particular song).

“It’s a great honor to have our partnership with all the dedicated talented people, and to do what we do. The most important thing is to bravely allow for the possible. Some things in life you do for yourself, some things you do for others. Robert and I do some things for ourselves and some things for others. Our partnership, which is complete, but not in the biblical sense (we have never even kissed), is the most important relationship I will ever have. We are best friends in every sense of the word.”

Iris Apfel

As the guests left the building, each was handed an enormous silver and black snakeskin tote courtesy Accessory Headquarters, which was filled with an assortment of goodies. In addition to a bottle of Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio, there was a Lord & Taylor gift certificate, a bottle of Marc Jacob’s fragrance Honey, the designer’s eyeliner, a Missoni datebook, and a handsome leather zippered pouch in eggplant from Coach (what? No $15 million check?)



- Marilyn Kirschner




Friday, October 18, 2013

Perry Ellis: An American Original

"Ah Yes, I Remember Him Well..."



Last night I attended a party in celebration of the launch of Perry Ellis: An American Original, a landmark book by Jeffrey Banks, Erica Lennard and Doria de La Chapelle, published by Rizzoli (288 pages, hardcover). Hosted by Perry Ellis and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the event was held at Parsons New School of Design on 7th Avenue and 40th Streets, in it's huge second floor auditorium. Even walking up the stairs to that space, where I had attended so many major fashion shows, brought back memories. And the evening was certainly filled with memories. I hate to use this expression, but it did feel like "old home week" (I especially hate the word "old"), but in a sense, it was like having my whole fashion life flashing before my eyes.


Perry Ellis & Marilyn Kirschner

The evening and the event, was very personal to me on many levels. I met Perry Ellis at the onset of what would be a remarkable, and all too short, career. He was at John Meyer of Norwich and I was a fledgling editor at Harper's Bazaar. I was immediately struck by his attractiveness (both inside and out). The Virginia born designer was the consummate Southern gentleman: the antithesis of a loud, bawdy New Yorker. We met for periodic lunches at Sardi's (his favorite restaurant) and I was the one who brought him to the attention of Carrie Donovan, who was the Senior Fashion Editor of Harper's Bazaar (it would be the start of a very long friendship between the two). I attended every one of his fashion shows, and was very honored to have been asked to share my personal remembrances in the book. And stacks of the book were ready to be signed, with the authors, who were all there on Thursday evening, seated on a long table.

Perry Ellis and models fall 1981 photo by Dustin Pittman

  The room was not only filled with guests, but there were 69 Perry Ellis ensembles, dating from 1978 to 1983, displayed on mannequins, in addition to several  blown up photos strategically placed, and videos which replayed some of his landmark fashion shows. What struck me most, was that even though the time and memories are dated, there was really nothing outmoded or pass√© about  the designs on display, many of which looked amazingly fresh, quite up to date, and on trend (well okay, maybe with the exception of his exaggeratedly broad 80's football shoulders which are not flattering to anybody). There were a few pieces (the Sonia Delaunay cashmeres and animal printed shetlands for example), that I would 'kill' to have in my closet right now.

Doria de la Chappelle and Jeffrey Banks

Just consider this: nobody made better coats or more distinctive sweaters, than Perry. He injected humor and whimsy in the most classic elements, favored slouchy silhouettes, hefty and textural donegals, plaids, and flannels. He loved to play with volume and proportion; and had a penchant for exaggeration; bold, art inspired pattern; longer hemlines; pleats. And at a time when fashion is having a real shirt moment, let's not forget that the classic button down oxford cloth shirt (in white, pale pink, pale blue, pale lilac), figured prominently within Perry's collections and that Perry's personal signature was his pale blue oxford cloth button down shirt with pleated shoulders and buttoned cuffs, worn, more often than not, with khakis (his own signature blue pin point oxford shirt and personal khakis were the last items on display).


Spanish themed white shirt, high waisted pants
and Barry Kieselstein Cord's wide belt

.
.Midway into the evening, Parsons' Dean of Fashion, Simon Collins, made a few remarks. He said the evening was all about "legends", beginning with Perry Ellis, even though Parsons could not claim him as an alumni. (In fact, Perry went to college but not design school and he could not sketch!) But he observed that Jeffrey Banks, who co-wrote the book, could be claimed as both an alumni of Parsons AND a Bone fide "legend", as well as Marc Jacobs, who also wrote the forward to the book. And then he continued, "looking around this room, I can see there are plenty of legends, including a legendary fashion photographer ("Bill, you know who you are", he remarked).

Patricia Pastor and Patricia Mears

From my point of view, there certainly were some legends in the room. Among them, Patricia Pastor and Jed Krascella (Perry's right hand design assistants who were always by his side and who I had the pleasure of working with for many years); Isaac Mizrahi, a Parsons alum who was an assistant to Perry Ellis (Isaac called Perry his "mentor" and "guardian angel" and said that everything he learned, he learned from Perry); Kay Unger, designer and chair of the board of governors of Parsons; New School of Design; Larry Leeds (whose company, Manhattan Industries) owned the Perry Ellis label; Stan Herman; Bethann Hardison; Jeanne Rosenberg (who was the vice president and merchandising director at Bendel's from six months before Ms. Stutz's arrival in 1957 to their joint departure in 1986, after the store was sold to The Limited); and Koko Hashim, whose impressive retail resume includes Bloomingdales' Fashion Director of Womens' Apparel. While she is now retired, she still keeps abreast of fashion, and noted that from her point of view, there is too much that is being "recycled" on the runways these days, and "it's not as good as the original". When I asked what designers she admires these days, she immediately said, "Alber Elbaz for Lanvin" because he has his pulse on what women want, and his clothes are soft, flattering, and not demeaning.

Which makes the following observations, from two of the authors of the book, even more compelling: "There was no compromise in his vision.” - Jeffrey Banks. “He really had his own path. He was, to me, the only American designer of his time who was completely original. The other designers were looking at Europe. He had his own vocabulary.”  -  Erica Lennard



-Marilyn Kirschner



Behnaz Sarafpour Wins National Design Award


Elettra Wiedemann & Behnaz Sarafpour
(Click images for larger views - All photos Lieba Nesis)

The National Design Awards, founded in 2000, were held at Chelsea Piers at a time of uncertainty due to the government shutdown. Nevertheless, over six hundred people attended the event. The awards are funded and given by Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum and are based on excellence, innovation, and enhancement of the quality of life in the design field. Michelle Obama, honorary patron of the 2013 National Design Awards, hosted a White House Luncheon for the award winners.

Cocktail hour

This years winners included a Lifetime Achievement Award for James Wines, a Design Patron distinction for Janette Sadik-Khan, a Corporate and Institutional Achievement Award to Chris Anderson, and a Fashion Design Award for Behnaz Sarafpour. There was a palpable excitement this year perhaps due to the distinguished awardees and presenters, or maybe attributable to the fact that this years awards were not taken for granted. There were product design teams sent from Facebook, Nike and many other companies. Additionally, Tom Wolfe, Al Gore, and Kurt Andersen, lent substance and prominence to the evening.

Facebook product design team

The dinner attendees streamed in for the cocktail hour where drinks were served behind elaborate stations. Maria Guidice, the director of product design at Facebook expressed excitement at having a design platform that services over a billion people. She described her boss, Mark Zuckerberg, as "insightful, creative and a very deep thinker, who is involved in all aspects of product design." Additionally, she acknowledged that an increasing number of fashion designers are using Facebook to advance their business and Facebook was assisting them in monetizing their creativity to create brand awareness and success. Tom Wolfe, a presenter, said he has been designing his own white suits with his tailor for the past thirty years, and was most partial to Ralph Lauren as a fashion designer. Apparently, Tom recognized that he wanted to write at the ripe age of five and the rest is history.

Tom Wolfe & Janette Sadik-Khan design Patron winner

Behnaz Sarafpour, the awardee for fashion design, arrived in one of her own dresses with her friend Elettra Wiedemann. Sarafpour, was born in Tehran, moved to the United States and attended Parsons School of Design when she decided she wanted to become a designer. She introduced her own label of apparel in 2001 and has held positions at Isaac Mizrahi, Narciso Rodriguez and Barneys New York. She is a member of the CFDA and has worked with Target to create moderately priced but high quality items. She stated, "this award means more than anything to me. I design things  that are artisanal and expressive. I like to help a woman in an organic way so that it feels right and I don't put her in a box. I use my inspirations from travel and other experiences to inform my design, and I look forward to continue dressing women in a way that makes them feel special." Yves Behar, CEO and chief designer at Fuseproject, has designed perfume bottles for Prada, watches for Issey Miyake, and other products with Hussein Chalayan, acknowledged that "fashion with a function" has become more palatable to the masses and technology was being utilized to further this objective. The necessity for the design community to come together for awards shows like these were critical and not done enough in Yves' view.

Al Gore Presenter

As the cocktail hour came to a conclusion I recognized Saul Wurman, who was last years Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, and he said there was an obvious convergence between fashion, technology, and design. When I asked him what effect last years awards had on his career he stated, "none I am on old f---." On that note we parted as Al Gore came sashaying in last but not least- there to present an award to the curator of TED, Chris Anderson. Gore highly annoyed by all the pictures he was required to pose for usually does not get out of bed for less than twenty million, but there he was in a suit and tie suffering for the good of the masses. As I left, I realized that the symbiosis between fashion and architectural design was becoming increasingly dominant in our highly technologically oriented society and this dinner was just one indicator of that pivotal collaboration.




- Lieba Nesis



Thursday, October 17, 2013

The American Folk Art Museum Gala


Feathered Star Quilt from Kentucky
(click on images for larger views)

Last night, The American Folk Art Museum, http://www.folkartmuseum.org which is devoted to American Folk Art, and the work of international self taught artists, held its Fall Benefit Gala at Tribeca Rooftop. The approximately $500,000 raised, will go toward enabling the museum to preserve and conserve a "comprehensive collection of the highest quality, with objects dating from the 18th century to the present".

Chiu-Ti Jansen, Tim Gunn, Yaz Hernandez, Dr. Valerie Steele,
Patricia Mears, Angel Sanchez
 
Honorees were Dr. Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator of the Museum at FIT, and Lucy Sykes, Fashion Consultant, Rent the Runway, and Brand Ambassador; the Event Chairs were art patrons Yaz and Valentin Hernandez, and Laura and Dick Parsons; the Honorary Chair was Betsey Bloomingdale; and the evening's Host was Project Runway's Tim Gunn. Among the 300 or so guests were John Bartlett, Catherine Malandrino,  Koos Van Den Akker, Yeohlee Teng, Betsey Johnson, Iris Love, Jerry Lauren, Berry Bloomingdale, Patricia Mears, Martin and Jean Shafiroff, Daphne Guinness, Francisco Costa, Amy Fine Collins, Chui-Ti-Jansen, Angel Sanchez, Laudomia Pucci. 
 
 
Prior to a sit down dinner, there was a cocktail hour during which time guests, who were entertained to the strains of a live piano, had a chance to partake in a silent auction. Among the items offered were a 79" X 81" Feathered Star Quilt circa 1850 - 60, (it's the Folk Art Museum, don't forget!), a group of compelling photographs, a number of paintings and drawings, jewelry, and assorted accessories. (I was especially drawn to Wendy Steven's large i Phone holder made of etched stainless steel on a long black leather cord as it is not just practical but handsome).


Unabashadly Yours Elephant Silk Screen by Rebecca Puig

 The evening also served as a prelude to what promises to be a compelling upcoming exhibition, "Folk Couture: Fashion & Folk Art" which will run from January 21, 2013 to April 23, 2014. Guest Curated by Alexis Carreno (the chief curator is Stacy C. Hollander), it will explore the interconnection between art and fashion by showcasing the work of 13 "established and emerging" designers who will create original ensembles inspired by a section of paintings, sculptures, photographs, quilts, and furniture, chosen from the museum's collection. The original couture and the works of art will be exhibited together. The designers are John Bartlett, Michael Bastian, Chadwick Bell, Fabio Costa (NotEqual), Creatures of the Wind, Gary Graham, Catherine Malandrino,  Bibhu Mohapatra, Ronaldus Shamask, Yeohlee Teng, threeASFOUR, Koos Van den Akker, Jean Yu, many of whom were present last night.



-Marilyn Kirschner