Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Better Bets by Rhonda Erb

Alice + Olivia + Epson

All photos Rhonda Erb

Stacey Bendet, Founder and Creative Director of Alice + Olivia, held an event earlier this month at the Hole Gallery in Manhattan, to debut her new capsule collection, channeling the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat. She wanted the room decor evoke the spirit of the artist, and Epson, one of the world’s premiere performance imaging companies, answered the challenge by recreating Basquiat’s works with wall signage and and projections throughout the event space.

Channeling Basquiat in design and print

The capsule collection, which benefits the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s young talent initiative, is in keeping with Bendet’s continued collaboration with artists. Basquiat, one of her favorite artists, rose to prominence in the American art world before the age of 27, making him a particularly suitable subject to serve as a creative influence for young talent.

Designs and Prints

Bendet featured iconic elements of Basquiat’s work throughout her collection, drawing inspiration from the New York City art scene of the 1980’s. She notes that she used beadwork and embroidery details to add “ a modern dimensional element” to some of the artist’s most famous works, “obscuring the line between fashion and art.”

Jessica Seinfeld at the event

As the imaging partner for the event, Epson sought to bring the collaboration of Alice + Olivia and Basquiat to life within the event space. Kimberly Michener, Manager, Advertising & Brand, Epson America, Inc., discusses how Epson used their technology to achieve a fashionable and artistic environment.

Bomber jacket

Can you give some background on how Epson got involved in the Alice and Olivia capsule project?

Epson reached out to Alice + Olivia to discuss ways in which we may be able to work together, and out of these discussions, we identified a need for projection and large format printing technology for this event.

What was the printing process?

We leveraged Epson SureColor S-Series 64-inch large format solvent printers for creating the signage, which provide unparalleled levels of productivity, image quality, and reliability.

Were there any challenges in bringing the designer's vision to the event space?

As mentioned above, Epson printed the Basquiat images showcased in the gallery, as well as providing the projection technology. The Epson SureColor S-Series printers are well suited to the high level of printing required for an event like this – delivering vibrant colors and high level of detail.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about Epson’s role in the event?

This is part of an ongoing outreach in preparation for the Epson Digital Couture event that will be held in February prior to New York Fashion Week. We are pleased to not only have been part of the event with Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet, but we are honored to have printed Basquiat's works. The event represented an ideal melding of art and fashion and technology – a perfect match for Epson.

- Rhonda Erb
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Sunday, November 27, 2016

New York Evening Hours by Lieba Nesis

Lieba's Annual Pick For The Sexiest Man Alive

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and soul searching giving us the opportunity to contemplate important and world changing events. One of these pivotal occurrences that is worthy of analyses and discussion is People magazine's choice of "Sexiest Man Alive". Yes choosing a President was certainly consequential with a riveting, vitriolic election keeping us guessing until the night of the final count. However, picking "the sexiest man alive" is no trivial matter as thousands gather at newsstands to snatch up their special double issue where we get to see all these hotties.

In other years, I have objected to the cover boys feeling that they were unworthy of this coveted title. Last year's choice of David Beckham was a head scratcher - why I lamented. What happened to the good old days with Pitt, Clooney, McConaughey and Harrison? Why hadn't People chosen a similarly nonchalant super stud who was headed for a spectacular career. This year they disappointed slightly by picking Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Dwayne seems like a good guy but is already an established commodity being the highest paid actor in the world with his 6-foot-5 inch frame and 245 lbs.

In the article, Dwayne shares some adorable tidbits including his weekly indulgence in cheat meals where he scarfs down burgers, pizza and pancakes. As if all this wasn't fascinating enough, we are told that he is contemplating running for President - go right ahead Dwayne now that you have a resume with sexiest man the world is open. Some more fun facts include Dwayne's admission that he was naked that morning "trying to make babies" with his longtime girlfriend - Too Much Information Mr. President.

All joking aside, Dwayne seems like a down-to-earth fellow who deserves both heavyweight and sexiest man titles. Inside the magazine, People further explores and categorizes sexy men such as Ryan Reynolds as "Sexiest Masked Man", Andy Cohen as "Sexiest Diarist" and Orlando Bloom who is "Sexiest Boyfriend."  I think I can do better in picking men both in New York and all over the globe who are sexier and more exciting than these folks.

Moreover, People's title should be changed to "Sexiest Celebrity Alive" as it becomes apparent there are sexier dudes in the general population who will never be chosen since they don't have the celebrity factor that will enable People to obtain exclusives in the near future. This is my first attempt at choosing sexy Individuals but if this goes well I may have a Lieba's Annual Sexiest List.

Top Ten Sexiest People:

Sexiest Person Alive: Male Model Jordan Barrett

Jordan Barrett

I thought about who was worthy for days on end scrolling through Instagram, Facebook and online sites and finally concluding the only man who fits the bill is Jordan Barrett. Many of you have never heard of this up and coming male model who at one time dated Paris Hilton and now graces magazine covers and ad campaigns. I have met Jordan twice and both times found myself moving closer so I could brush against him and see if this magnificent mannequin was capable of movement. His angular bone structure, luxurious blonde hair, dynamite Australian accent, perfect 6-foot-1 physique, stunning blue eyes and white glossy teeth make him the perfect choice. He is a bit feminine but so are Rob Lowe and Brad Pitt. This 19-year-old is enigmatic and mysterious with all the right friends including: Hailey Baldwin, Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid.

Sexiest Politician: Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

While most of you thought I would pick Barack or Trudeau I chose Nancy, Minority leader of the House, because she is 76 and always looks perfectly coiffed and elegant. She seems a little uptight but always appears age appropriate maintaining a youthful glow belying her 76 years. She may be replaced in the upcoming months so perhaps bestowing this title on her will assuage her pain after she is no longer politically relevant.

Sexiest Jewish Man in New York: Joshua Kushner

Joshua Kushner

I hope this subset doesn't offend anyone but being that I am a Jewish New Yorker I have to look out for my own interests. This 31-year-old internet mogul who is the brother of Jared, son-in-law to President elect Donald, is nothing short of magnificent. I have spotted him at the Met Gala, a UJA event and some other soirees and all 6-foot-2 inches of him are impeccable. His full head of brown hair and preppy demeanor allow him to blend in any environment. Graduating Harvard College and Business School and being one of the original investors in Instagram doesn't hurt either. Unfortunately, he is dating model Karlie Kloss.

Sexiest Restaurateur: Julian Niccolini

Julian Niccolini

Since closing his famous Four Seasons restaurant this past July, this man has been nonstop-traveling to Italy and the Hamptons and planning his new restaurant which will be located at 280 Park Avenue. His white shock of hair, kind demeanor and delightful Italian accent endear him to Kings, Queens and the glitterati of New York. This man will be successful no matter where he resides with a following that includes Martha Stewart, Ray Kelly, and Leon Black.

Sexiest Fashion Ambassador: Carlos Souza

Carlos Souza

"Who is that man?" I exclaimed, as I walked into the New York City Ballet Fall Gala and spotted a gorgeous Brazilian in a dashing black suit. Publicist Peggy Siegal introduced him as Valentino Global Brand Ambassador Carlos Souza who frequents society events from Russia to Paris. This man is a cross between Michael Nouri and Julio Iglesias and is perhaps the best dressed man utilizing purple cravats and colorful jackets to stunning effect. His celebrity friends include Hathaway, Hilton and Kardashian. If you want to socialize with this guy you better have a house or castle in the South of France or at least California.

Sexiest Preacher: Joel Osteen

Joel Osteen

While meaning no disrespect, I commend Osteen for his youthful appearance and shy smile. He and his wife, Victoria, have movie star looks with Southern manners, and kudos to him for positively affecting so many lives.

Sexiest Rapper: Future


While many women swoon over Drake I met "Future" last week and he is a stunner. His shoulder length hair and adorable smile are completely unexpected from one of the toughest rappers in the industry with a towering stature that completely took me by surprise. Moreover, he was gracious and friendly notifying me that he was going to the studio to record at the late hour of 12:30 AM - making a good living can definitely compound sexiness.

Sexiest TV Star: Justin Baldoni

Justin Baldoni

Justin Baldoni is one of those young up and comers with 634,000 Instagram followers whose swarthy good looks and chiseled physique make this 32-year-old a standout. His show "Jane The Virgin" continues to be a cult hit and his following among tweens has exploded.

Sexiest Late Night Host: Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel

If sardonic is sexy then this man has got it. it was a tough call with funnymen Jimmy Fallon and James Corden coming in at close seconds. However, Fallon and Corden are too goofy and their karaoke segments are painful. Kimmel is funny in an understated way and his skits on the streets of LA with security guard Guillermo are uproarious.

Sexiest Female: Emily Ratajkowski

Emily Ratajkowski

Yes her ensembles are downright slutty, but she continues to grab the public's attention with her wardrobe choices. The difference between her and nudity often lies in a sliver of material but that's why the paparazzi love her. I hope she has some talent backing up her flimsy wardrobe choices.

- Lieba Nesis

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Better Bets by Rhonda Erb

Bloomingdale’s “ Lights Up a Young Mind”

The cast of "Dear Evan Hansen"
Photo by Neil Rasmus

On Monday night in Manhattan, Bloomingdale’s 59th Street store mixed holiday sparkle with Broadway star power at the unveiling of their 2016 holiday windows. The event featured a performance by the cast of the musical Dear Evan Hansen in Beacon Court on 59th Street followed by the first glimpse of the holiday windows on the Lexington Avenue side of Bloomingdale’s.

The Crowd at Beacon Court
Photo: Rhonda Erb

"Dear Evan Hansen" is a new, original musical, currently in previews on Broadway. Members of the cast, including Ben Platt, Laura Dreyfuss, Rachel Bay Jones and Jennifer Laura Thompson, performed songs from the play as well as holiday music. The spectators who came to see the show were each given a “necklace” of holiday lights as they entered Beacon Court, creating a sea of twinkling lights, in keeping with Bloomingdale’s holiday tag line, “Glow What Fun.”

"Sparkle" window
Photo: Rhonda Erb
Click images for full size views

After the performance the Lexington Avenue windows were revealed. Drawing inspiration from Bloomingdale’s holiday campaign theme, “light,” each of the windows was designed by an individual artist and features a one-of-a-kind chandelier that expresses his or her visual representation of the word “light.”

"Brilliant" window
Photo: Rhonda Erb

The eight chandeliers were commissioned exclusively for Bloomingdale’s and will be auctioned off on to benefit The Child Mind Institute. The retailer has a long-standing partnership with the organization, whose mission is to improve the lives of children and families grappling with mental illness and learning disorders. 100% of the net proceeds from the auction will benefit the charity. The auction runs through December 20, 2016 and opening bids start at $2,000.00.

"Luminescence" window
Photo: Rhonda Erb

Artists featured in the holiday windows and their works of “light” include: Brilliant by Susanne Bartsch, Luminescence by Sean Augustine March, Reflections by Inma Barrero, Aura by Erika deVries and Jonah Meyer, MoonGlow by Abby Modell, and Sparkle by Allison Eden. The works of two more artists are displayed in Bloomingdale’s 59th Street and 60th Street arcades: Mirrors by Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos (59th Street) and Let it Glow, Let it Glow, Let it Glow by George Kroenert (60th Street).

"Moon Glow" window
Photo: Rhonda Erb

For the seventh year in a row, Bloomingdale’s will continue to provide additional support to The Child Mind Institute through the sale of their collectible Little Brown Bear by Gund. The bear is dressed in a gray hoodie that is printed with the phrase, “Free Bear Hugs.” It retails for $20.00 and $4.00 from each purchase will be donated to the charity.

- Rhonda Erb
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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Better Bets by Rhonda Erb

Saks Fifth Avenue’s Land Of 1000 Delights

The American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School Pre-Professional Division
All photos Rhonda Erb
Click images for full size views

New York City’s Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets was filled with spectators on Monday night in eager anticipation of the Saks Fifth Avenue holiday window unveiling and light show. The annual display turns the façade of Saks’ New York flagship store into a sound and light spectacular that has now become an iconic part of the Fifth Avenue holiday tradition.

Store facade

Saks President, Marc Metrick, opened the evening, introducing the event, which he said had taken 364 days to plan “with the goal to bring joy to everybody who walks by our store.” This marks Metrick’s 20th holiday season at Saks and he described this year’s theme, entitled Land Of 1000 Delights, as “a whimsical landscape of colorful candy and festive fashion. At Saks we call it candy couture.”

The crowd outside the store admiring the holiday windows

After Metrick’s remarks, 85 dancers, from the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School Pre -Professional Division, filled the street in front of the store, dancing to the music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. Then it was time for the night’s main event: a ten-story light show that illuminated the building’s facade with candy colored spires in an extravaganza that even included a fireworks display on the rooftop of the store.

The Store facade after the event

At the conclusion of the show, the holiday windows were revealed. The store’s center six windows, along Fifth Avenue, collectively called The Nutcracker Suite, show a series of animated scenes featuring the beloved Nutcracker characters, Clara and the Mouse King, in an enchanted wonderland of luscious sweets.

Holiday window Act II Food Fight

The colorful candy theme continues in Saks 49th and 50th Street windows, which feature bespoke dresses by designers Erdem, Carolina Herrera, Marchesa and Jason Wu. Each of the one-of-a-kind dresses is inspired by a traditional holiday sweet treat.

Act V Bake A Leg

After the unveiling, everyone was invited inside the store for complementary special events on each floor, including live music, cocoa bars, photo booths and candy from Dylan’s Candy Bar.

Saks Live Music on the sixth floor

Saks Fifth Avenue’s holiday light show, presented by MasterCard, will play every 10 minutes, from 5 to 11 PM (EST) each day, until January 2, 2017. The whimsical candy and couture holiday theme will be featured in each of the retailer’s 41 stores in the U.S and Canada.

- Rhonda Erb
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New York Evening Hours by Lieba Nesis

Angel Ball Raises $3.7 Million in Star-Studded Cipriani Gala

Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Denise Rich and Kris Jenner
All photos courtesy Getty Images

The Angel Ball held its annual gala celebrating 20 years on Monday November 21, 2016 at Cipriani Wall Street with cocktails beginning at 6 PM. This event is one of the premiere social evenings in New York with over 900 people flying in from all over the world to attend this annual happening. Gabrielle's Angel Foundation for Cancer Research was started in 1996 by Denise Rich, to commemorate the death of her daughter Gabrielle from Hodgkin's disease at the age of 27.

Gala Chair Lorraine Schwartz and Ofira Sandberg

In the past 20 years it has funded more than $27 million in grants with eighty-five cents of every dollar directly funding research. The night's Gala Chairs were jeweler Lorraine Schwartz, Ofira Sandberg and Camilla Olsson. Anticipation for the evening was great as it was rumored that Kim Kardashian would be making a surprise appearance to pay homage to her late father, Robert Kardashian, who was being honored posthumously. Unfortunately, Kim's husband, Kanye, was hospitalized and we were forced to settle for Kourtney, Khloe and Kris who appeared in dazzling sheer attire allowing photographers to obtain the money shots they had been anxiously awaiting.

Kourtney Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and  Kris Jenner,

As I entered the cocktail party, I bumped into Montel Williams who notified me that he and his wife were studying Kabbalah and had recently visited Israel for the Succot holiday.  Montel was looking fit and fabulous and despite his MS diagnosis said he was feeling better than ever due to a medical device he was applying that was being tested in medical trials and had been used to treat traumatic brain injury. Montel said this device could help patients dealing with Parkinson's and any other neurological disease afflicting millions of Americans. Montel's health regimen also includes a high emulsification diet with lots of coconut water and vitamins and daily workouts all contributing to his youthful, svelte appearance belying his 60 years of age.

Guests hold candles during the 2016 Angel Ball

Other attendees at the dinner contributing in the fight against fatal diseases included lead scientist Vladislav Sandler, whose company Hemogynis was trying to change the way we deal with blood cancers by creating medications that enable patients to forego radiation and chemotherapy. The company which is privately held, was about to go public and was still doing animal testing to confirm the promising results.

Corey Gamble, Tommy Hilfiger and Dee Hilfiger

Enough with all this serious stuff: it was now time for fun as guests such as Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugh Jackman, Star Jones, Clive Davis, Jonathan Cheban, Jason Binn, Sarah Ferguson, dozens of Victoria's Secret models and every socialite in New York City, filled the enormous space. The depth of the crowd was mind boggling: there was one table that seated nightclub impresarios Ronnie Madra, and Richie Akiva along with their fixtures Helly Nahmad and Eli Mizrahi.

L-R Monica Podell, DJ Cassidy, DJ Ruckus, Shanina Shaik and Jonathan Cheban

Standing nearby was Jonathan Cheban, Kim's best friend, who raised the glamour quotient in a daring Ann Demeulemeester and Vivienne Westwood ensemble-this man knows fashion.  There was also royalty in the house with Jazmin Grimaldi, daughter of Prince Albert, and Princess Eugenie of York gracing the event with beauty and elegance with Grimaldi wearing a sexy J. Mendel number accompanied by boyfriend Ian Mellencamp, nephew of John Cougar.

Inga Rubenstein, Shanina Shaik and Nadejda Savcova

While Victoria's Secret models such as Shanina Shaik, Toni Garrn, and Cindy Bruna flitted around, their photographer, the dashing Russell James, spoke of his start with Victoria's Secret (VS) twenty years ago after being approached by VS President Ed Razek who admired James' work with Stephanie Seymour and his iconic Tyra Banks Sports Illustrated dotted bikini cover.

Ian Mellencamp

James has the countenance of an Australian movie star and was looking forward to attending the Paris show in the next week where he will photograph the VS girls from the minute they get on the plane culminating with the VS show days later.  James brings a crew of 8 with him and works non-stop during this three-to-four day period.  While James seems rather nonchalant about this highly glamorous job, I was in awe of his professionalism and obvious talent-traits he shares with his partner Donna Karan.

Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson and Princess Beatrice of York

As 7:30 PM struck, the crowd was told by the throngs of security that it was time to sit for dinner.  Sarah Ferguson began the evening by complimenting her dear friend Denise Rich for acting as a "global mother."  Sarah looked elegant and svelte in a delightful Roland Mouret dress and was gracious when I grabbed her dress from a potential stepping on.

Grace Bol

The dinner's honorees included cancer immunotherapist Carl H. June, M.D., Heloise Pratt, Chair of the Pratt Foundation, and the late Robert Kardashian.  Heloise Pratt, who was introduced by Sir Bob Geldof, said that she "was shitting herself" from this honor-a comment only someone with a British accent could get away with.  She also revealed that she had suffered from a rare type of cancer making this charity near and dear to her heart.

Kris Jenner speaks onstage

When it was time for Kris Jenner to accept the award, Tommy Hilfiger introduced her as someone who knew how to expertly brand her children but who had charity at her core.  Kris entered the stage defensively exclaiming "are you guys laughing?" She then began crying as she recounted her ex-husband, Robert, "who raised her since the age of 17" and his and her mother's struggle with cancer. She said that Robert taught her the value of giving back despite the public's impression to the contrary, and that the Kardashians give back quietly. However, tonight she donated aloud, as she tearfully handed a $250,000 check to the Angel charity, with daughters Khloe and Kourtney standing nearby.

Model Ingrid Vandebosch and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon

Garnering more funds for the charity was auctioneer Simon de Pury who raised $85,000 for 18k blackened gold and purple Lorraine Schwartz earrings, modeled by Shanina Shaik, and $140,000 for an exclusive Porsche Panamera Turbo. After all this excitement, we were treated to performances by CeeLo Green, Dave Stewart and Earth Wind and Fire with the crowd dancing and singing along enthusiastically. DJ Ruckus then concluded the evening with some modern hits as the crowd headed to Omar's for an exclusive after party.

Cheryl Britto and Romero Britto

Upon leaving, I was given a black leather knapsack that contained goodies such as cookies, peanut butter cups and popcorn. The night which raised nearly $3.7 million was a tremendous success; for $1,500 a head we were treated to one of those unforgettable evenings that had just the right melange of entertainment, meaningfulness, and variety making this the go-to event of the season.

- Lieba Nesis

Friday, November 18, 2016

NY Fashion Cool-Aid ® by Laurel Marcus

Making The Costume Institute Uncrate Again

 Robe Volante, French ca. 1730, Blue Silk Damask, Robe A La Francaise, ca.1760
All photos Laurel Marcus
Click image for full size views

Have you ever wondered what goes into a curator's thought process when it comes to deciding which fashion treasures to acquire? The Met's "Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion" (today through February 5, 2017) at the Anna Wintour Costume Center will give you an idea of what the pros look for when building and expanding their collections. The exhibition includes 50 masterworks spanning three centuries, acquired over the past 10 years displayed on top of or near wooden crates, to cheekily drive home the message of being FOOTB (Fresh Out of the Box).

Andrew Bolton

"Our mission is to present fashion as a living art that interprets history, becomes part of the historical process, and inspires subsequent art," said Curator in Charge Andrew Bolton who supported Assistant Curator Jessica Regan in this endeavor. Since its founding in 1946 the Institute has been involved in building an encyclopedic or representative collection ranging from the eighteenth century to the present.

Thom Browne spring/summer 2016

This exhibition marks the 70 year turning point or shift to the acquisition of masterworks -- examples of the highest aesthetic and technical quality of each respective era. Newly acquired iconic works are shown next to existing pieces already in the vast collection, primarily from other time periods which mimic or have influenced the other. This serves as visual testament to the saying that there are really no new ideas in fashion but rather just newer interpretations of the older ones.

House of Worth Ball Gown 1898 Haute Couture

Each era has its specialty as far as what was considered important in a garment. For example, in the 18th century a garment was a standout more for the quality of its material such as brocade and English silk than for details of cut and construction. In the 19th century, dressmaking, tailoring techniques and distinctive silhouettes such as those by Charles Frederick Worth demonstrate new sartorial standards of excellence. In these early times, one can't help noticing (and I heard some remarking on the subject) how tiny the French and British people were to fit these garments -- there is something incongruous about a heavily brocaded House of Worth ball gown resembling a costume made for a malnourished child!

Paul Poiret Opera Coat 1911 haute couture

Garments designed in the earliest part of the twentieth century show the reaction to World War I with an emphasis on simpler, less restrictive women's fashion. Examples of these can be seen in the looser, draped styles of Paul Poiret and Madeleine Vionnet, which were made for an uncorseted body.

House of Lanvin "Traviata" Robe De Style 1928, haute couture,
House of Lanvin, Robe De Style, Winter 1926-27, Haute Couture

The modern art movement was reflected in fashion of the '20s and '30s, often with a nod to surrealism. Examples include gowns seen here by Charles James (with his Salvador Dali inspired "lobster" construction); an evening jacket by Elsa Schiaparelli who went bold in her embroidered tribute to Jean Cocteau; and Jeanne Lanvin who revived 18th century techniques such as beading in graphic patterns on her classic full-skirted "robes de style."

Balenciaga Dress 1967, haute couture green silk gazar

The late 20th century saw a continuation of the haute couture in the sculptural garments of Cristobal Balenciaga (in the '50s and '60's); an introduction to luxury ready-to-wear with designers such as Yves Saint Laurent ('60s and '70's), as well as deconstructionism and punk embraced by Vivienne Westwood ('70s and beyond).

Maison Margiela Ensemble Spring/Summer 2015 &
French coat, Red Wool Broadcloth 1787-92

The contemporary section features fashion forward designs from Hussein Chalayan, Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela, making mention of those "who experiment with found or recycled materials instead of luxury ones" as well as those who play with proportions and clothing's relationship to the body like Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto.  (Yes, it's official -- Rei Kawakubo is coming to this space for the big Costume Institute spring fling known at the Met Gala).

Left: Zandra Rhodes Punk Wedding Dress, SpringSummer 1977 &
Right: Versace safety pin black dress 2016 recreation 

Some of my favorite sights included revisiting the spring/summer 1994 black safety pin Versace dress (Oh, how I long for the days when wearing safety pins was considered edgy rather than a symbol of "slacktivism" (See article)) -- worn by Elizabeth Hurley, although she is not mentioned here; the plastic bustier from Issey Miyake's 1980-81 "Bodyworks" collection (reminds me of a molded car part).

Elsa Schiaparelli evening jacket autumn haute couture 1937

And the Chanel spring/summer 2011 "tattered" and "holey" tweed suit which is probably the only Chanel suit that I would actually want to be caught dead in. Also, of note is a side-by-side man's and  woman's Thom Browne suit (he was there, to support his husband, Bolton, of course), and a few showstopping accessories such as the Philip Treacy orchid hat (2000) donated by the designer and his late muse, Isabella Blow.

Autumn/Winter 2012-13 Chanel Haute Couture suit, donated by Anna Wintour

The last section of the exhibition features The Harold Koda Gift Room, whose namesake Bolton called the most brilliant Curator-in-Charge of The Costume Institute. "The entire show is a love poem to Harold," Bolton said in his opening remarks, while Assistant Curator Regan said the show served as a "reminder of Harold's convictions."

 Tom Ford Dress Autumn/Winter 2014-15 Gift of Tom Ford,
Geoffrey Beene Evening Dress Autumn/Winter 1967-68

 Koda, who retired last January, after 15 years, is paid homage to by designers (30 of whom donated works from their archives which had been admired by him), collectors and industry legends alike. He is credited with many landmark acquisitions, including the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, which was transferred to The Met in 2009.

As far as the theme of the exhibition goes, at times it is successful such as in the juxtaposition of the Charles James "La Sirene" next to an Azzedine Alaia number, at other times it feels too "try-hard." What I'd like to know -- how museum folk come up with their proposed exhibition topics.

- Laurel Marcus