Monday, December 19, 2016

New York Evening Hours by Lieba Nesis

2016 -The Year of Shock and Awe In Everything but Fashion

Michelle Obama in Versace

The year in fashion was practically nonexistent as the election overshadowed any interest in subjects as trivial as clothing. Even the great fashion moments were political in nature: such as when Michelle Obama appeared in a rose gold chainmail Versace at her last state dinner and Melania Trump wore a pink pussy bow Gucci blouse to her husband's debate. Yes Gucci had an incredible year with celebrities such as Beyonce and Gaga choosing the designs of Alessandro Michele, the new creative director who has taken the fashion world by storm.

Kylie Jenner

However, this year Trump dominated the newspapers and storyline so completely that even sartorial choices became inconsequential as many were far more concerned with the momentous nature of the election. Dependable style stars such as Rihanna, and Taylor Swift were largely ignored with Rihanna choosing to debut a more modest and covered up look. The Kardashians continued their barely there attire with Kylie looking more and more like a porn star every day. With Kim out of the picture since her October 3rd robbery the world continued to wait for a more demure reemergence and were left with nothing.

RIhanna concert clothing

When Kim does come out of hiding I am optimistic that she will try to positively impact society and forego nudity and exhibitionism. Her husband Kanye had a tumultuous year with a highly criticized fashion show, a nervous breakdown and a controversial endorsement of Trump and I am predicting he and Kim will split this year. Despite Kanye's support of Trump, most of the African American community voted with Hillary - 89% to be exact.

While this was the most bitter, vitriolic election in history one thing is assured - Hillary Clinton's loss may mean pantsuits will never make the comeback they deserve. Clinton wore Ralph Lauren attire to the debates and rallies. I still haven't decided whether I liked her attire - it was appropriate but a bit too staid for my taste. It was is if she couldn't decide whether she wanted to be viewed as a man or woman so she chose something in between. Maybe she should have spiced it up with some cleavage baring dresses or a sequined mini-at least the press would have paid some attention to her.

Melanie Trump pink pussy bow blouse 

Poor Hillary, since Trump announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015 he dominated the airwaves so completely even CNN and MSNBC should have been renamed Trump TV. The media who so reviled Trump, actually scored him his victory by breaking every news story with a Trump "breaking news" story. When they tried, at the last minute, to destroy his candidacy it was already too late; his persona had taken on a life of its own. Nearly every poll and newspaper predicted a landslide win for Hillary and were left looking like complete fools for failing to gage the mood of a growing, disenchanted middle class.

Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt in happier days

Some other hard to predict occurrences included celebrity splits; as I would entitle this year "shock and awe"-with some surprising divorces. The most unbelievable jaw-dropping news was the demise of Brangelina. This magnificent couple who shared a brood of six-and that's just their nannies-said adios in a less than cordial manner. How could this happen and who saw it coming? Did Brad have an affair with Marion Cotillard? Was he a pot smoking alcoholic? I have no clue but I mourn the fact that I will no longer be able to catch a glimpse of them strolling on a beach in Africa or canoodling at an Awards show-they were heavenly. Why Angie - what did Brad lack? Were his eyes not blue enough? His jawline not defined enough? Were you just sick of his lackluster personality? Couldn't you have stayed together just so the public could have one couple they could place on a pedestal - one couple whose names we could merge together unapologetically.

After losing Bennifer (Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck) and TomKat (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes) weren't we entitled to keep the one and only Brangelina? We still have Amal and George but they have largely disappeared from the radar - where are they and why are they never photographed together? Some more surprising breakups included Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber, Toby Maguire and Jennifer Meyer, Jennifer Lopez and Casper (not so) Smart, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, Will Kopelman and Drew Barrymore, Yolanda Hadid and David Foster, and Christie Brinkley and John Mellencamp. I just heard that Brinkley and Foster are dating but I think they are doomed to failure - between the two of them they have eight divorces.

Prince Harry and television star Meghan Markle

There are others whose status I am unsure of including: Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez, and Julia Roberts and Danny Moder. Hollywood is in a bad state when Warren Beatty remains one of the few left married. One piece of good news was that Prince Harry has found true love with television star Meghan Markle; however, we know Queen Elizabeth is going to kibosh this pairing very soon. Kate Middleton and Prince William had a largely uncontroversial year, with Kate dressing to impress and son George wowing the public - the camera loves this adorable boy. Some other public phenoms included Hamilton which won 11 Tony Awards and continued to break box office records. This show can do no wrong - unless you are Mike Pence. Michael Phelps also broke some records becoming the most decorated Olympian in history this August with 28 medals - 23 of them gold. Phelps said he will be retiring while colleague Ryan Lochte remained prominent in the headlines due to his made up robbery story that cast a pall on Brazil.

Florence Henderson

Speaking of sad situations we lost so many greats this year including: Leonard Cohen, Florence Henderson, Prince, Zsa Zsa Gabor, David Bowie, Garry Marshall, Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder, and Nancy Reagan. I am optimistic this year will be filled with great news, hopeful storylines and most importantly spectacular fashion. With no more bitter debates or unpleasant headlines it is almost certain fashion will once again gain ascendancy. Former model, Melania Trump will certainly be front and center with some incredible apparel choices during inauguration, despite Sophie Theallet, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford refusing to dress her. Whether Huma Abedin or Hillary Clinton will reenter politics is dubious; however, one thing that is irrefutable is that this year was anything but run of the mill - "believe me" it was not.

- Lieba Nesis

Friday, December 16, 2016

New York Evening Hours by Lieba Nesis

Shafiroff Holds Holiday Luncheon for New York Glitterati

Jean Shafiroff & Rep. Carolyn Maloney
All photos Lieba Nesis

Jean Shafiroff held her fourth annual luncheon at Michael's beginning at 12:30 PM. Despite the brisk weather Jean attracted an extraordinary crowd including: Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia and Lady Liliana Cavendish; Rep. Carolyn Maloney; socialites-Lauren Roberts, Francine LeFrak, Margo Catsimatidis, Edgar Battiste, Matt Rich, Paola Bacchini, Janna Bullock, Lauren Lawrence,

Randi Schatz and Margo Catsimatidis

Randi Schatz, Lucia Hwong Gordon, and Margo Langenberg; architect extraordinaire Geoffrey Bradfield; famous Nigerian artist Ike Ude; top fashion designer to the stars - Victor dE Souza; celebrity publicists Norah Lawlor and Couri Hay and magazine owners, David ben Hooren, Joyce Brooks, Michael Travin and Melissa Battaglio; and Lookonline writers: Laurel Marcus,  Rhonda Erb, and the owner Mr. Ernest Schmatolla.

Lauren Lawrence, Edgar Battiste and Margo Langenberg

Moreover, Diane Clehane who usually writes a column called Wednesday at Michael's joined in celebrating the season at her favorite lunch destination. There were more than 45 people who attended the beautiful event with 15 bottles of wine consumed by the holiday happy bunch.

Victor de Souza and Laurel Marcus.

Shafiroff looked stunning in a white and black Oscar de la Renta cruise collection dress and was a magnificent hostess as she thanked everyone for joining her, announcing she would be making a large donation to the New York City Mission Society in honor of this luncheon. The New York City Mission Society helps the most underserved youth and Jean has been active since 2012.

Lucia Hwong Gordon and Janna Bullock

Jean continues to put charity at the forefront of her agenda by taking out time from her busy schedule to feed the homeless or visit an animal shelter. This is a lady who rarely lunches because she is too busy trying to make a difference in the world.

Prince Dimitri, Janna Bullock and Lee Fryd

Another aristocrat doing incredible things is Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia who epitomizes old world elegance and refinement. The Prince comes from lineage that would make Prince Charles blush (or perhaps just pause), and has the manners of royalty with the knowledge of an intellectual.  He is humble, kind and worldly and I am continually amused by his intelligence and savoir faire. Moreover, he was recently made Knight Grand Cross of the order of the Saints Mauritius and Lazarus and is an incredible jewelry designer.

At the late hour of 2:30 PM the crowd began rushing off to attend their next events; Paola Bacchini was heading to the Anne Hearst Christmas party and Couri Hay was preparing for the upcoming Trump inauguration - all in a day's work for New York's elite.

- Lieba Nesis

Sunday, December 11, 2016

New York Evening Hours by Lieba Nesis

Real Estate and Construction Industries Dinner Dance Gathers Moguls to the Hyatt

Hyatt Ballroom with "Enchanted Evening" theme
All photos Lieba Nesis
Click images for full size views

The 47th Real Estate and Construction Industries Dinner Dance was held at the Hyatt hotel on Saturday December 10, 2016 with cocktails beginning at 6:30 PM. The night which was referred to as "A Winter's Evening" certainly was-with temperatures reaching into the low 20's. The event raised funds for the world-class research and compassionate patient care at National Jewish Health, the largest respiratory hospital in the nation. National Jewish Health is an academic medical research facility located in Denver, Colorado specializing in respiratory, cardiac, immune and allergic disorders.  It was originally founded in 1899 to treat tuberculosis.

Andrew Giuliani - son of Rudy with Zivile Rezgyte

However, the evening was all about having fun with the theme being "An Enchanted Evening" and everything about this night was enchanting: starting with the entertainers dressed as princesses and elves accompanied by beautifully lit tables and ornamentation; the fantastic band and singers; the delicious meal of short ribs and lamb chops and the illustrious guest list. When I stepped into the Hyatt ballroom it looked like Disneyland with all the beautiful costumes and elaborate colors.

Larry Silverstein head of Silverstein properties, Cathy and honoree Gary Jacob, Executive Vice President of Glenwood Management

The guest list was just as fantastic with honoree Gary Jacob, who is the executive Vice President of Leonard Litwin's Glenwood Management, one of the largest providers of upscale rental residences in New York City, garnering a group of Real Estate heavy hitters that was unparalleled. There was a dapper Larry Silverstein, in black-tie, who chaired the dinner along with Stephen Siegel, President of CBRE's Global brokerage, and Real Estate moguls Joseph Moinian, Robert Knakal, and famous Real Estate lawyers Jonathan Mechanic and Robert Ivanhoe.

Tiffany Trump in Dennis Basso with boyfriend Ross Mechanic

Tiffany Trump who is dating Jon Mechanic's son, Ross, dazzled in a strapless Dennis Basso gown and her pleasant demeanor was equally refreshing. Another Trump relative, Nicole Kushner, sister of Jared, attended with her husband Joseph Meyer and the two of them remained low-key and unpretentious despite their movie star looks and significant pedigree. Stephen Siegel, who is a legend in the brokerage industry, was one of the chairs of the event and has been involved with the dinner for over 22 years. His wife, Wendy, has leukemia, and has been a pulmonary patient at National Jewish Health as well as a major supporter helping them to raise $44 million over the past 22 years.

Left to right: Wendy Mechanic, Chairman of Fried Frank Real Estate Jonathan Mechanic, dinner Co-chair Wendy Siegel, and CEO of National Jewish Health Michael Salem

Wendy, who spoke at the dinner, is one of those amazing woman with an indomitable spirit, recalling how she recently woke up after a five-day coma due to pneumonia, and was saved by National Jewish Health. Wendy continues to tirelessly raise money for the hospital which has also helped her husband Stephen who suffers with severe asthma. Michael Salem, CEO of National Jewish Health, said the organization was seeking to cure severe asthma in the next couple of years and to develop a vaccine for allergies. Salem said they were also focused on stopping the progression of emphysema and remained the only institution where "lungs and breathing were the center of the universe."

Ann Ivanhoe in Roland Mouret, and Robert Ivanhoe co-chair of Greenberg Traurig Real Estate

Robert Ivanhoe, one of the chairs of the evening, introduced Gary Jacob, who is a committed community service volunteer, chairman of the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District and New York Chair of Israel Bonds - just a few of his extracurricular gigs. Gary, was presented with the humanitarian award and has been coming to this event for 40 years-thanking the organization for changing the lives of people every day. Gary and his wife Cathy have started a fund at the National Jewish Health for the research and care of patients with autoimmune diseases. Gary who was married two weeks ago, had the glow of a newlywed and the band played the song "Unforgettable" as Gary and his new bride took to the dance floor to celebrate-joined by his friends and co-workers.

Nazee Moinian in Oscar de la Renta and Real Estate titan Joseph Moinian

It was later announced that $2 million had been raised at the dinner along with an additional one-half-a-million contributed by James and Marjorie Kuhn for respiratory health. Moreover, Matthew Lustig, Managing Principal at Lazard Real Estate, was inducted as a newly minted trustee - an honor and responsibility.

After some enthusiastic dancing and an opulent dessert table, guests headed home before the clock struck midnight - a magical conclusion to a fairy tale evening.

- Lieba Nesis

Friday, December 09, 2016

New York Fashion Cool-Aid ® by Laurel Marcus

Ralph Pucci Presents Rebecca Moses Imperfectly Perfect

Ralph Pucci presenting Rebecca Moses
"Mes Demoiselles Imperfectly Perfect"
All photos Laurel Marcus
Click Images for full size views

Has anyone done the #MannequinChallenge with actual mannequins in their midst?  If it ever was to be attempted, last night at the opening reception of Ralph Pucci presents Rebecca Moses Mes Demoiselles Imperfectly Perfect (on view until 12/13) would have been the imperfectly perfect time and place.  Ralph Pucci's name is synonymous with his brand of original style mannequins. You may also be familiar with Rebecca Moses, a fashion designer and artist specializing in fashion illustration and now -- you guessed it -- mannequins!

As you may have also guessed by the title, hers are no ordinary, generic, department store mannequins. Rather they are regal creatures of Modigliani-esque proportions, with various skin, eye colors and shapes, hair coloring and styles plus unique features. Much like a novelist, Moses creates a tale around each of her exotic women, giving them names and a back story including heritage, place of birth and other characteristics which are evident in how they present.

Murals by Rebecca Moses

"It all starts with the painting," Moses explained, indicating the murals lining several of the gallery walls at 44 West 18th Street which showcase stylized portraits of several of the 29 "girls." Often the 3D end product of her imagination is displayed in front of the painting culminating in the sophisticated human sized doll come to life.

Different head shapes and facial features are used while eyes and brows are painted on to give each an individuality. Moses uses color to great effect when creating and of course, dressing a character with enviable style.

Clothing and accessories, often hand painted, are works of art by Moses including coats and bags. Various textiles including chiffons, silks, crocheted/ macramed and jeweled knitwear, cashmere with a braided trim --intricate appliques and other embellishments abound on garments, hats, earrings, and everywhere. Some mannequins are full sized and others are jewelry or hat busts, often sporting chic glasses.

Ralph Pucci gets the point with Freddie Leiba on his left
wearing blazer and jeans

Before the gallery space filled up I walked around in a daze admiring the overall beauty and particularly the accessories (all created by Moses and styled by Freddie Leiba). I literally had to fight the urge to um... try on some of the fittings modeled on dem bad bitches. I want to have lunch with these broads -- they have personality oozing out of their non-existent pores.

Robert Di Mauro with Nicole Fischelis on his right

As the room filled I saw and greeted many familiar fashion folk including Moses friend and retail adviser Nicole Fischelis (I think I may have actually spied some of these fabulous "plasticine princesses" in Macy's window?) and man-about-town Robert Di Mauro.

Right: Artist Scooter LaForge 

Bill Cunningham's muse Louise Doktor appeared briefly in a jeweled black cape coat which looked like something that could have been displayed on a mannequin and, of course, made me realize that Cunningham would have been here snapping away...

Amy Fine Collins

Other sightings included Amy Fine Collins, Freddie Leiba, Artist Scooter LaForge accompanied by an artist friend girding half his face behind one of Scooter's clown mouth mask designs (I thought perhaps he had just had oral surgery lol); Photographer Richard Renda and a few of the ubiquitous Idiosyncratic Fashionistas that can be counted to show up at any fashion event.

Rebecca Moses

Moses, who was very busy hugging her guests and juggling throngs of well wishers at the event, worked for a year on this project with the aim of enlivening and relieving the retail landscape of some of its current blandness. "I think that imperfection is always so captivating," she had previously explained. I saw her holding a 2017 calendar by Susan Miller (The Year Ahead 2017 Astrological Calendar) which features her illustrations and is available here.

As far as astrology who knows what lies ahead? Maybe Moses's version of the Mannequin Challenge can help make retail great again.

- Laurel Marcus

Thursday, December 08, 2016

New York Evening Hours by Lieba Nesis

Prostate Cancer Foundation Dinner Takes Over Daniel Restaurant

Debra Black and Prostate Cancer Survivor and businessman Michael Milken
All photos: Lieba Nesis
Click images for full size views

On Wednesday December 7, 2016 the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) held its annual dinner at Daniel with cocktails beginning at 6:00 PM. This was an intimate evening with 150 guests paying $10,000 each to help find a cure for prostate cancer; an effort spearheaded by Michael Milken. In the 1980's Milken was known as the junk bond king and his legendary status was sealed by his astronomical returns - he had only four down months in 17 years.

The crowd at Daniel

After being diagnosed with an advanced stage of prostate cancer in 1993 and being given a prognosis of 12 to 18 months to live Milken started PCF. & Since Milken entered the arena there has been a reduction in prostate cancer deaths by more than 50% and more than 1.4 million men are alive because of the approval of 6 drugs that Milken's researchers discovered. Milken has been a mentor to many of the current Wall Street moguls therefore, when he organizes a dinner a large group from the financial world attend.

Owner of the NFL Cowboys Jerry Jones & David Koch

Michael, who is 70, looks younger and more vibrant each time I see him and tonight he was at his peak with a beautiful black suit and a broad, friendly smile. Many of his billionaire friends attended including businessmen: David Koch, Neil Rodin, Robert Taubman, Thomas Lee, Jim Coleman, Jerry Jones, Leon Black, and so many others. David Koch, who is a prostate cancer survivor, attends most PCF events and tonight was discussing Trump's landslide win of 306 electoral votes.

Real Estate titan Jim Coleman and Cynthia Ott

Another mogul with Trump on his mind, was Real Estate expert Jim Coleman who had breakfast with Trump earlier in the day and had the opportunity to meet his new Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin. At 7:00 PM the crowd headed to the main dining room for a scrumptious dinner at two-star Michelin rated Daniel.

Michael Milken, Robert Taubman CEO of Taubman Centers
and Private Equity Mogul Thomas Lee

Milken started the evening by giving the crowd a quiz and this time the question was: Which celebrity does not appear on the cover of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper album? Nobody in the crowd knew the correct answer, which was Gandhi, and Milken promised to give the crowd some nutritional questions since they were unprepared for music.

Left to right Dr. Mitchell Benson, Dr. Jonathan Simons, Dr. Skip Holden and Andy von Eschenbach former Commissioner of the FDA

The next question concerned brussel sprouts and I learned a lot about this often forgotten vegetable; namely, it can increase male virility-a definite plus at a prostate cancer event. Milken then went on to discuss the momentousness of December 7th as it is the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

Kiendl Gordon and Senior Managing Director of Deltec Arthur Byrnes

In honor of the veterans, he announced that a groundbreaking alliance between PCF and the Veteran's Administration was in the works with the Veteran's Administration promising to match $1 billion to $50 million raised by PCF which would be allocated towards giving veterans equal or better medical treatment by putting those who served our country in the front lines at the front of the line.

Matthew Morrison singing

Milken also noted they would utilize this money to study why African Americans are 2.4 times more likely to die from prostate cancer. After all this heady conversation the attendees were served savory food, and treated to the music of Matthew Morrison. Matthew saw he was playing to a group that was used to being entertained by superstars so he added some turns and splits to his singing routine-this crowd was hard to please. Later in the evening, Bernadette Peters wowed the audience and dancing and fundraising transpired -another home run hit for baseball fan Michael Milken.

- Lieba Nesis
(Opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of or of any of their other contributors.) 

New York Fashion Cool-Aid by Laurel Marcus

FIT Museum Spotlights Black Designers

Patrick Kelly 1989 & Duro Olowu 2012
Photos by Laurel Marcus
Click images for full size views

The Museum at FIT Curators Ariele Elia and Elizabeth Way bring "Black Fashion Designers" to the forefront in their new exhibition (on view now through May 16, 2017) but not without a caveat. "The curators acknowledge the problem of using race as a lens through which to view fashion design," states the exhibition program, which mentions Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond's ennui over being described as a "black designer."

Edward Wilkerson, Martin Cooper, Patrick Robinson, Olivier Rousteing

Ultimately, Elia and Way decided that because black designers have often gone "unrecognized and underrepresented, there is much to be learned from such an exhibition..." citing the statistic that black designers truly are the one percent -- as in only one percent are covered by "the most comprehensive online site for viewing collections from fashion weeks around the world" -- Most importantly perhaps is that the designers featured here "work in a diverse range of individual styles; they do not all speak in one voice," something that should be obvious in any ethnic group or really any group, as people are individuals.

Stephen Burrows, Scott Barrie, Fabrice Simon

The exhibition culls together many of the most popular (and some that are a bit under the radar) African and African-American designers from the 1950's to the present with 75 looks from the museum's permanent collection. Interestingly, although they were still segregated within the fashion industry, black designers began to gain recognition in the late 1940's.

Ann Lowe, B. Michael,CD Greene (worn by Tina Turner),
& Bruce Oldfield (Designed for Princess Diana

A section on blacks breaking into the industry features those who began as dressmakers such as New Yorker Zelda Wynn Valdes and Ann Lowe. Valdes dressed celebs of the day such as Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Mae West, Dorothy Dandridge, Eartha Kitt, Marian Anderson, Joyce Bryant, the entire bridal party of the 1948 Marie Ellington and Nat King Cole and created the original "bullet shaped" Playboy Bunny" costume. Ann Lowe had a high-society clientele and is best known for designing the wedding gown worn by Jacqueline Kennedy.

Eric Gaskins, Kevan Hall, LaQuan Smith (worn by Kim Kardashian), Lawrence Steele,
 Rubin and Chapelle

Many black designers traditionally made their mark on the industry with eveningwear, which is showcased here including onetime Hubert de Givenchy apprentice Eric Gaskin's 2014 black & white gown of crushed bugle beads inspired by a painting by Franz Kline, along with gowns by Cushnie & Ochs, B. Michael and Lawrence Steele, just to name a few. Others worked for New York manufacturers before establishing their own business such as Arthur McGee (who became the first African-American to run a design room of an established apparel company at Bobby Brooks), Wesley Tann and Jon Weston.

Willi Smith, Tracy Reese, Charles Harbison

In the late '60s, "black is beautiful" became a familiar phrase ushering in the 1970's as the era of the black designer who popularized new modes of dress for the disco music era. Stephen Burrows (of the "accidental" discovery -- the over stretched fabric which became the lettuce edged dress), Scott Barrie, Fabrice Simon, James Daugherty and Jon Haggins all reveled in creating the unstructured, body-conscious, jersey looks that lent themselves to dancing all night at Studio 54.

Beverly Johnson Vogue cover

Black models increased their visibility thanks to events such as the annual Ebony Fashion Fair (where Pat Cleveland was discovered), as well as the all-important and ever-historic 1973 "Battle of Versailles" with its 10 energetic black fashion models on the runway, capturing the world's attention and putting American fashion on the map.  Beverly Johnson broke barriers as the first woman of color on the cover of the August 1974 edition of American Vogue. In the background, a video monitor featuring journalist and author of the book "The Battle of Versailles" Robin Givhan, in conversation about model diversity with Riley Montana, Bethann Hardison and model Veronica Webb.

Patrick Kelly, Stella Jean, Lisa Folawiyo, Mimi Plange, Aisha Ayensu

Fashion of the 1980's would not be complete without stars such as Patrick Kelly whose button dress was inspired by his southern grandma who sewed mismatched buttons on his clothing.  This dress was worn and promoted by Bette Davis on the David Letterman Show in 1987 and is featured at the entrance to the exhibition. Willi Smith of Williwear was another designer at the top when he too succumbed to AIDS. The exhibition contains a section on African influences including kente cloth, patterns and textiles in fashion with looks from Kelly, Stella Jean, Lisa Folawiyo, Mimi Plange and Aisha Ayensu. Gotta love the Stella Jean/Christian Louboutin "evil eye" boots featured here. Duro Olowu's multi-colored ensemble, featured next to Kelly's at the exhibition entrance, would also fit in here.

Isaia Rankin, Dapper Dan of Harlem, Cross Colours, Pyer Moss,
Off-White (Virgil Abloh)

Other areas covered are menswear featuring Ozwald Boateng, and the father-son team of Casely-Hayford; Street Style featuring Isaia Rankin, Dapper Dan of Harlem, Cross Colours, Pyer Moss and Virgil Abloh of Off-White (so named because he identifies his customer as neither black nor white); and Activism featuring Public School, Xuly Bet, Nkhensani Nkosi of Stoned Cherry and Pyer Moss.Worth mentioning is the last grouping of menswear adapted for women.  The classic tailored Oxford men's shirt is reinterpreted in a wrap dress Byron Lars (2014) and in a pinstriped skirt suit with playing dice buttons by Patrick Kelly (1989); these are the clothes that stand the test of time while being uniquely playful.

Byron Lars, Patrick Kelly

To enhance your visit (or give a sneak preview of what you'll find here) check out the Black Fashion Designers cellphone tour (you'll need headphones) at  It works sans headphones on the computer too.

- Laurel Marcus