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  • Impossible Conversations | Elsa Schiaparelli

    Posted by Jeffrey Permalink

    Elsa Schiaparelli testing out hats on the model’s head. Photo by Nina Leen, February 1951.

    In the annals of fashion history there are few who rival Elsa Schiaparelli as she was an original on so many levels. As you find out, she was in fierce competition with her rival Coco but one must deduce that this rivalry drove them to fashion greatness despite their differences in philosophy and output.

    In the present tense or more recent history, Schiap was ignominiously paired with Ms. Prada who you will find out turns out to be a thorn in the side of Mme. S. and she makes no bones about it.

    Don’t you wonder what these fashion legends might have to say if they were still alive and interviewed? Well, here you get to read a personal and impossible conversation between me and Schiap, the queen of SHOCKING!!!

    Jeffrey Felner: What do you think of the present state of fashion?
    "Elsa Schiaparelli": I think that there are too many designers with no talent other than being copyists. There is so little that is original while there is beaucoup that has been “borrowed” and rehashed and just look at what Zanini has done and under my name!!!....pfffft!! As you can see from history, even one of the brightest stars, “moi”... can be forgotten in the passage of time. I am sorry that I was not able to perpetuate my legacy like that bitch Coco or have the support like that wench Miuccia who talks and thinks too much and designs so little!

    What do you think of the celebrity/model idea?
    There is no question that even when I was at my peak, the idea of celebrities wearing my creations was what catapulted me into the spot light. Daisy Fellowes, Marlene Dietrich, Wallis Windsor, Millicent Rogers and so many more helped me be a star and made me famous among the women who would wear my creations.

    What was your crowning achievement?
    I am flattered to have been able to partner with some of the greatest creative talents of the 20th century and that my work as a couturier was taken seriously and accepted by so many. I am even happier to say that I was an original… this is a concept that seems to be forgotten in the present world of fashion. I should have been smarter to enable myself to have never been forgotten. I would have wanted to make sure that designers who paid homage to me were forced to acknowledge my inventions and talents. I wish I had been able to do a full ready to wear collection that reached the international masses and not just the world of haute couture that only reached the financially blessed.

    With who would you like to split a bottle of champagne? Name one or more.
    Oui, I would love to have known Alber and Christian and Yves but now I have Diana and Yves ici but I always try to avoid that salope Coco...merde! I would want to thank Lacroix for the collection that he did in my name as it was just sublime and had some much of me and yet he did not copy me... he absorbed my soul!

    What is the quality you most admire in others?
    Originality, creativity, being outspoken and most of all being clear about what you say and feel not like this Prada woman who talks in circles and thinks she is so smart … she is lucky, not smart!! And oh yes, giving credit to those that have inspired me and not saying that “oh no, this is my version or interpretation” pffft!!

    Do you think fashion/celebrity is taken too seriously?
    Unlike that messy self-important signora (femmebâclée), I feel that fashion is an art form so yes I think that fashion should be taken very seriously. There are so few designers who continue in the art of haute couture so they should be treated with great respect as they are the ones who try to take fashion to a new level of artistry and workmanship. Comme je l’ai dit, fashion and celebrities that wear your clothes are a necessary evil of the profession but in your contemporary world their fame can overshadow the designer which is very sad.

    How would you like to come back in a second life?
    I wish I could be me again, but in the 21st century with so many artists and so much technology available. I would be in heaven to be able to collaborate and utilize all these new ideas and talents. I would be a much bigger star today and I would show them all how it is done! … peut etre there would be a “karl” who would allow me to live on and on.

  • Future Vintage | Alexandre Vauthier

    Posted by Jeffrey Permalink

    It has been said that that the rules can only be broken by those who have mastered them and Monsieur Vauthier is an “A” student. His distinctive resume includes 2 extended terms of employment that shaped his career and taught him the rules of the “game” … first at Mugler, (when there was a Thierry present) and then at Jean Paul Gaultier in the Haute Couture aspect of that brand. What more needs to be said … he was taught by the best of the best.

    Vauthier is the rare designer who dips his toes in the waters of both Haute Couture and ready to wear. There are very few young designers who are capable to successfully straddle both worlds, but in this era of sameness there is Alexandre Vauthier. His clothes set him apart and will attract generations of women who can and will unleash their inner goddess.

    The collections rendered under his name are exercises in the mastery of cutting and draping as well as the disciplines and rigors of fine precision tailoring and construction. The clothes are not for the faint of heart nor are they ever considered boring or run of the mill. These clothes are audacious, bold, overtly sexy and never require any of the blah blah blah that seems to accompany so many collections these days.

    In other words, in the end these clothes speak for themselves and to his clientele. Today Alexandre Vauthier speaks for himself to us... Please enjoy this and remember that today’s runway creations are tomorrow’s vintage!

    A big MERCI beaucoup from moi to him!!

     

    Jeffrey Felner: What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?
    Alexandre Vauthier: My Fruit of the Loom t-shirts and Nike sneakers

    What is your bliss?
    Sleeping

    Where is your ideal home?
    Along the California coast, on El Matador beach

    If you could not be a designer/retailer/etc:, what would you be
    Lawyer or Surgeon

    What, if any, book are you reading now or last read?
    La Vie Adulte, Virginie Mouznat ( Grown up Life)

    What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”
    Be persistent

    Who or what is your inspiration/style icon?
    My daily life is an inspiration

    What is the best advice you ever received?
    Never be afraid

    In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.
    Dual, Paradoxical, Changing

    If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?
    Sharon Stone, Gainsborough, Jean Baptiste Mondino, Grace Coddington

    What is your favorite movie /or movie star?
    Kubricks’s A Clockwork Orange

    What is the one thing you would change about yourself?
    My anxiety

    Whose opinion do you value most and why?
    My first boss taught me everything, which has brought me to where I am today

    What store or which designer do you most like to shop in or wear ?
    Nike Town in NYC

    What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?
    I like both! Internet for the velocity of information but magazines and books remain as absolute references with in addition the notion of possession and archive

    Do you have a dream collaborator?
    Pharrell

    What is your crowning achievement thus far in your career?
    Successfully progress every season; every season is a new challenge

    What and where is your favorite meal?
    Double-Double Cheeseburger at the In-N-Out in LA

     

    Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture Winter 2011

     

    (L-R) Michelle Dockery, Lady Gaga & Miley Cyrus in Alexandre Vauthier.

     

    (L) Alexandre Vauthier F/W Couture 2013. (R) Rita Ora in Alexandre Vauthier.

     

    Backstage at Alexandre Vauthier, Self Service Magazine.

     

    Rihanna in Alexandre Vauthier.

     

    Backstage at Alexandre Vauthier, Self Service Magazine.

     

    Kim Kardashian in Alexandre Vauthier.

     

  • The Interview | Alistair Blair

    Posted by Jeffrey Permalink

    (L) Alistair Blair in his workshop, 1 November 1981. (R) Harpers & Queen Qulted satin evening jacket by Alistair Blair, 1987. Photo by Ian Thomas.

    Having just had one of his dresses published in a monograph about Horst and being part of the Horst photo exhibit at the V&A in London it seems fitting to introduce Alistair Blair to some who might not know him. He has surrendered himself to his passion and continues to evolve within this world. He has survived the fashion wars, countless fads, and trends and seen more and done much more than most. He has been the right hand of some of the greats of French fashion and he has surely earned his PhD in the fine art of fashion ... so to speak of course! (Including haute couture) He outshines many of those who came after him with unrivaled expertise and abilities.

    Anyone who is not familiar with Mr. Blair needs to educate themselves concerning what and who made fashion the business that it was in the second quarter of the 20th century. He was one of the young British set who included Bruce Oldfield, The Emanuels, Zandra Rhodes, Tomasz Starzewski and Victor Edelstein and a host of many others who put London on the map at that time. His resume reads like who’s who of fashion and includes Valentino, Lagerfeld, Balmain, Givenchy, Dior, he has dressed British royalty, he has dressed Hollywood royalty and he has dressed the catwalk queens of fashion. To say that he was the “it” boy of his time is an understatement.

    Spend a few moments and experience the wit and joy of Alistair Blair and meet a pillar of fashion!

    Jeffrey Felner: What is your bliss?
    Alistair Blair:
    An unending pile of snow white paper, pens and pencils

    What is your guilty secret?
    It’s a secret….. If it’s something that no-one but I can share: I can box!

    If you could not be a designer/retailer/etc.: what would you be?
    A Shakespearean actor

    What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”
    1) You must have self-belief and great passion. 2) Look, Listen and Learn. Inspiration is all around you. 3) There will never be another…/the next…/the new… Be original. It may not bring you great wealth, but you’ll be happy.

    Who or what is your inspiration/style icon?
    Both the Hepburns/Tina Chow. But I can be inspired just as easily by someone or something on the street

    What is the best advice you ever received?
    Upward & Onward.

    In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.
    Misogynistic. Drowning. Elitist.

    If you won a $200,000,000 power ball (lottery), what is the first thing you would buy or do?
    Pay off friend’s debts/mortgages. :) (Then open up a small Couture house where as the designer I would hand pick my clientele.)

    If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?
    Fashion dinner: Beau Brummel/Coco Chanel/John Galliano/Diana Cooper
    Serious Dinner: Elizabeth I/Modigliani/Ava Gardner/Charlie Chaplin
    ‘Evil’ Dinner: Chanel & Lagerfeld. Marie Antoinette & Joseph Guillotine. Elizabeth I & Casanova
    One always feels one has to explain the choices as so many will criticize. Of course there are the Shakespeares, Byrons , Tom Stoppard, Callas & Ghandis of the world but they are, for me anyway, people I’d want to listen to not to have a conversation with. I’m fascinated by my choices and would love to sit up all night chatting & dishing the dirt.

    What is the one thing you would change about yourself?
    My lack of patience

    Whose opinion do you value most and why?
    Mine. I do listen to the advice of good friends then usually go off and do precisely the opposite. That way I only have myself to blame when it all goes belly up!

    What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?
    Books,newspapers every time. Internet is too generic.

    Do you have a dream collaborator?
    Past: I would love to have been with Chanel at the beginning.
    Present: Cameron MacKintosh

    What is your crowning achievement thus far in your career?
    Surviving (just)

     

    Princess Diana wearing Alistair Blair.

     

    (L) Alistair Blair, 1987. (M) Alistair Blair, American Vogue, September 1987. Photograph by John Cocking. (R) Alistair Blair, S/S 1990.

     

    (L) Alistair Blair, Harper’s Bazaar, September 1986. (R) Elle UK Editorial, November 1986, Photo by Marc Hispard.

  • Impossible Conversations | Audrey Hepburn

    Posted by Jeffrey Permalink

    To continue with the “impossible conversations” series, I thought it only fitting that I conjure the spirit of one of the greatest style icons of the 20th century… Audrey Hepburn. She follows in the footsteps of Diana Vreeland, Yves St Laurent and the Duchess of Windsor who all found their way to me for a brief time. Ms. Hepburn was an actress, philanthropist, style icon and a human being who was one of the most photographed and well known faces of the last century. She left us a legacy of taste and grace that will never be duplicated during our lifetimes.

    Today, via whatever means possible to get her to answer some questions, we find out that Miss Hepburn is the genteel and loyal woman we have always known. She remains the subject of some of the most iconic images of all times and is indelibly etched in our collective memory as Holly Golightly, Sabrina, Eliza and so many more.

     

    What is your current state of mind?
    Calm, peaceful, serene and content

    What do you think of the present state of fashion?
    I am so disappointed by the current flow of fashion. It seems that clothes no longer have charisma nor do they reflect the client. So much is for shock value and too much attention paid to “Red Carpet” events and not enough attention paid to the refinement, elegance and the art of fashion. I would be remiss if I did not express my great sorrow at what they have done to Hubert’s legacy.

    What do you think of the Celebrity/Model idea?
    I am proud to have been a “model” and a muse for so many. It was so gratifying as well as such an honor to have been so close to Hubert. Today, the so called “celebrities” are shadows of what “we” were and what we accomplished.

    What do you think of reality stars turned into icons?
    If you are speaking of the likes of those hideous, classless and truly distasteful and trashy Kardashian harlots, then I must say that I don’t think very highly of the concept. I cannot speak to the “Housewives” phenomenon as that is the nadir of your culture and the low ebb of the feminine mystique!

    Who are you sorry you missed during your career?
    I can’t be sure but it seems that I might have liked Angelina Jolie due to her humanitarian efforts in Africa, but I am sure I would have loved to have worked with George Clooney, whom I view as a sort of Cary Grant kind of guy. I so wish I had worked with Meryl Streep.

    What's your advice about stardom?
    Be humble, be yourself, be well mannered, be well dressed and always give it your best.

    What was your crowning achievement?
    In terms of privately, it would have to be my dedicated work in Africa with the children. Professionally, I was blessed to have been lucky enough to have been cast in movies such as Funny Face, Breakfast at Tiffany, Charade, Roman Holiday and Sabrina.

    Who is your favourite designer?
    Ah well, I can only answer Hubert, he was my guiding light and so much a part of who I am and what I became as far as an actress and icon. He became part of my DNA. He was my friend, my confidante, my collaborator and a mentor of sorts.

    With whom would you like to split a bottle of champagne? Name one or more.
    I so miss Monsieur Givenchy, I am so happy to be able to see Cary, Diana, Greg, Bill and Dick Avedon and Andrea, but I wish I was still able to do my “work “ with the children

    What is the quality you most admire in others? 
    I admire dedication and one’s efforts that achieve greatness... no matter what area of expertise

    Who would you like to mentor in this generation?
    There are many young actresses who need help in terms of polishing their rough edges and not projecting these tarnished déclassé images. Some would be so much better off with some education and adherence to a more gentile way about themselves, not to mention wearing clothes that fit them and do not expose their private parts!

    Do you think fashion/celebrity is taken too seriously? 
    Being able to “stand back” from it all, I must say that today the so called stars have very little substance and are more concerned with what they wear and who they date than their career path. When we were selected to “model,” there was a reason; It was more about our accomplishments as actors than just being hot at the moment, the modeling was a reward! …not de rigeur.

    Who do you think has little talent as a designer/performer? 
    It would be so tasteless of me to enumerate the actors, but there are so many whom I would have to ask “why are you famous?” … As far as designers, I would have been very interested in Giambattista Valli as a modern day Hubert, I would have worn Michael Kors day clothes when he exemplifies great American sportswear and I am positive that, if Hubert gave his blessings, I would have worn some of Bill Gaytten’s pieces that he did for Dior.

    How would you like to come back in a second life?
    I might want to come back as a major philanthropist or per chance a spokesperson for charities in general. I might have wanted to come back as being more Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep, both of whom I admire for their breadth of talents. I do not want to come back in the same way that I was when I was there ….. that’s over and done and can never be duplicated.

     

    (L) Sabrina, 1954. (M) Charade, 1963. (R) Roman Holiday, 1953.

     

    Audrey Hepburn in Africa. (L) 1959. (R) 1990s.

     

     

     

     

  • Pillars of Fashion | Bruce Oldfield

    Posted by Jeffrey Permalink

    Bruce Oldfield in his Studio.

    Meet a pillar of British fashion, make that international fashion, who dresses royalty of Hollywood as well as the monarchy of the British Empire and he goes by the name of Bruce Oldfield. For the more uninformed amongst us, here is a very brief history:

    He was a graduate of St. Martins and he opened the door for so many designers who came after him. He was a prodigy discovered by Jean Rosenberg or Gerry Stutz (my guess) of Henri Bendel by age 25 and soon he was an internationally recognized designer with retail outlets all over the world. At 28 he was designing and offering haute couture and by 34 he opened his eponymous shop on Beauchamp Place in London. By 40 he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to fashion. Not bad for any designer??

    Unquestionably he is a pillar of fashion and a survivor of the fashion media machine who remains healthfully in business for those women of discerning taste who truly want to be able to wear exquisitely made and designed clothes of timeless style. His bridal gowns are those of fantasy and chic and again, only for those savvy enough to seek out apparel that is steeped in the traditions and fine craftsmanship of high fashion. Yet he is one of the British school who remain coveted by those collecting vintage fashion.

    Today we are blessed and fortunate enough to have convinced Mr. Oldfield to share some of his thoughts, opinions and his personal world with us…. so please welcome him to the fold!

     

    Jeffrey Felner: What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?
    Bruce Oldfield: A very old and distressed Issey Miyake navy linen shirt.

    What is your most sterling trait and what trait do you treasure most in your friendships?
    A good grip on reality

    What is your bliss?
    Playing the piano, my dogs sleeping by my feet

    What is your guilty secret?
    Cheese

    What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date?
    Owning a business for forty years

    What is on your bedside table right now?
    My iPad, my kindle and a pile of half-read books

    What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”
    Learn your craft or find a very rich sugar daddy

    What is the best advice you ever received?
    Don’t let the bastards get you down

    In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.
    Incomprehensible

    If you could select a dream project, what would it be?
    Be financed to produce a top end ready-to wear collection to sell internationally, that didn’t require my presence to facilitate sales.

    If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?
    I know you would prefer me to choose ghastly show-offs like Dorothy Parker and Oscar Wilde, but I think I’d prefer HM the Queen, Marilyn Monroe, president Obama and Fred Astaire

    What is the one thing you would change about yourself?
    I should be more sociable. Less reclusive

    What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?
    I don’t buy fashion magazines. I do have a kindle which is brilliant but I still prefer a hardback book

    Do you have a dream collaborator?
    No…..part of me wants to say Pierre Berge ….

    Have you ever wanted to just throw in the towel and why?
    No, there’s still plenty to do...

     

    (L) 1980s Bruce Oldfield Silk Gown & Shawl (R) 1980s Bruce Oldfield Red & Gold Silk Gown - Both available now at Shrimpton Couture!

     

    (L) Princess Diana (wearing Bruce Oldfield), Bruce Oldfield, and Joan Collins, 1985. (R) Diana in Bruce Oldfield.

     

    (L) Alva Chinn for Bruce Oldfield, 1976. (R) Billie Blair for Bruce Oldfield, Spring 1974, Photo by Pierre Schermann.

     

    Bruce Oldfield, 1995.

     

    Jerry Hall and Marie Helvin for Bruce Oldfield.

     

    Diana in Bruce Oldfield.

     

    Bridal Gowns by Bruce Oldfield.

     

    (L) Kim Kardashian & (R) Helen Mirren in Bruce Oldfield.

  • Impossible Conversations: Christian Dior

    Posted by Jeffrey Permalink

    25th April 1950 - Fashion couturier Christian Dior with six of his models after a fashion parade at the Savoy Hotel, London.

    Fortunately, for my readers, my “reach” extends far beyond the here and now. With that being said, via a serendipitous stream of events, I was recently able to communicate with the late great Christian Dior. He and I were able to discuss a few very pressing topics and some of which only border on the frivolous. Monsieur Dior was quite a coup for me as I have not been able to reach that far back with my previous subjects who have included Mademoiselle Chanel, Yves St Laurent, the wondrous Diana Vreeland and even the surreal Mademoiselle Schiaparelli.

    On February 12 we will celebrated the 67th anniversary of Monsieur Dior’s first show which debuted in 1947. With that in mind and in his eternal memory, may I offer my “impossible conversation” with “the king of fashion” … Christian Dior

     

    What is your current state of mind?
    I am quite happy, tres content, now with no worries of what I eat or when the next collection will be ready or what the new dress lengths should be. I just wish that fashion was more chic, MORE ORIGINAL and less democratic...n’est-ce pas?

    What do you think of the present state of fashion?
    Mon Dieu! As Holly Golightly would say... Quel mess!! I don’t recognize the world of fashion in Paris. Too many young designers of little talents who think that designers need words to explain their clothes... mais non... the clothes should speak for themselves! C’est vrai? Oui? Oui I speak of that riff raff Raf! That silly Nicky boy…

    What do you think of the Celebrity/Model idea?
    I really don’t care much as I was always more concerned about who wore the clothes rather than the clothes being worn by...you see my point... tu vois? For me it was always about “mes robes” and not the clients. I knew all the great clothes horses, the great social doyennes and the greatest of film stars. I just wanted them all to wear beautifully made clothes that were well designed.

    Who are you sorry you missed during your career?
    je suis désolé...how you say... sorry that I never got to see the meteoric rise of Yves or what le pauvre Galliano did for my legacy. I would have loved to discuss construction with McQueen or even Mugler. They understood the mécaniques of fashion and design. I am so sad to have missed Madame Vreeland and Avedon and the likes of Polly Mellen

    What's your advice about stardom?
    You must enjoy your fame while you can and never forget that the business is about beautiful clothes and not about you. Oh and PLEASE take care of your health as life can be very short!!

    What was your crowning achievement?
    I had many and only some were associated with fashion. Oui, yes of course the New Look and yes of course my grey maison. I was able to do many things that gratified me such as my interest in art and my garden, mes jardins, mes fleurs. And my beloved Granville. And of course there is the legacy of my name which was made possible when that young man Arnault bought my suffering brand and transformed it into the behemoth that it is today. Merci Bernie!

    Who was your favorite designer?
    This is a very difficult question since I have so much time to re-examine the world of fashion these days. There are some famous designers and not so famous but I would lie if I said I was not in awe of Cristobal... I may have been “the king of fashion” but it was he who was “the master of us all!” Beside the most “incroyable” of designers, he was such a man of great elegance.

    With whom would you like to split a bottle of champagne? Name one or more.
    Aaaaaaah so many I need to speak with, but so many are already living nearby, I will have to search them out and take a café with them and hear about fashion as they saw it... oh pardon .. The question, yes... Yves, And Alexander, Diana, Ferre and then the ones who have yet to make an appearance here like the bad boy Galliano or maybe that young woman Sarah. There are few greats and so many who are impostors.

    Who would you like to mentor in this generation?
    I would like to “watch over” a few designers who may not be as well-known as they should be and that is because you are not blessed with editors or fashion arbiters who have good taste or are sage enough to appreciate talents without worrying about ads or graft or speaking the truth... ah le question... there is a designer in California I like because he has so much of my personality, sensibilities and nature … and of course they understand design ..Oh yes... excuse moi!! LOYD/FORD...oh you don’t know... Well you need to look, open your eyes and learn and then there are those in France like Andrew Gn, Giamba and even that rascal Mabille.

    Do you think fashion/celebrity is taken too seriously?
    Comme I say deja... you must not forget this is a business of clothes,vetements not the personalities who wear them. Today these almost famous women wear clothes that they are paid to wear or receive for free...bah … merde! This is not fashion or fame this is trollopes!

    Who do you think has little talent as a Designer/Performer/Artist?
    OOOH la la... there is not enough time to speak of these unfortunate souls who only believe that they are talented. Yes les pauvres who don’t realize that they are only famous for the clothes and not for their thoughts... without the clothes many would be professeurs or maybe... oh how you say … garcons de courses... aaaah... messengers or delivery men... oui the kind who ride bicyclettes! I am deeply saddened with this Raf character who talks too much and tries to mangle my ideas into monstrosities that do not deserve my name… little Bernie needs to wise up!!

    How would you like to come back in a second life?
    I would like to try my life as a haute monde Martha Stewart en francais or maybe even be the designer of my own brand again as the world has changed and there are so many countries and ladies to now consider.. I want to come back and enjoy my life to the fullest with no memories of war or deprivation.

     

    (L) Christian Dior in his Paris salon, 1948. (R) Christian Dior, photo by Loomis Dean, 1957.

     

    (L) Christian Dior Prepares the 1955 Autumn/Winter collection. Model wearing the ‘Première soirée’ dress. (R) Stockings were highlighted for the first time when Christian Dior exhibited his French collection - March 11, 1948 Paris, France.

  • Pillars of Fashion | Supermodel Marpessa Hennink

    Posted by Jeffrey Permalink

    Marpessa in a 1960s Alfred Bosand gown from Shrimpton Couture, Photo by Carlos Puig Padilla.

    Being that the subject just celebrated a milestone birthday, the timing seemed right to share my meet and greet with one of the true supermodels of our age. Even though I detest the moniker, Marpessa Hennink was one of the great catwalk queens of the 80’s as well as an editorial staple in fashion magazines around the world. She is most certainly one of my “pillars of fashion.”

    She is as much part of the fashion dialogue as many of the great designers of that era. Ms. Hennink was a model when models were models and not coat hangers who paraded straight down a catwalk. Marpessa, as she is more known, has personality, individuality and is a great talent. She and her contemporaries actually “sold” the clothes when they took their turn on the runway. Imagine, she strutted, she smiled, she pouted, she actually could turn a 360 and shrug off a jacket or coat without a misstep and all effortlessly while taking her turn down that runway. Her ubiquitous presence will never be forgotten by those who were witness to it and she serves as a great example of why fashion became a source of entertainment as well as a business to be reckoned with.

    Today, she has returned to Milan to take on the task of being the Global Ambassador for Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda. Having had a decade’s hiatus in Ibiza, her once again presence on the international fashion scene is as ubiquitous and welcomed as ever. Those of us who have been living fashion for so long never quite retire; we just regroup and reappear in our next incarnation.

    Bentornato carissima! We missed you ...let’s hear what she has to say today!

    PS.. she is actually a very satisfied client of Shrimpton Couture and one reason why I get to contribute to this site as she suggested I contact Cherie afer seeing a request for writers posted on instagram where she follows Cherie!

     

    What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?
    My vintage Alaïa, Chanel Couture and Dolce & Gabbana runway pieces… and the first Kelly bag I gave myself when I turned 21.

    What is your most sterling trait?
    Outspoken.

    What is your bliss?
    Taking my daughter on a surprise trip to Paris.

    Where is your ideal home?
    Where my heart is.

    If you could not be doing your present job; what would you be doing?
    Move on to the next level.

    What is on your bedside table right now?
    Books, magazines and a reading-lamp.

    What do you wear to bed?
    Depends on my mood and who I’m with.

    What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”
    Go for it with all your passion, be curious, flexible and keep your feet on the ground.

    Who or what is your inspiration/style icon?
    Diane Vreeland, Madeleine Castaing.

    Who is your favorite designer or ideal subject?
    Dolce & Gabbana.

    In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.
    Evolving luxury.

    If you could, would you ever approach one of your peers to employ? Who? Why?
    Inés de la Fressange for her wit, class, creativity and fabulousness.

    If you won a $200,000,000 power ball, what is the first thing you would buy or do?
    Buy a big bottle of Ruinart champagne rosé and figure out the best way to distribute 90% to benefit abused and /or abandoned children and set aside 5% for a museum for Anna Piaggi’s archives in Milan.

    If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?
    Antonio Lopez, Diane Vreeland, Bill Cunningham and Elsa Schiaparelli.

    What is the one thing you would change about yourself?
    Quit smoking.

    Whose opinion do you value most?
    Friends and family.

    What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?
    Can’t live without them!

    What’s your music library like?
    Eclectic, from disco to opera, via reggae, blues and chill-out lounge.

    What and where is your favorite meal?
    A simple home-cooked meal, anywhere.

     

    Editor's note: We love Marpessa so much we put her on our September cover for the site! It's not every day we have a supermodel and designer's muse to show off! We love you Marpessa!

     

    Candids of Marpessa in some more of her Shrimpton Couture purchases - a couture Valentino and a fabulous little 50s number!

     

  • Future Vintage: Robert Lee Morris

    Posted by Jeffrey Permalink

    Robert Lee Morris in his Studio, Photo by Jamie Beck.

    Editors note: its almost a misnomer to call Robert's work "future vintage" since his pieces are already collectible and his career long enough that he has a foot planted firmly in the past and present. His work will only become more valuable as time passes!

     

    ac·ces·so·ry …….noun \ik-ˈse-sə-rē, ak-, ek-, -ˈses-rē, also ə-ˈse-\ : Something added to something else to make it more useful, attractive, or effective

    Apparently Robert Lee Morris has defied the dictionary definition of what constitutes an accessory. Mr. Morris is perhaps a pioneer (pillar of fashion) or maybe the founding father of what has become an irreplaceable and huge integral part of the fashion business on an international stage….

    Once considered “bridge jewelry” or semi-precious, he has single handedly elevated its status by showing the world that the classification of sterling silver jewelry could stand on its own as a category and not just as a means of enhancing apparel or as a sub category to fashion jewelry. His enduring career was solidified in 1978 when he opened Artwear in Soho and has remained omnipresent in the world of jewelry and accessories ever since.

    During his illustrious career he has contributed to the collections of Kansai Yamamoto, Calvin Klein, Anne Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, Michael Kors, the Olsens and Donna Karan. Most notably is his long lasting collaboration with Ms. Karan.

    In my opinion Robert Lee Morris is a living legend of the fashion business and it is my pleasure to have had the opportunity to “get inside” his head. One more in my series of meet and greet sessions with great personalities who dwell in the world of fashion.

     

    Jeffrey Felner: What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?
    Robert Lee Morris:
    Most treasured possession in my wardrobe: my oversized down coat from Donna Karan’s men’s line from years ago. It is the best winter coat ever.

    What is your most sterling trait and what trait do you treasure most in your friendships?
    My most sterling trait from myself and in my friendships is the ability to become a light of inspiration and love to whoever is around me.

    What is your bliss?
    My bliss is my work, my “job” of designing and making with my own hands, jewelry that comes to me in clear visions out of the blue.

    What is your guilty secret?
    My guilty secret is a passion for Cronuts.

    What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”
    My advice to any “newcomer” is to research deeply the field of fashion you are interested to grow into. Know what has been done before to avoid unintentional plagiarism.

    Who or what is your inspiration/style icon?
    My style Icon, source of masculine inspiration is Paul Bettany.

    What is the best advice you ever received?
    The best advice I ever received was from my original art dealer who told me to use my whole name (including the Lee) as my brand name. There already existed a famous Robert Morris artist when I entered my career in NY.

    If you won a $200,000,000 power ball (lottery), what is the first thing you would buy or do?
    With a $200,000 lottery prize I would buy gold coins and put them in a small treasure box so I could run my fingers thru the coins every day. Like Uncle Scrooge.

    If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?
    I would invite the following people to dinner Oscar Wilde, Picasso, Jennifer Lawrence and Ru Paul.

    Whose opinion do you value most and why?
    I value my wife’s opinion above everyone else’s. She has an uncanny knowing…

    What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?
    I read nearly all my books digitally on my iPad or laptop, but not magazines. I enjoy the physical appeal of them.

    Do you have a dream collaborator?
    My dream collaborator is Donna Karan…dreams come true.

    What is your crowning achievement thus far in your career?
    My crowning glory achievement thus far in my career was the being awarded The Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement award in 2007, my third CFDA award...

    What’s your music library like?
    My music library is heavily new age, meditation, exotic world music. I don't listen to much POP but certain massively  successful pop bands like Imagine Dragons, Dark heavy masculine sounds, emotional sounds like Staind, Depeche Mode, , joyful new age mixes like Alcyon Massive, Balligomingo, Lourde, or mournful soul of Band of Horses, but little of Beyoncé, Dr. Dre, JayZ, Rhianna, anything having to do with Kim Kardashian's world...

    What and where is your favorite meal?
    My favorite meal is Feijoada Completa, black rice and beans, with smoked and exotic Brazilian meats, with the odd white toasted flour called Farofa that you sprinkle on like sawdust...its hauntingly delicious and the mainstay of Brazil. I went to high school in Rio and was served the best Feijoada, always accompanied with a cold Guarana' over ice.  The Filet Mignon was always called an "alto" because of the extreme highest of the filet as it stood on your plate, medium rare from Argentina....only in Brazil can you find these magical carnivorous restaurants called Brazilian steakhouses, Churascurias...a most distinctive flavor only found in Rio.

     

    Robert Lee Morris, 1970s.

     

    Shot on September 4, 2012 at Robert Lee Morris's Studio from annstreetstudio.com

     

    Some of Morris' jewels.

     

    Michelle Obama, Alicia Keys & Chrissy Teigen - all wearing necklaces by Robert Lee Morris.

  • Impossible Conversations: Nan Kempner

    Posted by Jeffrey Permalink

    Nan Kempner in her master bedroom decorated by Michael Taylor. Photo by Derry Moore for Architectural Digest.

    Here is my “IMPOSSIBLE” meet and greet with one of the world’s greatest style icons. The “fashionable” conversation is as I would imagine it to be if we spoke this past week. Nan was one of the world’s greatest clotheshorses who amassed a king’s ransom in clothes as well as a museum quality collection of haute couture. (375 pieces of YSL alone)

    She lived in 16 rooms on Park Avenue, entertained with spaghetti dinners as well as place card dinners serving royalty; literally had rooms filled with clothes and made it her mission to have one helluva good time. She was irascible, charming, charitable, wicked, loving and she is most of … all greatly missed.

    I of course, speak of Nan Kempner who died 9 years ago this month but spent a lifetime indulging her great passion ... clothes. She was the real deal... a style icon ... an original! Reed thin, she was as ubiquitous in the rarefied worlds of genuine international society as KK is in the world of tabloid schlock news. She did all the right things, spent time in all the right places and was famous for saying “she wouldn’t miss the opening of a door” and she spent her life living it. Her conspiratorial laugh, her hacking cough and the aroma and clouds of smoke from her Parliaments are missed in so many ways.

    “There are no chic women in America. The one exception is Nan Kempner." Diana Vreeland

    La plus chic du monde” Yves St Laurent

    Here she is ... giving us one last tasteful tease of Nan!!

     

    Jeffrey Felner: What is your current state of mind?
    Nan Kempner:
    Honestly, I couldn’t be happier here. I can smoke all I want, I don’t have drag those tanks around and I get to see so many of my nearest and dearest friends. I am sorry I had to leave my wardrobe behind but then again there would be no room for anyone else’s clothes here if I brought all of mine and I always believed that “there's a store where I'm going”

    JF: What do you think of the present state of fashion?
    NK:
    Darling there is no fashion anymore,   I mean look around you...what do you see? Trash, these days all these broads looking for free clothes. Even editors today are looking for freebies and they haven’t a clue, there is no one to equal Diana and then again look at the clothes... trash silly stuff for the tasteless

    JF: What was your crowning achievement?
    NK:
    My crowning achievement might be my wardrobe and my collection of the most fabulous couture clothes that anyone could ever covet or want … and then again there were my closets which were about the closest thing to heaven that there was.. Everything in its place everything impeccably cared for and how lucky for me that I was always rail thin and everything fit... season after season. And last but not least was that I was smart enough to keep my marriage afloat despite Tommy’s peccadillos and extracurricular activities… 50 years!! I’d say that is an accomplishment of Herculean proportion.

    JF: Who was your favorite designer?
    NK:
    My dear, my dear... where to start… this can take a while since it would be impossible to just name one. Yes of course Yves, on those gowns those delightful delicious confections and those bows, and Bill, those suits and cocktail dresses and Main, as in Mainbocher, and Halston, I had those cashmeres in every color, Marc, as in Bohan, and Gianfranco and so so many... after all “I spend way more than I should ... and way less than I want” some might call me greedy and some might call me voracious but I just love everything and everyone who is beautiful

    JF: Do you think fashion and social standing are related?
    NK:
    I believe that women who are of a certain station in life must look the part. After all, one’s presentation is most imperative as to how we are treated and how we are perceived. I know I may have over done the clothes horse thing but hell what fun I had. I never missed a couture season for decades. I just adored Yves and he was so kind as he always let me buy the samples at a discount and he was so much fun when he came to NYC and we smoked and drank and laughed. But I digress. I helped raise over 75 million bucks for Sloane Kettering... how would it look if I paraded around in sweats and warm up jacket... heaven forbid!!

    JF: Who or what do you think is totally overrated?
    NK:
    Nowadays I think all the fashion magazines have lost their luster they are just vehicles for advertising and revenue... not like when I was at French Vogue or at Bazaar, not like when Diana was holding the reins… even the so called status brands have lost their luster as they are far too democratic in their availability and selection of merchandise.. It was so much more chic when things were less available and more out of reach... how divine it was to not see yourself coming and going...no less to see yourself in the same turn out as some bridge and tunnel wretch.

    JF: How would you like to come back in a second life?
    NK:
    I want to come back as the mistress or even the wife of some Middle Eastern potentate or some Russian oligarch and just spend myself silly 365 days a year. I want unlimited budgets everywhere and I want everyone in Paris to know me as the clotheshorse I am!! And most all I want to go out every night and never be tired!

     

    For lunching in town, a crocheted wool cardigan in tones of brown and beige, beige shirt (both Saint Laurent); five-year-old flannel pants (Valentino) - “I let out the cuffs for higher heels.”  Photo by Christopher Niquet.

     

    Photos showing how Nan Kempner organized her closet by color, even using wire hangers to accomodate more clothes closer together, "Nan Kempner- American Chic Exhibit".

     

    (L) Nan Kempner on her wedding day in 1952. She was married in the St.Francis Hotel. (R) Nan Kempner in her debutante dress.

     

    (L) Nan Kempner, Malcolm Forbes' 70th birthday party in Morocco. (R) Nan Kempner in an Yves Saint Laurent evening coat posing in her living room.

     

    (L) Nan Kempner and Kenneth Jay Lane at a preview at Christie’s, photographed by Rose Hartman, New York, 1989. (R) Nan Kempner wearing camel hair coat and cuffed plain-front pants by Yves Saint Laurent, with cashmere sweater and chain belt with tiger eye by Halston; a beret, and holding a long print silk scarf, January 1974.

     

    (L) Valentino and Nan Kempner. (R) Bill Blass and Nan Kempner (wearing Gown by Madame Grès) at the Plaza, 1970. (R) Nan Kempner and Yves Saint Laurent at a launch party for Opium perfume, 1978.

     

    (L)  Nan Kempner's blouses in her damask lined armoire. (R) Necklaces drape the mirror atop a Chinoiserie desk in Nan Kempner’s dressing room.

     

    Halston, Loulou de La Falaise, Yves St. Laurent, Nan Kempner, and Steve Rubell.

  • Vintage Couture Available In the Shop Now!

    • 1960s Gina Fratini Lace Trimmed Sleeves w Floral Print Maxi Dress
    • Early 1970s Louis Feraud Velvet Suit
    • 1970s Rudi Gernreich Plunge Knit Dress
    • 1950s Sophie of Saks Silk Bow Dress
    • 1950s Daisy Sweetheart Bust Black Dress
    • 1980s Sequined Vicky Tiel Couture Dress
    • 1950s Floral Print Hawaiian Wiggle Dress
    • Beautiful 1970s Ted Lapidus Pink Silk Demi-Couture Dress
    • 1950s Silk Strapless Beaded Bow Dress
    • 1970s Silk Velvet Couture Halston Sheath
    • 1990s Richard Tyler Couture Silk Sheath
    • 1950s Full Skirted Silk "New Look" Dress
    • Recent Giambattista Valli Black Strapless Front Bow Cocktail Dress
    • Recent Missoni Gold Chevron Pattern Knit Halter Summer Dress
    • 1960s Sculptural Black Silk Teal Traina "Tuxedo" Dress
    • 1980s Strapless Bubble Skirt Lanvin Dress
    • 1980s Claude Montana Fitted Peplum Dress
    • 1990s Gianni Versace Couture Net Dress
    • 1950s Beaded Fitted Scoop Back Dress
    • Give the Gift of Vintage with a Gift Card!
    • 1930s Puffed Sleeve Floral Silk Chiffon Gown
    • A/W 1980 Haute Couture Christian Dior Gown
    • 1978 Collection Rare Backless Red Halston Dress
    • 1950s Pink Herbet Sondheim Silk Dress & Jacket
    • A/W 1994 Documented Vivienne Westwood Riding Suit
    • 1950s Silk and Net Lace Beaded Cocktail Dress
    • 1960s Numbered Courreges Pink Skirt & Sweater Set
    • 1970s Leonard Pink & Coral Mini & Crop Jacket
    • Spring 2008 Giambattista Valli Strapless Ivory Fitted Dress
    • 1980s Valentino Pleated Back Silk Gown
    • 1950s Green Sculptural Lilli Diamond Dress & Jacket
    • Pretty 1970s Ted Lapidus Floral Skirt & Top Set
    • Rare 1970s Embroidered Exceptional Kenzo Suit
    • 1980s Nini Ricci Lame Black Cocktail Dress
    • 1950s Black Sequin & Cording Pin Up Dress
    • 1960s Silk Chiffon Floral Oscar De La Renta Jumpsuit
    • Late 1950s Rare Hermes Coated Cotton Trench Coat
    • 1960s Chic Larger Christian Dior Numbered Suit
    • 1960s Rich Hued Pucci Velvet Shift Dress
    • 1970s Glossy Black Sequin Donald Brooks Dress
    • Spring 1999 Thierry Mugler Black Silk Chiffon Runway Dress
    • Fall 2003 Runway Ostrich Print Prada Leather Coat
    • 1960s Geoffrey Beene Burnt Pumpkin Colored Backless Chiffon Dress
    • 1950s Bonwit Teller Strapless Black Silk Dress w Full Skirts
    • Spring 2001 Tom Ford for Gucci Black Bustier Dress
    • Hermes 'Feu Du Ciel' by Kwumi Sefedin Silk Pocket Scarf
    • 1960s Blue Floral Formfit Pucci Nylon Dress & Panties
    • 1960s Rare Alice Pollock Moss Crepe Wrap Top
    • 1960s Andre Courreges Black Courduroy Vest & Skirt Set
    • 1950s Hand Beaded & Embroidered Branell Silk Dress
  • Future Vintage: The Ralph Rucci Interview

    Posted by Jeffrey Permalink

    Ralph Rucci walks the runway at the Chado Ralph Rucci Spring 2010 Fashion Show in New York City.

    His demographic is that of almost cult like loyalty and for those of the most discerning taste as well as those who comprehend that fashion can be an art. What may come to mind is “less is more” or “the devil is in the details” but whatever you think, you can be positive that these are deceptively simple clothes. They are pure of line and intricate in construction and they reflect the evolution of a man and his body of work rather than the revolution of fashion.

    When I met with Ralph a few weeks ago, we were chatting about how one’s mind shifts when it comes to fashion and how there are times we need to go back to our roots in order to see the future. He is a most cerebral of designers and yet he is not one who feels it necessary to “speak over” the clothes as the clothes are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves; in other words short on blah blah blah and long on actual design and his expression of fashion!

    For those of who might not be familiar with his oeuvre, let me give you a quick primer here: At the age of 21, he moved to New York to study at the FIT and trained under the hand of Halston. His first formal show was in 1981, and then a decade later founded Chado Ralph Rucci. In 1999 Rucci was honored by being invited by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture to show in Paris during their fashion weeks. The only designer previously invited and honored this was Mainbocher.

    Read what Mr. Rucci has to say and have a look at some of the flawless pieces from past collections. Ralph Rucci will become the gold standard of vintage in years to come.

     

    Jefrey: What trait do you most treasure in yourself?
    Ralph Rucci: Integrity

    What’s your bliss?
    Q
    uietude

    Who or what is your inspiration?
    Listening to others’ wisdom

    Who is your favorite designer?
    Cristobal Balenciaga

    What’s your most treasured possession?
    My khmer statue

    If you couldn’t do your present job, what would you be?
    A Psychoanalyst

    Where is your ideal home?
    On the water – in seclusion

    In a word or 2 or 3, what do you think about fashion?
    An aspirational art as opposed to an applied science

    How important is the truth with regard to your work?
    Of the utmost importance

    What’s your advice to an aspiring designer?
    Be humble

    Do you pay attention to other designers’ work?
    Yes . . . the work of those whom i respect

    If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would you pick?
    Jesus

    Do you read your own reviews?
    Yes

    What is your approach to a new season?
    Picking up where i left off

    What stimulates your creative process?
    To find the new language of cut

    Would you wear your own designs?
    Yes – in fact, I do

    If elected president, what is the first thing you would do?
    Talk about the spiritual reality and extraterrestrials living and teaching among us …. also, work to eliminate the idea that racism, prejudice, discrimination and homophobia are appropriate behaviors


    SS14 campaign

     

    (L) Chado Ralph Rucci- gros de Londres "Infanta" dress. Slik with chenille embroidery- F/W Haute Couture 2006 (from the little black dress exhibit at Savannah College of Art and Design by Andre Leon Talley). (R) NYFW F/W 2014.

     

    Chado Ralph Rucci Atelier, Photo by Jennilee Marigomen for Zero 1 Magazine.

     

    Chado Ralph Rucci Atelier, Photo by Jennilee Marigomen for Zero 1 Magazine.

     

    Julianna Margulies, Kim Kardashian and Michelle Dockery in Chado Ralph Rucci.

     

    Chado Ralph Rucci Spring 2012.

     

    Ralp Rucci Atelier from March 2014 issue of Architectural Digest.

     

    Film Still from "Ralph Rucci - A Designer and His House"

  • Pillars of Fashion | Harry King

    Posted by Jeffrey Permalink

    Photo by Francesco Scavullo, Stylist: Sean Byrnes, Model: Margaux Hemingway, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Way Bandy.


    Too often in fashion, when we read a fashion magazine or even see a fashion image on our computer screens, we tend to only see what we think is most important and that is the clothes and the accessories. We somehow take for granted the hair and makeup and usually only take note if the model is painted like an African tribal shaman or the hair is teased until it is skyscraper high or tortured into some odd configuration. The point is simply that Harry King was probably responsible for how one wore their hair when fashion was at its apogee.

    Harry King is a legend, a pillar of fashion, who rose to international fame and notoriety in a time when the names like Way Bandy, Diana Vreeland, Avedon, Skrebneski, Polly Mellen, Penn, Suga, Vogue, Bazaar and many many more were the bellwethers of fashion and on the lips of anyone who lived in the pages of fashion magazines and in the world of fashion. These “createurs” were selling the fantasy and reality that was all part and parcel of fashion... as Grace Coddington said “when fashion came first” and I say when “fashion was fun.” The total look!

    We boomers who were paying attention in those years know that Harry King was one of the greatest “hairstylists” of the 20th century who collected more “important” credits in his portfolio than any 20 of today’s current crop. This is a man who worked endlessly with the best, for the best because he was and is the best! He opened the door for so many who followed.

    With all this said Harry King has been an integral part of fashion for decades and continues to inspire those who are savvy enough to recognize the enormous contribution he made to fashion in the most glorious of eras. It is my pleasure and my honor to call him friend and to offer a peak into his “head!”

     

    JEFFREY FELNER: What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?
    HARRY KING:
    Maybe an Armani jacket I bought in the 70's from his first unconstructed collection

    JF: What is your most sterling trait and what trait do you treasure most in your friendships?
    HK:
    Honesty

    JF: What is your guilty secret? 
    HK:
    Too guilty to say

    JF: What if any, book are you reading now or last read? 
    HK:
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

    JF: What’s your advice to the “newcomer?” 
    HK:
    Leave your ego at home

    JF: Who or what is your inspiration/style icon? 
    HK:
    All that is around me

    JF: What is the best advice you ever received?
    HK:
    Go for it

    JF: If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?
    HK:
    Frank Sinatra, Jesus, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Dickens

    JF: What is your favorite movie /or movie star?
    HK:
    Too many to answer that

    JF: What is the one thing you would change about yourself?
    HK:
    Hahaha my mind just went there!

    JF: Whose opinion do you value most and why?
    HK:
    My best friends because they are honest with me

    JF: What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?
    HK:
    Don’t really look at magazines much anymore, do like a book opposed to the internet but internet is so fast

    JF: Do you have a dream collaborator?
    HK:
    Right now I would like to be able to collaborate with the illustrator Antonio

    JF: Have you ever wanted to just throw in the towel and why?
    HK:
    I've had many highs in my career and couldn't pinpoint one but saying that it could have been the first day I started work when I was a shy 15 year old who didn't know his ass from his elbow or being able to work with the great photographers, models, editors, make-up artists, movie stars

    JF: What’s your music library like? 
    HK:
    Eclectic many centuries, classical, Sinatra, Billy Holliday, Cole Porter, Jobim, jazz, Rolling Stones, Little Richard, Doris Day, Lambert Hendricks and Ross so much more

    JF: What and where is your favorite meal? 
    HK:
    At friends or chez moi

     

    Harry King, Photo by Michael Della Polla.

     

      US Vogue, "The Secret of the New Hair Cut" Photos by Francesco Scavullo, Models: Chris Royer & Denise Hopkins, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Heidi Morawetz, July 1975.

     

    (L-R) Cosmopolitan September 1979 (Photo by Francesco Scavullo, Stylist: Sean Byrnes: Model: Janice Dickinson, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Way Bandy)  /  US Vogue January 1981 (Photo by Richard Avedon, Model: Beverly Johnson, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Way Bandy)  /  Vogue UK April 1979 (Photo by Albert Watson, Model: Tara Shannon, Hair: Harry King, Make up: Barbara Daly)  /   Cosmopolitan May 1976 (Photo by Francesco Scavullo, Stylist: Sean Byrnes, Model: Angeleen, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Way Bandy)

     

    US Vogue, Photo by Irving Penn & Chris Von Wangenheim, Models: Patti Hansen, Christie Brinkley, Janice Dickinson & Rosie Vela, Hair: Marc Pipino, Harry King & Suga, Makeup: Way Bandy & Ariella, February 1977.

     

    (L)  British Vogue, Photo by Barry Lategan, Editor: Grace Coddington, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Rose Bonomo, Model: Maria Von Hartz, 1983. (R) US Vogue, Photo by Arthur Elgort, Model: Patti Hansen, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Way Bandy, November 1975.

     

     US Vogue, "Fall Fashion Signals" Photos by Richard Avedon, Models: Patti Hansen & Janice Dickinson, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Sandy Linter & Way Bandy, July 1977.

     

    (L) US Vogue, "A Season of Differences..." Photo by Bill King, Models: Annette Stai, Kelly LeBrock, Kelly Emberg & Rosemary McGrotha, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Way Bandy, September 1981. (R) Photo by Mitchel Gray, Models: Denise Hopkins & Unknown, Hair: Harry King, Givenchy Spring/Summer 1977.

     

    US Vogue, Photos by Francesco Scavullo, Models: Dalila Di Lazzaro & Rene Russo, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Heidi Morawetz & Way Bandy, July 1975.

     

    (L-R) US Vogue October 1980 (Photo by Richard Avedon, Model: Brooke Shields, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Way Bandy)  /  US Cosmopolitan June 1979 (Photo by Francesco Scavullo, Stylist: Sean Byrnes, Model: Eva Voorhees, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Way Bandy)  /  US Vogue August 1975 (Photo by Arthur Elgort, Model: Rosie Vela, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Sandy Linter)  /  US Harper's Bazaar November 1980 (Photo by Francesco Scavullo, Model: Rene Russo, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Way Bandy)

     

     US Vogue "Furs--Glamour Plus!" Photos by Richard Avedon, Model: Rene Russo, Hair: Harry King, Makeup: Mark Sephton, November 1975.

  • Impossible Conversations: Yves Saint Laurent

    Posted by Jeffrey Permalink

    Illustration by Marc-Antoine Coulon.

    Yves must be checking his calendar and a bit upset and anxious that no one acknowledged the 6th anniversary of his passing earlier this month and the upcoming Haute Couture collections in Paris. He and I have “chatted” about his life then and now. How lucky I am to be the conduit for so many of fashions brightest and most eternal icons and talents. The death of Yves was a very personal and deeply emotional moment for me and perhaps it is his was of saying that he is still around; at least in my mind! Yves remains one of the most enduring designers of the 20th century and certainly ranks right up there when it comes to claiming his place within the world of vintage fashion. So, without any further ado, here is what Yves had to say recently during our impossible conversation….

     

    Jeffrey Felner: WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT STATE OF MIND?

    Yves Saint Laurent: Finallement, I am at peace, no nervous breakdowns, all the cigarettes I can smoke and one of my dearest friends continue to arrive each month or so

     

    JF: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PRESENT STATE OF FASHION?

    YSL: Je suis désolé... it is such a terrible thing that is going on...I was criticized to be too original and having too many crazy themes and maintenant we have fools who copy and make bad clothes, ugly clothes, clothes for women with no taste and they think words can erase their horreurs

     

    JF: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CELEBRITY/MODEL IDEA?

    YSL: Oui, I had Zizi, Sophia, Barbra, Talitha and Catherine and so many, but they had style not like today. Today with these big breasts and big derrieres, too much maquillage and these so ugly shoes…like the shoes of Frankenstein and they cannot walk in them

     

    JF: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF REALITY STARS TURNED INTO STYLE ICONS?

    YSL: Reality stars for me were Lou Lou, Nan, Farah Dibah and Betty and Marina, and Clara ..these girls… they worked and they had taste and they had style and panache. Already, this is very different from today with ugly women such as the Kar…Karcas….merde…Kardashians! Ooh la la quelle monstres! Quelle horreurs! Comme les prostituées.. mmmm vaches!

     

    JF: WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO NEW TALENT?

    YSL: Observe all around you, find peace, find your look and fit, be the best you can be and do not worry like I worried all the time

    JF: WHAT WAS YOUR CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT?

    YSL: When I met Pierre and it was he who made my glorious life possible, all the riches, all the objets, the travel, my homes and then I say my talent was my best friend and my worst enemy. Rive Gauche, Opium, couture, le smoking et tous mes amies

    JF: WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE CHANGED ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH?

    YSL: I would have hoped to be less anxious, less nervous and more strong…not so much as a sick little boy who had to always have a protector mais un rêve….but peut etre, then maybe I would not have had Pierre, so maybe I change nothing

    JF: WITH WHOM WOULD YOU LIKE TO SPLIT A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE? NAME ONE OR MORE

    YSL: I want to be with Pierre again and Lou Lou, who has already arrived, and Betty , Nan, Marina, Clara, Thadee, Francois and Madame Vreeland ,who is running around painting everything red, and then I must locate Monsieurs Dior et Balenciaga, and maybe Karl and I will be friends again as we once were. Quel soirée!

    JF: DO YOU THINK FASHION IS TAKEN TOO SERIOUSLY?

    YSL: La mode is very serious…much money is spent in its creation and by those who wear it…I am sorry that so many “createurs” need so many words to explain the clothes...Pourquoi les mots? …the clothes should speak by themselves and the designer speak through the clothes not with a book ,Fashion is a business and an art

    JF: HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO COME BACK IN A SECOND LIFE?

    YSL: SIMPLEMENT ….Moujik!

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