8 posts tagged "Pat Cleveland"
“We all started here,” related designer Byron Lars of his experience studying at the Pratt Institute. “Up all night, working tirelessly on your collection—your first collection—the first one that anybody in the industry will actually view. It’s a really big thing.” Lars and the legendary Stephen Burrows were honored by Pratt in a ceremony just before the annual Pratt student fashion show yesterday at Center548 in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood.
“To be awarded for [something that I feel is a privilege every day]—it’s like, that feels really wrong!” exclaimed Lars upon receiving his Fashion Visionary Award from longtime friend and fan Angela Bassett. (“Uptown they call it swag. Downtown, struts. But up the way where I’m from, they say, ‘I’m feelin’ myself,’” said Bassett of what it means to wear Lars’ colorful creations.)
Burrows thanked his muse, Pat Cleveland (who danced down the runway to present him with his Lifetime Achievement Award), for inspiration for his game-changing designs. “What inspired me to even want to do this? What I thought of first was my mother’s black patent-leather pumps—and, of course, my meeting with Pat Cleveland,” recalled Burrows. As a student fresh out of Pratt, “I didn’t see a need for a lining. I didn’t even want underwear. That was a little risqué at the time, but it was fantastic,” he said. “It’s all about freedom.”
For the students last night as well, there was a sense of uninhibited creativity on the runway. Sixties space-age-style wares, monochromatic sculptural separates, deconstructed sweaters dripping in cakey off-white paint, and pastel color-blocked, candy-sweet knit crop tops represented just a few of the twenty-one student collections on view. “[The landscape of fashion] has always been mercurial by nature, but now…social media and online sales have changed everything we do,” said Lars. “It’s just about being sensitive to the opportunities that are presented—the real opportunities.”
“You never know what you’re going to see,” added Burrows just before the show, “but hopefully it’s something innovative and new and exciting.”
More so than in any other city, Milan designers and casting directors are known to favor established models over newcomers, but this week we witnessed a slew of fresh faces break through to the front of the pack. Many of the girls who started strong in New York and London
Another thing Milan was previously known for was overlooking minorities, so it was thrilling to see many of our favorite up-and-coming black models, including Firth, Binx Walton (top right), Cindy Bruna, Maria Borges (we never could’ve guessed that she would open Giorgio Armani), and Kai Newman making major strides this week. Newman, who hails from Kingston, Jamaica, positively wowed us at Gucci and Jil Sander. We can’t wait to see her go on to crush it in Paris.
Natalia Siodmiak (top left) is someone who has been making the rounds for several seasons but is suddenly at the top of everyone’s watch lists. After ending London on a high note with turns at Christopher Kane and Giles, the gap-toothed beauty cranked up the sex appeal at Gucci, Versace, and Emilio Pucci, and opened and closed Max Mara. It’s gratifying to see someone who’s been paying her dues finally have a moment. Speaking of moments, who could forget Moschino’s memorable roster of old-school supes, including Pat Cleveland, Alek Wek, Erin O’Connor, Jodie Kidd, and Diana Dondoe? Another runway high point was Liya Kebede and Malgosia Bela walking Emilio Pucci. And, naturally, there’s plenty in store for model-followers in Paris. Just today, iconic Snejana Onopka made a cameo appearance at Anthony Vaccarello, whipping the Fashion Spot forums into a frenzy.
While London Town is paying tribute to eighties clubwear, New York is revisiting the late-night antics of Studio 54. To mark the final leg of its exhibition “Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced,” which closes on July 28, the Museum of the City of New York will host “Studio 54 and Beyond,” a discussion of New York’s 1970s club scene. The museum has invited the likes of Vanity Fair‘s Bob Colacello (formerly the right-hand man to Andy Warhol, editor of Interview magazine, and author of the publication’s infamous nightlife column, “Out”), restaurateur Richie Notar (who once served as a Studio 54 busboy), and club regular model Pat Cleveland to reminisce. Considering the laundry list of artists, literati, celebrities, fashion personalities, and all-around characters who frequented the hot spot, we imagine the panelists will have plenty to talk about.
“Studio 54 and Beyond” is open to the public and begins at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, July 17. For tickets, visit the museum’s Web site.
The work of Stephen Burrows is as much about fun as it is about fashion. And that message shines through in a retrospective of the designer’s early creations, which opens at the Museum of the City of New York tomorrow. Burrows and the show’s curators, Phyllis Magidson and Daniela Morera, gave Style.com a sneak peek of the exhibition, which features more than fifty garments created between 1968 and 1983. “I didn’t think of it as history-making or anything,” says Burrows of his early, flowing garments made to be worn with ease on the dance floor until 4 a.m. “I just did what I wanted to see in front of me.”
Intentional or not, Burrows’ clothes were history-making. At the beginning of his career, fashion’s status quo was old-world, and generally French. It wasn’t until the fabled “Battle of Versailles”—a decadent 1973 fund-raiser for the then-decaying palace during which American designers Burrows, Halston, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and Anne Klein outshined elite French talents Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, and Emanuel Ungaro—that American designers became truly respected. Burrows’ fresh, fun, and wildly colorful Versailles collection—shown on video in the exhibition—was all about a free-spirited aesthetic. His presence at “The Battle” also made him the first African-American designer to rise to international acclaim. Continue Reading “Stephen Burrows, Still Dancing” »
2013 marks the fortieth anniversary of Le Grand Divertissement è Versailles, the runway battle royal that took place in 1973 between French fashion houses (Givenchy, Dior, Ungaro, Yves Saint Laurent, and Pierre Cardin) and American designers (Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein, Stephen Burrows, and Bill Blass). Held as a fundraiser to restore the palace, the evening was attended by everyone from Andy Warhol to Princess Grace of Monaco, and, in addition to a bevy of couture, featured performances by the likes of Liza Minnelli and Josephine Baker (above).
But aside from being, perhaps, the most epic runway spectacle to date, Versailles marked the first time African-American models took a prominent place on the European fashion stage. Last night, in honor of the anniversary, and in celebration of Women’s History Month, the Fashion Institute of Technology hosted a screening of Deborah Riley Draper’s 2012 documentary, Versailles '73: American Runway Revolution. And the historic event’s stars, like Pat Cleveland (below, right), Billie Blair, Norma Jean Darden, and Bethann Hardison, among others, turned out for the film and a lively panel discussion. Continue Reading “French Castle, American Story” »