Thursday, May 19, 2011

Do You Know Where You're Going To?

Diana Ross in Mahogany
I have always loved a good fashion show from the time I was a little boy.  My eyes would glaze over when I spotted a runway.  And it didn't matter where it was taking place - the church basement, on television, at the local mall, or the community center at the apartment complex the next town over- I was always front and center.  I really couldn't wait to see those glamour goddesses strut down the catwalk.

When Mahogany came out in theaters, my mother thought I was too young for some of the adult situations in the PG-rated movie.  But my mother had the paperback book version of the movie and I would dissect the photos of Diana Ross on the back cover.  In each photo, the music legend was decked out in an elaborate look, donning a different wig, her face painted like a work of art.  My mind drifted off to a world where my daily grind would be as fabulous.  I didn't know what kind of job it would be, but I was sure that it involved a runway and pretty ladies.  Although that was so many moons ago, the idea of a fashion show still energizes me.

An Original Geoffrey Beene Dress
I remember the first time I attended a show during NY Fashion Week.  It was prior to the tents in Bryant Park and Lincoln Center.  Magazine editors & fashion journalists would taxi around the city scrambling to see each designer's show.  I could barely sleep a wink the night before as I was so overcome with excitement.  I had met Peter Mulvey at the plantation.  He was the design assistant to Geoffrey Beene and he promised to get me into the show.  It was sheer madness outside of the show space as people waved invitations begging for admission from the stern doorkeepers and unfazed ticket collectors .  It wasn't until the last minute that I actually gained entry myself.  The lights went down and I stood mesmerized in the back of the ballroom at the Pierre Hotel on Fifth Avenue as I watched the impossibly tall and stunningly gorgeous models float down the catwalk.  It was a moment that crystallized my passion.  I still harbored doubts about being a fashion professional, but the pull of all that glamour and magic was too strong to withstand.

Although I still love a fashion show, I have learned that it is not the most important part of the fashion equation.  There is the business of fashion that supports the need to do a show.  I'm still working on that part.  But all the magic and flashbulbs and fabulosity of the shows during NY Fashion Week still cause my heart to skip a beat.

Peace & Fashion!

1 comment:

  1. I love fashion shows too. When I go to one it reminds me all over again of why I love this industry. I used to get into the shows when they were in the tents, but haven't been to one in years. & Mahogany is my 1st memory of fashion. Unlike your Mom, my didn't censor what I watched, LOL..I watched it as a kid in the 80s. I think that movie may be the reason I wanted to become a designer! ~ Jamie