Monday, February 3, 2014

"A Sense of Spontaneity in Plaids..."
A Fashion Week tale from long ago
(with love and thanks to Mr. Bill Cunningham)

Danny Noble Women's Wear Daily Thursday ,June 27,1985

aka “The Industry”
Is as glamorous
As the time it takes
To snap a photo.

I once worked  in “The Industry”
for a women’s sportswear designer.
I saw many seasons
and many shows.
I often think of the Fall/Winter /Holiday season
 We added menswear

Snowflake patterned sweaters
Nubby pastel tweeds
Black and ivory moire and organza

It was the the 80’s.
It was Fashion Week.
It was show time.

When you work enough backstage fashion
You know
Stripped down
to panties and bras
Are part of the scenery

You need to make sure
Their shoes fit
Danny Noble Marie Claire Japan Nov 1986
Their zips are zipped
Their changes are quick

Once dressed,
You need to
tear the models away from mirrors
So they don’t miss their runway cues.

Now there was the addition of two male models-
The first, (whose name I have forgotten)
An all American 
brunette beauty
From Perry Ellis
Stripped down                                                      
To plaid boxers

And then there was Leo.
Leo was“discovered”
On a beach in California.
Long blonde tresses
Surfer body
Stripped down
To a zebra printed thong.

Amidst the flurry of
The designer said, " Oh Karen,will you make sure Leo fits into this vest?"
It was a tiny bit of ivory moire
"Oh God, do I have to?", I said.
The answer was a hanger shoved into my hand.

"Hello,Leo," I said.I looked slightly above his right shoulder,"Could you please try this on?"
The vest barely fit
Across his expansive chest.
It was lovely
with that zebra print thong

"Thanks", I said.I walked away and handed it back to the designer."It’s perfect."

The show was a huge success.
After the applause,
Clothes were strewn backstage
Like discarded memories.
Models were off
To the next show                                                                

Desperate for some fresh air
And a cigarette,
I stepped outside.
Out of nowhere
Appeared Mr.Bill Cunningham.
The original street fashion photographer.                                        
Nimble like a dancer
with a Nikon
He was quickly within inches of my nose.
I turned to the left,
he hopped to the left
To the right
A quarter turn
A little spin.                                                    
I led
He followed.
We danced.
And he happily snapped away.
Several months later
On a Sunday morning,
My phone rang.
"Hello,Karen." It was my friend,Stephen. "I know it’s early but I thought you might want to know.Your picture is in the New York Times today.In the Street Style section."
Half awake,I said,"How do you know it’s me?"
"Because I know  what you look like."
"But is my name anywhere?"
"No," he said, "but I know it’s you.Go buy a copy."

The market across the street had a few copies of The Times.
I flipped to “Street Fashion”
There I was...
"A Sense of Spontaneity in plaids of Bernard Oser, above, and woman at right..."

It was my moment of glamour
Thank you,Mr.Cunningham

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