Archive | CFDA FASHION NIGHT OUT RSS feed for this section

Lisa Perry’s Modern Take on the Iconic Pan Am Stewie

22 Sep

Text, Vivian Kelly

The Right Time and the Right Place: “The Pan Am Era”, circa 1963

My NYFW mates, Mark Behnke, Men’s Editor for Fashion Tribes and “Video Vixen” Lisa Johnson, Editor in Chief of Lisa Johnson Fitness, couldn’t wait to meet the crew of “The Real Stewardesses of Pan Am”. Unfortunately, by the time we raced over from the Donna Karan store and the Marissa Berenson Book signing, our targets had flown the coop. We still got our Pan Am Stewie fix though, as there were models dressed in the blue retro uniform handing out airplane snacks and beverages. Once we fueled-up, we settled in and started exploring the all white store. I was transported back to the early Sixties, a period in time I’m utterly enamored with. I actually DID fly Pan Am in 1963, but as an 11 month old infant, sadly I don’t remember much. Ten years later, I caught the end of the “Pan Am Era” jetstream, when I flew Pan Am , New York to Paris, and had one of the best meals of my young life -on a plane! What I remember even more than the food was how utterly beautiful the stewardesses were, with their little hats, perfect figures and immaculate hair and makeup. Barbie couldn’t hold a candle to them. Years later, when the airlines changed their title to “flight attendant”, the glamour left the building. They may as well have called them “air waitresses”.

The Lisa Perry store is a like a very cool apartment you want to spend the day in so you can look at all the coffee table books, [such as Airline], study the Roy Lichtenstein prints on the wall and try on each and every one of the colorful Sixties’ style dresses hanging on the fixtures. For a fashionista who’s enamored of this era, it’s like being deposited into a wonderful penny candy store where you want to try everything on but don’t know where to start.

A Japanese businessman was holding the last Pan Am logoed bag Lisa had designed. He couldn’t decide if he should buy it. It wasn’t leather, but it was “a great design and a wonderful piece of retro. My wife will kill me if I buy this, but…”

I encouraged him, “If you don’t buy it tonight, you’re going to kick yourself later. There won’t be any more, and you know that once you see the show, you’ll want it even more. You can tell your wife you’ll share it with her.”

He bought it.

On our way out, my initial disappointed on missing the cast evaporated when we got to chat with Lisa Perry herself about the Limited Edition bags she’d designed for FNO and to commune about our shared love for this legendary time in history.

Ms. Perry told us her collaboration with the highly anticipated TV show, The Real Stewardesses of Pan Am was suggested to her by Vogue magazine. When I asked if she would design a Pan Am suit she laughed and said she could design a whole collection based on that but only after researching the original suits. Stay tuned for the upcoming show episodes and for Ms. Perry’s Pan Am inspired suits. If the limited edition bags she put out are any indication [most were snapped up on FNO] of the success of this future collection, then she’ll have a gang-busters hit on her hands, as will ABC.


>CFDA’s FASHION’S NIGHT OUT & Amy Smilovic’s TIBI spring 2010 Collection

9 Nov


Images courtesy of Getty Images

WE were recently reflecting on the success of Fashion’s Night Out way back on September 10th. The big question, akin to the proverbial “elephant in the room” is, WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS? It’s the question that many industry insiders are wanting an answer to. On the one hand, it was a good public relations initiative/stunt on Anna Wintour’s part. When ELSE would you find fashion’s longtime queen in Queens, at a Macy’s no less?
We’re eagerly waiting for Vogue Publisher, Thomas A. Florio, to trumpet out the amazing numbers the event chalked up in the cities around the USA and the rest of the world. Stay tuned.

This brings us to TIBI. We’ve loved Amy and her Lilly meets cool downtown girl line since a former employee of Laforce & Stevens introduced us to the then capsule collection @ 10 years ago. We’ve watched it grow and have enjoyed her successful entry into the swim market. Because of Tibi, we’ve fallen in love with caftans all over again as have many other women, from size 2-12 that snap them up as soon as they’re available.
Nonetheless, we didn’t brave the melee on Madison Avenue after getting a taste of the goings-on downtown. On our way back uptown to get some R&R after a long day on our feet, we noted that “the girls” were out in force – that is they were dressed-up and hitting the events but we saw very few bags ie: evidence of actual purchases.

While it would have been fun to see Charlize Theron in person over at Dior Uptown, it was more of a thrill to sit and watch the TIBI show 5 days later, Tuesday, September 15 at 7pm.

Mid-way through, by outfit #14 of 3, we concurred with our seatmates that thus was the strongest TIBI RTW collection we’d seen yet.
We were initially thrown by the “Linda, Naomi, Christy” reference in the program notes. Once the “Naomi” one shoulder beaded dress came-out, we got it.
Pre-show, backstage, Amy said, “What’ I’m excited about is that I decided not to merchandise it [s/s’10 collection]. No black dresses, we need to feel good.”
The colorful collection captured the fun loving spirit of the eighties, when it was just fine to wear bright splashes of color and beading was considered de rigueur rather than tacky. As far as the early nineties reference – we haven’t seen this many slip dresses – long and short, since the days of Minimalism. As Grace Mirabella used to say, it looked “just great!”