Jewelry designer Arthur Koby has had an unusual career, with several unexpectedtwists. He created accessories for Geoffrey Beene’s runway in the Eighties, and the same pieces appeared on Beene’s runway and that of Oscar de la Renta each season for years (a fact known to de la Renta but not to Beene). Singer Lauryn Hill wore hisI Ching necklace, with its four coins, on the cover of Time magazine in February 1999. Gloria Vanderbilt owns one of his pieces. And now Kent State University has given him a retrospective, which will open today, called, “Arthur Koby: The Creative Eye,” which features 50 of his works. Thirty came from one of his top collectors, 12 from another and the others from a variety of sources.
Koby, who was born in Brooklyn and studied architecture at Cooper Union, spent 10 years as an architect working for a small firm. As a sideline, he opened a gift shop. Jewelry was among the items sold there, but its profit margin wasn’t very good, so Koby decided to start designing and making it himself.
“It started out as a complete fluke,” he recalls. It was the hippie period, so he created some necklaces out of African trade beads, and they sold. Beene saw them and “freaked out over my work,” Koby says. “I met up with him, and he gave me three weeks to create a collection. I just scoured the market for components, and I did it.” Beene talked up his creations to everyone he met, and soon his line was in stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue. “It was overwhelming,” Koby says. The designer uses lacquered wood, crystals, scallop shells, resin, stone beads, drawer hinges, buffalo horn and other materials. He says he buys as many milagros — the representation of a hand or leg that is put on an altar in Mexico to heal an illness— as he can. He saw an elaborate chandelier in a shop, and immediately started breaking it down into components in his mind. Since he is self-taught, he has created most of his own techniques, and prides himself on the fact that his big, flamboyant necklaces are never heavy. “I’ve never had a complaint,” he says.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)