By  on January 22, 2008

On the wall of Dennis Basso's office, next to the framed magazine and newspaper stories about his now-25-year-old fur business and a thank you note from Meryl Streep — who wore Basso's sheared mink and Russian broadtail coat in "The Devil Wears Prada" — hangs a childlike drawing of a woman. She is wearing what appears to be a tiara, high heels and a dress embellished with lacy scribbles. The price tag "500,000" is scrawled next to her and, in the upper right corner, is the young artist's age: "7 years old." Basso points to the woman proudly. "I detailed everything down to her netted veil," he says. "Even then, I knew I liked things lavish!"

Indeed, since 1983, when he began designing out of a 400-square-foot space on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan, Basso, who will unveil his second ready-to-wear collection on Feb. 5, has built a company based on that most lavish of fashion materials: fur, namely sable, chinchilla, mink and shearling. Mention some of his most famous clients, however — Liza Minnelli was swathed in a Basso fur for her nuptials to David Gest; Diana Ross closed his 20th-anniversary show five years ago at Cipriani — and Basso is both pleased by the association and careful not to sound, as he says, only "razzle-dazzle."

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