THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION PROVING THERE IS LIFE AFTER WWD, FORMER STAFFERS OFFER THEIR MOST VIVID MEMORIES OF WORKING THERE.
Ben Brantley, chief theater critic, New York Times: "As a Southern boy finding his feet in Manhattan, I was taught many essential things at Women's Wear. Probably the most valuable lesson, which came early, was that glamour is largely a high-maintenance illusion. I was afforded privileged glimpses of models without their makeup, socialites without their manners, stars without their charisma and designers with their tailored images down around their ankles. "There were also, however, a few spectacular moments in which every element seemed to cohere into perfect, shining set pieces, ready-made for memory books and time capsules. I recall, through a bright vodka haze, a midnight photo shoot at Calvin Klein's penthouse that ended with Steve Rubell driving us to Studio 54, in the manner of an over-stimulated birthday boy who had just been given a go-cart. The car plowed right onto the sidewalk at the club, nudging the velvet ropes and scattering the crowd. I somehow remember it as the smoothest ride of my life. "There was also one night provided by Halston in which all the players knew their poses and their lines perfectly. He had just returned from a tour of China and Japan and was giving an Orient-themed Halloween party amid all those mirrors in his Olympic Towers showroom. Pretty much everyone was wearing Eastern drag, except for Andy Warhol, who had dressed up as Andy Warhol. "Around midnight, a group of a dozen or so adjourned to Regine's. D.D. Ryan, whose look was always rather Mandarin, was there, and the makeup artist Way Bandy, who was a geisha that night, on the arm of a Village People-type cowboy. "We were seated at a long table, from which Regine herself had expelled an unfortunate herd of businessmen (who had not gone quietly) to make room for Halston and company. At some point, we looked up and standing beside us was Brooke Shields, then a 13-year-old movie starlet, who was wearing a cat costume that looked much like a Playboy bunny suit. "'Hi Andy! Hi Halston!' she said. 'Brooke,' answered Halston, sounding almost avuncular. 'Is your mother driving you to all the hot spots tonight?' She nodded a blank-eyed assent, smiled goodbye and sailed out. 'She's only 13!' exclaimed Andy Warhol. 'Can you believe it? She's only 13!' Halston looked down at his highly buffed nails and without missing a beat said coolly, 'She's 40 if she's a day."'
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"