NEW YORK — The guest of honor wore red, but it was Oleg Cassini, not Santa Claus, who helped Lord & Taylor reel in a record crowd of 700 Wednesday night at the Fifth Avenue flagship.
Die-hard fans lined up 75 minutes before the scheduled start time to greet the charismatic designer. Others inquired about buying the vintage pieces displayed in the store windows. Cassini quickly doled out 100 copies of his book, “One Hundred Days of Magic,” a pictorial valentine that details his outfitting Jacqueline Kennedy during her White House years. But that didn’t deter Cassini’s admirers, who insisted he sign whatever they had on hand.
Even the designer was impressed by the breadth in age and races of the women who turned up, and many had done a bit of a background check on Cassini. “They knew all about me. They knew my age. They knew what I had designed,” he said. “Some said their husbands were jealous of me because of the women I have dressed.”
Cassini was as famous for his engagement to Grace Kelly and his marriage to Gene Tierney as he was for suiting up and befriending Kennedy. “All these women — young, middle-aged, some old — they had this idea of me being the ultimate vision of fashion,” he said somewhat incredulously. “For them, I am somebody. It’s very difficult for me to tell you what I feel without appearing a braggadocio.”
His personal appearance was a homecoming of sorts for the 91-year-old designer. His name, sketches of his face and his new sportswear were splashed all over the flagship, including in the Fifth Avenue windows. That was something that hadn’t happened in more than 50 years.
Peter Arnold, Stan Herman, Ruth Finley, Patrick McMullan, Mary Ann Restivo, Joanna Mastroianni and Joseph Abboud helped Cassini and Lord & Taylor’s president and chief executive officer, Jane Elfers, mark the occasion. Abboud, who mentions Cassini in his new book, “Threads,” said he wanted to join the party since the designer influenced his own career. “When I was 14, my sister bought me my first designer shirt. It was an Oleg Cassini, and I kept it in its package to pay homage to it,” Abboud said.The designer’s bridal collection is also selling at David’s Bridal, a 240-unit division of May Co. that expects to sell about 50,000 Cassini wedding dresses this year. For the first time, Cassini’s platinum bridal collection will be sold at Harrod’s this spring. That would explain why Cassini didn’t revel in the merriment. He was back at work first thing Thursday morning.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews