NEW YORK — New York State first lady-to-be Silda Spitzer went straight to the heart of Manhattan's fashion industry for her inaugural wardrobe.
WWD has learned that Spitzer will wear pieces made exclusively for her by ready-to-wear designer Neil Bieff when her husband, Eliot, is inaugurated as governor at a ceremony in Albany on Monday.
Bieff met Spitzer last summer at a trunk show he held at the now-defunct Greenwich, Conn., store Razook's. The two have kept in touch since, and Bieff has designed three daytime outfits for her for the inaugural.
"She is a wonderful person to dress because she is tall and lean and in great shape," Bieff told WWD on Wednesday. "She has a terrific sense of who she is. She is an attorney and has a full plate, and the clothes are just a part of it. She is not a clothes-horse type of person."
Bieff, whose atelier is located in the Garment District, is perhaps best known for his made-to-order eveningwear and suits, and most of his business is through trunk shows nationwide; he works with specialty stores like Mary Jane Denzer in White Plains, N.Y., and John de Medeiros in Palm Beach, Fla. Over the years, he has dressed the likes of Sharon Stone, Meg Ryan and Kate Burton. Bieff is currently working on a rtw diffusion line.
For Spitzer to wear Monday, the designer created a coral red double wool crepe princess-shape coat with a dramatic black silk velvet collar, to be paired with a sleek black or red matching red skirt and a black sweater, as well as a black waffle-weave collarless coat with a semi-obi effect that harkens back to vintage Balenciaga shapes, and a navy double crepe suit with a navy satin collar.
"We are not certain what she will wear when," said Bieff, who plans to be at the inauguration in Albany with his wife and two sons. "She is delightful to work with. She is very confident in who she is. She knows when something is good or bad for her when she puts it on. With her, the clothes either work or they don't. I never have to sell her. She has an idea, I come up with something and that's it."There is something else that sets the incoming first lady apart from the rest.
"It's amusing having her bodyguard around," Bieff said. "But he is just a perfect gentleman anyway."
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