When Geoffrey Beene died in 2004, longtime client Patsy Tarr honored him by publishing a book. Done in collaboration with Abbott Miller, art director of Tarr’s dance magazine 2wice, “Geoffrey Beene: A Design Tribute” featured more than 40 of her own Beene garments. “In our grief, we made the book and wrote lengthy, schmaltzy essays,” says Tarr. Now, four years after the book’s release, Tarr has opened her closets again, this time for an exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum.
What makes “Geoffrey Beene: Trapeze,” which opened this weekend and runs through March 7, different from his other shows is Tarr herself. “We’re not just looking at Beene and his work,” says Dennita Sewell, the museum’s curator of fashion design, “but looking at it through the eyes of a dedicated wearer.” So while the exhibit doesn’t catalogue every Beene career hit — no football jersey-inspired gowns here — it does offer a nice array of, for example, his breakthrough boleros and jumpsuits, both Tarr favorites. “I didn’t buy the clothes to have a collection,” says Tarr. “I bought clothes to wear.”
Tarr and Sewell narrowed the exhibition pieces down to 37, most of which are from the late Eighties and Nineties. “You’ll see a number of his signature themes,” says Sewell. “Geometry, mix of fabrics, black and white.” The two brought in Miller to help with the backdrop, which proved a poignant move; not only is Miller a close friend of Tarr, but he was also once Beene’s graphic designer.
In keeping with the exhibit’s “trapeze” theme — Beene was a lover of the circus, as seen in the polkadot and cartoon motifs — Miller created a playful feel, with circular platforms and mannequins hanging from the ceiling. “The fact that Abbott, Beene and Patsy all knew each other gives this a sophistication and insight beyond a normal retrospective,” says Sewell, adding other Beene acquaintances will also be making appearances. On Jan. 20, Russell Nardozza, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Geoffrey Beene LLC, will give a talk with Doo-Ri Chung, who worked closely with the designer, and on Feb. 2 and 3, Grace Mirabella and former Vogue creative director Jade Hobson Charnin will give their own lectures.
The highlights for Beene aficionados, however, will be the custom designs he did for Tarr — the quilted silk gown she wore to the 2003 Costume Institute gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for instance. “I needed a dress to wear to the ‘Goddess’ exhibit opening,” she recalls. “I told him I would leave [the design] up to him, but that my understanding was that everyone was wearing Madame Grès.” Beene, in a move reflecting his famous wit, re-created an old gown of his for Tarr — in gray.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)