PARIS — When Cristóbal Balenciaga closed his Paris fashion house in 1968, he and jewelry designer Jean Michel Schlumberger marched American society icon Bunny Mellon across the Avenue George V, delivering a crucial client to the house of Givenchy — and sparking what would become a lifelong friendship with its founding couturier.
Hubert de Givenchy remembers exactly how Mellon looked that day.
“She was wearing a navy blue T-shirt and a cotton skirt,” he recalled during an interview on Wednesday, noting he spoke to Mellon by telephone virtually every week, right up until her death on Monday at age 103. “She had a lot of taste and a lot of ideas.” RELATED STORY: Bunny Mellon Dead at 103 >>
The designer would go on to dress Mellon, a garden designer, philanthropist and WASP society icon, until his own retirement from fashion in 1995, turning out everything from gardening hats to evening gowns galore for her “because she had a lot of functions at the National Gallery of Art and other important dinners in Washington.”
Given her broad interests, charitable works, travels and homes stretching from Virginia and New York to Antigua and Paris, “she needed a big wardrobe,” de Givenchy said.
“Not only was she an important client, she quickly became a true friend, full of talent and with so many interests,” de Givenchy said. “She taught me a lot in the garden.”
The designer accompanied Mellon on chartered boat trips through Greece and Turkey, and they also explored France together, a country she loved and appreciated greatly.
While she supported a lot of restoration works in France and particularly at Versailles, including Louis XIV’s fabled Potager du Roi, whose 17th-century splendor was a benchmark in her gardening career, Mellon never sought recognition for her generosity.
Her understated nature was reflected in her clothes and her meticulously decorated homes. “There was never a sense of too much,” de Givenchy marveled.
Mellon had a fun-loving side, and he once took her dancing at Studio 54 in Manhattan. “She found it very amusing,” he recalled. “She loved music.”
Mellon’s appreciation for her wardrobe extended to every member of the Givenchy atelier, whom she kept busy throughout the year. De Givenchy said every Christmas, she would dispatch a basket of small pouches, one for each of the 40 or 50 women and men in the atelier. Each contained a bundle of U.S. dollars.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)