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.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye