NEW YORK — In presenting the 2012 Pratt Institute Fashion Industry Lifetime Achievement Award to Fern Mallis on Thursday night, Calvin Klein described the important contribution she has made to the fashion industry and how difficult it must have been to referee all those designers, personalities and opinions.
“Her job was not an easy one. A lesser person would have run from the building,” said Klein. As executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America for 10 years and later senior vice president of IMG Fashion, Mallis did “so much heavy lifting” behind the scenes in making sure the fashion shows went smoothly, and “designers got the best possible showcase for all their hard work,” said Klein.
He said Mallis was always “fair” and “thoughtful,” and willing to make tough decisions and knew when to say “no” when she had to.
Wearing a bright red dress designed by Brandon Sun, Mallis thanked Klein for being there to present her with the award. She said that Klein has supported her from the very beginning when the CFDA was making initial plans to bring the shows to Bryant Park. She described a meeting at the 500 Club when she was trying to convince the designers to show in one location, and they questioned whether Klein would do it. “He did, and said how important it was for everyone to work together and do the right thing,” she said. She also recalled a particular trip to Barbados. When she arrived, she was told that she had a message from Calvin Klein and thought it was a prank. When she called back she found out Klein was trying to reach her. The board had been discussing honoring the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Klein said he was going to be seeing John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy that weekend, and wondered whether he should ask them. When Mallis started her series at the Y, the first person she invited to participate was Klein, “and I’ll be forever grateful,” she said.
In a video presentation, fashion designers such as Stan Herman, Peter Som, Betsey Johnson, Tracy Reese, Catherine Malandrino, Norma Kamali and Dennis Basso all praised Mallis for bringing the fashion industry together. Basso recalled the first time he moved his show into the Bryant Park tents, he was scared. When he arrived, there was Mallis at the tent greeting him. He felt like she was the kindergarten teacher.
Jennifer Minniti, chair of the fashion department at Pratt, then introduced the 2012 Pratt Institute Fashion Show. The runway show featured the work of 17 students in the fashion design program. The collections ran the gamut from edgy streetwear with leather effects to a cheeky anti-smoking PSA to eveningwear that literally lit up. The strongest work came from Kelsy Parkhouse, whose quilted patchwork ensembles were folksy yet sophisticated and completely distinctive from the collections by her peers. It did not go unnoticed: Parkhouse was awarded the first ever Liz Claiborne Award — Concept to Product, which came with a $25,000 cash prize.
In addition, Kate Wilkoff and Meredith Lyon were awarded the opportunity to participate in the Supima Design Competition. These two seniors were invited to create a capsule collection made of Supima fabrics at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York this September. Competing with students from other design schools, the winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize.
“I’m very impressed,” said Klein, after the student fashion show. “These students did mini-collections. They were inventive, cohesive and beautifully made. They are gifted.” Asked how one makes the leap from being a talented student to becoming a successful fashion designer, Klein said, “It’s consistency. You have to keep doing it. You have to reinvent yourself a lot. And it takes staying power.”
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
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“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion