NEW YORK - In honor of what would have been Oleg Cassini’s 93rd birthday, friends – old and new – gathered Tuesday night at the St. Regis to raise a glass and recall some of his life’s lighter moments.
Aside from the many colorful stories told aloud and the few that were exchanged in confidence about the designer, who died March 17, guests were left with indelible images of a charismatic man, thanks to the video and slide show. Shot after shot captured his indomitable spirit – a white-haired Cassini outrunning Kenny Rogers in a televised celebrity multi-sport competition, the designer dressed in a tuxedo galloping on a white horse and another of him hamming it up in the White House wearing a jeweled turban and makeshift monocle – much to President John F. Kennedy’s delight.
Far from a maudlin memorial, the upbeat event was capped off with the crowd singing “Happy Birthday” as his wife Marianne cut a birthday cake.
For complete coverage, see tomorrow's WWD.
Oleg Cassini was a feisty and lively "American cowboy," who even in his old age considered himself a man at his prime, saying, "I am a 90-year-old man who lives like a 50-year-old man."
Here we present a treasure from our archives, a spritely Cassini reflecting on his tenured career and a life well-spent. Thursday, May 15, 2003 Cassini: A One-Woman Man
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