BILL BLASS
“MR. FASHION RIGHT” WAXES ABOUT FASHION DIRECTION AND FUN.

Byline: Mary Krienke, September 1964

The direction now is toward the couture point of view in rtw. There must be more individual clothing. Now that the designer has come out of the backroom and into the showroom, he must now get into the fitting room….
“I live for the day fashion ceases to be a spoof. It’s an enormously serious business and should be treated as such. To an extent it has. We’re covered in Time, in Fortune now. Yet that doesn’t mean we have to be safe or dull. You can be just as serious about whimsy….
“To think fashion should take one direction is all wrong. We’ve existed for two decades now on two looks, Chanel and Balenciaga. There should be several acceptable ways of dressing. Maybe the New Look is No Look. A designer must acquire self-confidence from the woman who wears his clothes. Designing must be more specific, more individual…yet identifiable as yours. Let the press conceive their manner of presentation, rather than expecting the designer to present a staggering collection….
“The really smart woman should be like a man. By age 30, she should have decided what’s best for her type. A man knows instinctively…a woman should follow suit. She should be a little like an actress, always playing up to herself.
“When men care as much about their clothes as they do now in London — and London has never been more alive — this will have an effect on women. I believe we’re in a period of England as a great tastemaker.
“It’s chic to be square again. Americans do this very well. They have children — I mean really enjoy children. They’re involved in home decorating and in cooking…all the things once pooh-poohed as unchic.
“It was when I went on the road that I discovered that cities outside New York have very few restaurants…that most important occasions are spent at home or in someone’s home. I found that every city has its group of women who do things…have outside interests other than charity balls. Happily, fashion is one of their interests, but not the main one….”