L&T’S DRESS GALA: As part of its annual salute to the dress, Lord & Taylor celebrated last week with fashion shows, designer appearances and scholarship presentations at its New York flagship.
About 250 people turned out last Monday, when Marshall Hilsberg, chairman and chief executive officer of L&T, presented $2,500 Lord & Taylor Dress Design Scholarships to each of three students from the Fashion Institute of Technology and three from Parsons School of Design. Four students from schools outside New York were awarded similar scholarships.
The FIT and Parsons winners were also given internships with leading designers. The awards, founded by L&T eight years ago, include an exhibit of the winners’ sketches in L&T’s Fifth Avenue windows during the week.
Sixty entries were judged by designers Bill Blass, Elie Tahari, Cynthia Rowley, Mark Badgley, James Mischka and Carmen Marc Valvo.
Blass described the 1995 winners as “the most talented group” he had ever seen. They are: Troy Surratt, Yana Datikashvili and Jennifer Cooper of FIT; Leah Benjamin, Alice Cheng and Trevor Ballin of Parsons; Yung Sun Shim of Marymount University, Arlington, Va.; Palesa Jackson of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Susan Chihambakwe of the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, and Linda Ott of Washington University in St. Louis.
“When you start, it’s so difficult,” said designer Tahari, who first worked in the garment industry as an electrician. “This is like starting with the wind behind you. It gives you a little push.”
Rowley said a $3,000 fellowship she received from the Art Institute of Chicago enabled her to get her business started.
“Without it, I probably couldn’t have or wouldn’t have started my business,” she said.
Coinciding with the promotion, L&T’s dress catalog, sent to one million consumers nationwide, featured 40 resources. Elizabeth Wayman’s linen and silk organza tie-front dress, Bonnie Strauss’s rayon georgette halter dress, Castleberry Knits’ acrylic and nylon two-piece dress and Rowley’s linen Empire were standouts, said Lavelle Olexa, L&T’s senior vice president for fashion merchandising.
“We had a phenomenal reaction to the book,” she said. “Dresses are always important for us, and seeing such a strong indication so early in the season is encouraging.”

DISCUSSING THE ISSUES: The sixth annual Herbert Blueweiss Key Issues Seminar, to be held April 11, is called “Using Innovative Business Strategies,” and the participants will discuss how those strategies can be used to cope with today’s business and economic environment.
Andrew Grossman, chief executive officer of Chaus Inc.; Sally Frame Kasaks, chairman and ceo of Ann Taylor; Jay Margolis, president and vice chairman of Tommy Hilfiger USA, and John Tyler, president and ceo of FAO Schwarz, will discuss decision making in the apparel, home furnishings, fragrance, textile and retail industries.
The seminar begins at 8 a.m. at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, 227 West 27th St., New York. Emanuel Weintraub, president of the consulting firm Emanuel Weintraub Associates, will be the moderator. Weintraub is also seminar chairman for FIT’s Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries, which produces the Herbert Blueweiss seminar.
Blueweiss, who was publisher of Daily News Record, also a Fairchild publication, died in 1990.