NEW YORK — For Patti Hansen, weathering Monday night’s rainstorm was a small price to pay for the late Rico Puhlman, the fashion photographer who launched her career.
The model and other Puhlman fans walked through a new exhibition of his work on display at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, which runs through April 9. Hansen said she wanted to be there since working with Puhlman on a 1972 Glamour shoot in the Hamptons was her first modeling job. “He started me off on a lovely glamour-filled trip,” she said.
Puhlman recorded the event by shooting a short film, and Hansen said she is hopeful the photographer’s brother Klaus will locate it for her. But once that happens, don’t expect her to use it as a tutorial for her daughters Alexandra and Theodora Richards, who have followed her into the modeling business.
Hansen said the only advice she doles out is, “Just be healthy and happy.”
FIT unveiled another exhibition on Valentine’s Day, “Glamour: Fashion, Film, Fantasy,” which explores how glamour has evolved, particularly over the past century or so. Francisco Costa, Carmen Marc Valvo and Maggie Norris inspected their respective pieces on display. Norris said she hopes visitors will “take away a sense that fashion is art and should not be dealt with lightly.”
“In our consumer-driven world that is so fast-paced, to look and see this possibility of glamour still exists and can be appreciated for its fine integrity and care that goes into the clothing, that’s what Valerie [Steele] is trying to present here,” said Norris.
Steele, director of the Museum at FIT and curator for the “Glamour” show, said she was pleased to trace the concept from the beginning of the 18th century through Hollywood’s Golden Era and up through today. Gowns from Adrian, Travis Banton, Proenza Schouler, Christian Dior and Norell are among the showpieces, including a few worn by Hollywood sirens like Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. Less-statuesque silhouettes, such as the sequined bell-bottom pantsuit Barbra Streisand wore for her “Funny Girl” win at the Academy Awards, are also featured.
Valvo, whose loan of a gold crepe back, satin bias-cut gown marked his first participation in an FIT show, liked that the exhibition started off with a little bit of 18th century, “since most people think of glamour as a 20th-century subject.”
Sponsored by Target, a company that has been busy aligning itself with arts-oriented projects in recent years, the “Glamour” exhibition runs through April 9.