Sunday, October 9, 2011
An Evening with Jeffrey Williams
And (waaay below) Valley of the Dolls
On September 22, we attended an exhibition of designer Jeffrey Williams' latest collection, hosted by Elisa Goodkind of the fashion-forward website StyleLikeU. Her Lower East Side loft provided the intimate salon-style setting.
The world at large learned about Jeffrey and his total mastery of evening gowns when he appeared on season 2 of Bravo's "The Fashion Show: The Ultimate Collection" hosted by Isaac Mizrahi and Iman. Jeffrey won the grand prize of $125,000 to help jump start his next career move. Needless to say, the publicity was well deserved and highlighted both Jeffrey's talent and his flare for the dramatic.
The color red was the focus of Jeffrey's winning collection, in honor of his mother who died in 2004 of breast cancer. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, we say "bravo" Jeffrey!
Here are more of Jeffrey's clothes featured on Bravo's show:
Here is a picture of Jeffrey and Mary J. Blige (wearing one of Jeffrey's gowns) from the February 2011 Harper's Bazaar article.
The long white column is a great counterpoint to the short black cocktail dress. Their contrasting zippers were a clever touch.
This beautiful sleeveless dress looked both minimalist and elegant.
This dress was a show-stopper. Having impossibly tall, thin models stand on pedestals made the dresses look long and lean --and gorgeous.
This black and white two-piece outfit was crisp and graphic.
The Elisa connection brought things full circle since we'd first met Jeffrey last April at the book launch party hosted by Vanity Fair Magazine for StyleLikeU in honor of its eponymous tome - in which all three of us appear. The April 14th party at The House of Bumble in the Meatpacking District was fabulous. (For details, please see our April 24, 2011 posting.)
Here's a shot facing away from the show of the crowd of supporters and onlookers. Hostess Elisa and her dog are in the center of the shot.
We thought it was truly ironic when we learned that Elisa's rescue dog doesn't like photographs, since she and her SLU crew record the images of the most stylish people all over the globe. The gentleman with her is wearing a Comme des Garcons jacket with a huge numbers print.
Lily Mandelbaum, Elisa's daughter and co-author of the StyleLikeU book.
Jean and Mona from SLU. (LOVED her short boots!)
Here's a shot of Jeffrey with one of his models after the show.
Photographer Marisa Crawford and her daughter.
Jeffrey's gorgeous and witty roommate (right). As winner of Bravo's Fashion Show, Jeffrey won the first prize of $125,000 (pretax, natch). For most struggling creatives, following one's passion often means a room of one's own, but not an apartment of one's own.
After the show ended and the party was winding down, this gorgeous young woman retired to a corner to text.
Jeffrey must have posed for as many photos as his models.
Jeffrey's very own rooting gallery!
Jamarcus cut quite a figure, looking most dapper in his hat, jacket and shorts. He was quite charming and had a terrific sense of humor.
Jamarcus' Cesare Paciotti chain mail footwear.
Jeffrey and Valerie.
Jeffrey and friends celebrate after the show.
Jeffrey and Brandon Acton-Bond survey the crowd.
We caught up with one of the models, Sharri, outside on the street and cajoled her into posing in front of the graffiti.
Valerie does her own graffiti thang on Houston Street before we headed home.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
FIFTH AVENUE: VALLEY OF THE DOLLS
For a brief moment a few weeks ago, the short stretch of Fifth Avenue between 53rd Street and 58th Street could very well have been renamed Valley of the Dolls as three major shops decorated their windows with dolls and doll clothes!
Walking north, you would first have come across these near life-size Bottega Veneta dolls.
If you had crossed the street and walked all the way up to 58th Street to stop at Bergdorf Goodman's, you would have seen just the opposite. Hundreds of little tiny doll clothes were hung on clothes lines criss-crossing the display window, and nary a doll in sight. Okay, okay, there were mannequins, but not DOLLS.
You have to wonder who took all the time to collect these. Are they from someone's private collection, or did the display department use the whole year's budget, and spend two weeks solid on Ebay to buy every last doll's outfit online?
Check out this gorgeous little dress, lovingly hand knitted, and probably designed by the knitter. One of a kind!
Right across the street from that is the Louis Vuitton building. The other windows have changed, but this one is still up.
If you've been reading your fashion mags, you know that Louis Vuitton's latest ad campaign features women in chauffeurs' caps. These ladies didn't get the memo about chauffeurs sitting up front in the driver's seat. (Or perhaps in the spirit of Halloween they are merrily conjuring up Mellors, the best beloved chauffeur in English literature, the creation of D.H. Lawrence.)
Let's get a closer look at the dolls. They all seem to be walking the catwalk, but there are stairs and mirrors. It's as if they were inserted into an M.C. Escher drawing.
You probably can't have one of your very own, but we thought you'd like to know what they look like close up. How are these for clever marketing?! (Jean asks sweetly: "Whom exactly do I have to kill to get two?")