Tuesday, September 4, 2018

What to Wear Where: The Couture Council Luncheon and Award for the Artistry of Fashion

by Karen Klopp & Hilary Dick

New York Fashion Week is upon us —
time to ditch the flip-flops and slink back into stilettos for the energy and excitement that arrives in town, raring to go. The kick-off to this week-long revelry of style and commerce is The Couture Council Luncheon and Award for the Artistry of Fashion. We wrote about it in 2017 when Thom Browne was honored with the prestigious prize.  The stage for this gathering of glamorous glitterati is set at Lincoln Center, where soaring spaces create a stunning backdrop for the most well attended fashion show in town.
Thom Browne, Whoopi Goldberg, and Valerie Steele at last year's luncheon.
Guests gather on the terrace of the The David H. Koch Theater for the annual luncheon of the Couture Council of the Museum at FIT.
The 2018 Honoree was announced by Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President of FIT.   “We are extremely pleased to honor Narciso Rodriguez, whose timeless, flawlessly tailored, and elegant collections have kept him at the forefront of American fashion for 20 years”
Dr. Joyce Brown.
On Thursday, September 6, flocks of fashionistas will be tickled visually and intellectually at the Opening NIght at The Museum FIT,  “Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color.”
Let go of your soft spun gender stereotypes, this is not powder pink — it is POWER PINK!  
The brains behind such an evocative and thought provoking exposition is Valerie Steele, Director of the Museum at FIT, curator of PINK and many other shows, and author of far ranging tomes in the field: The History of Queer Fashion;  Shoe Obsession; Dance and Fashion; Daphne Guinness.
Valerie not only possess impressive credentials and brilliant brain-firing power, but in her enchanting and perhaps rose-tinted style, she shares her knowledge generously and graciously.  She reveals her extraordinary world of artistry, conservancy and exposé for us to discover.
The History of Queer Fashion; The Corset, A Cultural History; Daphne Guinness.
Valerie describes the upcoming show, “ Pink is a polarizing color — people either love it or they wouldn't dream of wearing it. But in recent years, more people (male and female) have been wearing pink, as its meanings have evolved. It can still be pretty and feminine, but it can also be punk and powerful, cool and androgynous.”
Zandra Rhodes, ensemble, 1978, England, museum purchase.   Gucci, dress, spring 2016, Italy, gift of Gucci.
Peeling back the layers, a complicated compound is revealed.  The color mirrors many moods of human nature from tame neutrality, to wild naughtiness, to erotic sexualism. Elsa Schiaparelli’s “Shocking Pink” is an example of the power of pink when it became the hallmark of her fashion house: “I gave to pink, the nerve of the red, a neon pink, an unreal pink.”   
In 1991, pink ribbons were distributed to all breast cancer survivors and participants of the Komen New York City Race for the Cure®.  The shade has become a symbol of hope and health for patients, survivors and thrivers.
Julie Macklowe, beauty entrepreneur and President of the Board of Directors of the Couture Council, shares her insight into the depth of this new exhibit:  "PINK features 300 years of fashion, from 18th-century France to today, with incredible looks by Gucci, Valentino, Schiaparelli, and Louis Vuitton, among others — we are extremely excited for the incredible show!”
Julie with fellow fashionista Stacey Bendet.
Dress, 18th century, museum purchase.   Comme des Garçons, ensemble, fall 2016, “18th-Century Punk” Collection, fall/winter 2016, Japan, museum purchase.
We don’t have to wonder about what to wear to the blushing bash!  I found these delightful pieces at Veronica Beard, capturing the essence of ladylike but seductive splendor.   Black is a natural accessory for pink, as it lends weight and a chic element. The black leather leggings should be in everyone’s closet this fall as they are a day to night piece to dress up or down.  I like a shoulder bag in a close, cocktail crowd — it frees your hands for sipping.
Hilary’s picks are a perfect profusion “I love pink! I can’t say I wear a lot of it but do like to have a few pieces in my wardrobe to add a splash of color to my look. This pale pink coat I see treating as a neutral, wearing with everything from black to grey. And the sequin turtleneck is a definite statement, paired with black pants or even white would be a head turner. If not a lover of pink it is always fun to add in with an accessory or a shoe. And a Gucci handbag like this velvet one is always worth the splurge!”
Kathy Prounis, Julie Macklowe, Thom Brown, Kamie Lighthburn, and Sharon Jacob.
Chairman of the Board and co-chair of the Luncheon Kamie Lightburn has a unique and infectious enthusiasm for FIT and fashion: “Who doesn’t love Pink? It’s a statement of power in femininity, a color of pure celebration and whimsical fun.  This exuberant exhibit is not to be missed!”
Opening night of Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch.
Kamie also offered an invitation, “If you join the Couture Council of the Museum of FIT you can enjoy wonderful opportunities to tour fabulous exhibitions like this, and attend many other exclusive fashion events while meeting other like-minded fashion industry friends.  The MFIT is the only Museum dedicated solely to the art of Fashion; we are so fortunate to have it in our great city!”
If you want a tickle, watch this scene from Funny Face ...
Postscript: The pink in the video looks remarkably like Millennial Pink, which has become color scheme of the young generation.  I consulted my Millennial friend Harling Ross (pictured below), a fashion editor at ManRepeller for a peek into the psychology of the long running trend (2 years is a long time in Millennial World!)

“The term “millennial pink” was first coined during the summer of 2016 by Véronique Hyland in The Cut. Since then, the color has maintained its longstanding power over the internet and our psyches by virtue of the fact that it continues to deliver tangible results, from sales to social media cachet. Though there have been viable usurpers of late (Gen-Z yellow, Melodramatic purple and Miranda Hobbes green, to name a few), millennial pink still reigns supreme as the original color clickbait.”
What2WearWhere helps today’s busy women shop for life’s events, sports, workplace and travel.   The site is a synthesis of the latest looks and trends compiled by Karen Klopp & Hilary Dick: www.what2wearwhere.com