Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Reflections and Retrospectives

Stark winter sky. 8:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Cloudy and cold like mild winter’s days here in New York. Yesterday had some very light snowfall from the night before and then yesterday afternoon. There’s snow all around us and up through the Northeast.

I got this invitation in the email this morning. It read: Jane Fonda, Brooke Hayward and Linda Fargo invite you to celebrate HAYWARD + HOPPER  featuring a specially-curated collection of jewelry, handbags, furniture, books and art.

At Bergdorf’s on the Seventh Floor.  Next Thursday, the 8th. Now, there’s an RSVP so I don’t know if it’s open to the public. Although ... it is in the store. Brooke’s daughter Marin Hopper, with her husband John Goldstone, created the company. She has a shop on the corner of 70th and Lex which we’ve written about before on these pages. In it she sells her line of handbags  as well as her father’s photographs which are highly collectible, as well books of Dennis.’

What I think is interesting is the Fonda and Hayward part. These two girls grew up together. Brooke’s mother Margaret Sullavan was married to Jane’s father Henry Fonda before she was married to Brooke’s father Leland Hayward. (Leland Hayward later married Pamela Churchill.) Both girls hit 80 last year and as far as I can see it’s still just a number for both.
Henry Fonda (Jane's father) and Margaret Sullavan (Brooke’s mother).
The two families were close in those early days. everyone was in The Business of Broadway and Hollywood, and the children grew up together. The Hayward family story is in Brooke’s best-selling memoir, “Haywire,” which was initially published in 1977, and later made into a television series.  Jane’s story is, of course, ongoing. Jane and Brooke were also both living in Los Angeles when they were young women starting out. But they have not seen each other in many years.
Jane Fonda and Brooke Hayward, 1960s, in a picture taken by Dennis Hopper.
I was firstly surprised by this “reunion” because Brooke basically avoids public situations and although I’d never call her a recluse, she keeps her world small and close. Society, wealth, fame do not impress her in the least. She’s had enough of all of it. However, a couple of weeks ago Marin Hopper somehow had the idea of inviting Brooke and Jane to join her and her husband John Goldstone for a lunch at Sette Mezzo. During the lunch Marin proposed that they host this “launch” of her Hayward handbag line at Bergdorf’s. Jane said she would if Brooke would. Brooke liked the idea.

It turned to be a very good idea. Both women loved seeing each other. After the lunch, Brooke told me, they went across the avenue to Marin’s shop to show Jane. Upon seeing the memorabilia and Dennis Hopper’s photographs of their times together in the 1960s in Los Angeles, Jane was so moved her eyes filled with tears.  The joy of recalling their early youth together. Whenever, they’ll be together again next Thursday on the 7th floor of Bergdorf’s giving Brooke’s daughter Marin, a boost, and thanks for the memory.
Jane and Brooke in 1961.
In keeping with the editorial retrospectives this week, we’re running a Diary first published in 2009. The reason: it’s another collection of photographer Mary Hilliard’s work. Readers may remember that there is an exhibition of Mary’s photographs right now in Palm Beach at the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach.

Today’s photographs were taken at an ABT Gala at Lincoln Center in 1988. You’ll recognize many of the women because they mainly look the same (without the natural blush of youth of course).  This was probably the last great age of “society” in New York. It had a dowager (Brooke Astor) to set the tone. Many of the players were quite new to the game but they were creative, ambitious, curious meeting the world and learning. It was a heady time for New York in that way, and for WWD and its editor publisher John Fairchild. They were the chroniclers of this “erak.” It was also probably the last stab at what used to be called glamour. Making it all very interesting and alluring to the eye. The lives of many of those in Mary’s photos have changed and even departed, but the memory remains rich and compelling.
 

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