Couture Council Gets Back to Black

by AVENUE insider Photographed by The Museum at FIT
Friday, November 16, 2018

On Tuesday November 13, the Couture Council, the group of philanthropic fashion folk who support The Museum at FIT, New York’s most fashionable museum, held an intimate event celebrating a fashion icon, the Little Black Dress. Curator Valerie Steele and the museum’s curators, conservators, and educators identified about eighteen of the most iconic LBDs in the museum’s collection, an uber-“closet” holding more than 50,000 garments and accessories from the eighteenth century to the present.)

Couture Council members such as Yaz Hernandez, Eleanora Kennedy, Kathy Prounis, Cally Stavropoulos and Allyson Tang joined a select group of friends and after taking a round of selfies, viewed an array of LBDs dating from 1890 to 2015, each one amusingly described by Steele.

First up, was a Victorian mourning dress and a discussion of what color historian Michel Pastoureau calls “good” black (shiny, elegant) and “bad” black (matte and mournful). Only the latter is appropriate for mourning dress. Proving there is life after death, it was followed by a fabulous LBD by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, who famously dismissed Paul Poiret’s exotic styles with the cruel quip, “Scheherazade is easy, a little black dress is difficult.”

Then, it was on to fabulous Balenciagas and Diors from the 1950s, an iconic 1982 Le Smoking by Yves Saint Laurent (donated by Tina Chow, who wore it with a simple white T-shirt), a sexy, witchy 1987 Thierry Mugler; a chic and elegant LBD by Hubert de Givenchy (shades of Breakfast at Tiffanys), a sexy black leather and silk chiffon 21st-century look by Riccardo Tischi for Givenchy, and a to-die-for black velvet and white mink Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture evening suit.  Nothing to mourn there.  


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