Thursday, June 13, 2002

Bill Blass: "A Blass Act"

I read with much sadness, that Bill Blass died yesterday at the age of 79. Much has been written about the debonair, elegant man who defined the word, 'gentleman', and whose elegant designs transcended fad and fashion, while bearing his unmistakable 'stamp'. There is very little I can add, except to say that he was truly a class act. When I first met him, I was a very young fashion editor. But even though he was at the top of his game, and a veteran, and 'wet behind my ears', he always made me feel very important by taking time to meet with me. He never made me feel as if I were a 'kid'. He treated everybody the same way, which is not something you can say about too many living 'legends'. Among some of Mr. Blass's well known quotes that were written in today's New York Times and New York Post obituaries, these are my favorites, and captured his lifelong philosophy and true essence: "It's pretentious to be in awe of it. Fashion is a craft and an expression of a period of time, but it is not an art." "Fashion can be bought by anybody; style takes discernment. It has to do with individuality." "Anybody can have fashion. My God, that's up for grabs. But only a handful of people have style." "The secret of living is not staying too long. I have learned when to leave the party." Well, Party on, Bill!

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