Monday, July 26, 2004

By George!



Jennifer George burst on the scene in the 80’s (1982 to be exact) when she partnered with good friend David Rubin to start Jennifer George Inc. Her fashion shows soon became must see events for all the top fashion editors, and her very consistent designs, routed in “classic American sportswear” were routinely editorialized on the pages of all the major fashion magazines.

Jennifer’s dizzying resume belies her versatility and creativity: amongst her ‘special projects’, the Parsons grad designed Tipper Gore’s 1996 inaugural coat and gown; designed stage clothing for the likes of Carly Simon, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, and Toni Braxton; developed and designed a new women’s shirt line for Hathaway; created “easy sew’ design packages for Vogue Patterns; and created the uniform for waiters at the trendy “Atlas” restaurant in New York.

As someone who has given generously of her time and talents to help others, philanthropic pursuits have also figured prominently into her activities. Jennifer has been involved in breast cancer awareness, has raised approximately $100,000 for women’s charities in San Francisco through private trunk shows, and has created Fresh Air Fund logo, camp tee shirts and buttons. As a CFDA member for 10 years, she “conceived and compiled” the CFDA Cookbook sold at the very first “7th on Sale” in 1990.

Ms. George made the tough decision to close down her business in 1998, but she is still very much involved in design - much to the delight of her extremely loyal customers who continue to go to her for chic, urban, luxurious yet casual AND practical designs, that are never trendy or fashion victim-y. I recently went to her beautiful Upper West Side apartment to view her concise and well-edited fall 2004 collection that ranges in price from about $110 to $650. (Jennifer does not sell to department stores, and does not wish to). The primarily neutral palette (black, white, ivory, oatmeal, brown, charcoal) is accented with plum, aubergine, and blue, and jolted with fuchsia. The easy, fluid shapes (some of which are convertible) look very ‘trademark’ George as well.

Standouts include the reversible jerseys and heavy stretch matte jersey pieces, the one size fits all long and short quilted cotton ‘duvet’ coats with nylon shells, the paisley chiffon classic shirt with pom pom scarf (Jennifer admits she loves and collects scarves), the stretch cotton corduroy coat with quilted liner and matching pants, the charming 100% cotton Liberty of London shirts with striped vest backs, and the crème de la crème: the toasty warm thick and luxurious cashmere pieces (which are 2, 3, or 4 ply!). Included in this luscious group are a classic poor boy, a ribbed sleeveless turtleneck, tube skirt, hat and glove set, and the most expensive piece (and MY personal favorite) the 4 ply oatmeal colored tube shrug.

But perhaps Jennifer’s most inspired and timely idea (considering how popular charm bracelets are these days, not to mention the idea of personalizing and customizing) is her collection of ‘Memory Bracelets’, www.jennifergeorgenyc.com. You know all those lost earrings, and random pieces of heirloom and sentimental jewelry you’ve collected through the years that are just languishing in your jewelry box because you haven’t been able to figure out what do with them?

For $400 and up, Jennifer will custom design a highly personal and individual double wrap charm bracelet (which is so much more important looking, more sophisticated, and less childish than the single strand charm bracelets you may have worn in the 50’s or 60’s). She takes what you bring her, selects a base chain to put the trinkets on, and literally fills in the gaps with bits and pieces culled from the amazing collection she has amassed through the years. For more information, you can contact her at 917 657 2267 or email: puffmommy@msn.com. By the way, her son thought up the name 'puff mommy' ...cute!

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

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