Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rules TO Thumb

We're just days away from Fashion Group International's 24th Annual Night of Stars (www.fgi.org), which this year, as you already know, is dedicated to "The Rule Breakers" (how could you NOT love that one?). In fact, the subject matter so peeked my curiostiy, (I for one, have always been drawn to anything that is not traditional, by the books, or predictable), I decided to go directly to the source (FGI's inscrutable and highly revered Fashion Director, Marylou Luther) to find out what how she and the organization defines the term "Rule Breakers" and how they made their choices for this year's honorees.

And so, in Ms. Luther's own words (who could say it better, after all?): "The honorees all "did it their way." And in most instances that meant breaking rules.

If any designer ever broke the fashion barriers, it's Jean PaulGaultier (the recepient of this year's Superstar Award). Bernardine Morris, then the fashion reporter for The NewYork Times, once scolded him for his collection referencing orthodoxJews. And his torpedo-like bustiers for Madonna helped secure him aplace in feminist history.

And the rules that say you can't move from L.A.to Paris (Rick Owens) and find a receptive audience; or that you can'tcreate clothes that change shape with some presto-chango circuitry(Hussein Chalayan); or that you can't be a nice guy and make clothes thatare both runway-worthy and wearable (Alber Elbaz); or that you can'tinvolve a couture sensibility for fabric, workmanship and details incommercially viable ready-to-wear couture (Bottega Veneta designer, Tomas Maier)."

The aforementioned are all Star Honorees in the category of Fashion and in addition to this group, Dr. Patricia Wexler is being honored in the Beauty category, Zaha Hadid is being honored in the Architecture category, Steven Klein is being honored in th Media category, and Howard Socol, Barneys New York, is being honored in the Corporate Leadership category. Josie Natori will receive the Humanitarian Award and Andre Leon Talley will receive the Lord & Taylor Fashion Oracle Award. The host of the evening will be (very fittingly I might add), Simon Doonan, Barneys' visual guru and perhaps one of the most celebrated 'rule breakers" of all time .

In keeping with the evening's tempting theme, I'm still trying to figure out what would be the most 'rule breaking' attire for the night. And since I am usually not the one wearing a long gown, or anything else that is traditionally 'evening attire' or 'black tie', this is, as they say, "right up my alley".

--Marilyn Kirschner

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