Beene: An American Treasure

This past weekend, Geoffrey Beene was the subject of an article in The New York Times Magazine, “Clothes Made the Man”, by Peter McQuaid. It included wonderful pictures of his Hawaiian retreat, against which were backdrops of some of his designs, spanning 1992 to the present. It proved (not that Mr. Beene has to prove anything) that his designs are forever chic, timeless, and transcend fad and fashion folly- something which is at the heart of the man’s design philosophy. The article also included some quotes from this outspoken legend…the best of which were, “Advertising and money, not creativity, dictate the fashion world. Most of these designers go to vintage stores and absolutely defrock them. They whisk away to Paris and do their version. It’s a joke”. “Fashion is in a terrible state. An overdose of too much flesh. The greatest concubines in history knew that everything revealed with nothing concealed is a bore.”

How true, and by the way, Geoffrey easily could have been referring to Angie Harmon, a beautiful woman who does not need resort to such obvious, sleazy displays (like the Cavalli mini corset dress she wore to the Vogue/VH1 Fashion Awards last week) in order to grab people’s attention, or to stand out in a crowd.

What the article omitted, was that next week, Geoffrey is to receive the National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum at a breakfast hosted by Marylou Luther, during which he is expected to ‘reflect on his career, inspiration, and vision’ . Also on hand will be Kim Hastreiter and Grace Mirabella…longtime friends.

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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