Couture Council Cocktail Party

Jean & Martin Shafiroff
(All photos Lieba Nesis)
Click on images for larger views

The question often arises as to what is the true nature of glamour in our society which often emphasizes boho chic or the grunge movement. Jean Shafiroff held an event at her Park Avenue apartment Tuesday night for a book which attempts to tackle this difficult question. The evening was put together at the last moment by the couture council but about seventy people attended the cocktail party which lasted from six to nine.

Rod Keenan, Victor de Souza & Virginia Postrel

The crowd included Ike Ude, the famed Nigerian artist, Maggie Norris, the couture designer, Rod Keenan, Victor de Souza, and Liz Peek the chairman of the couture council board. The book, The Power of Glamour, written by Virginia Postrel explains the phenomenon of glamour as, “reflecting our inner lives and shaping our decisions both large and small. Glamour is a feeling of “if only” extending into our current lives in areas of technology, aviation, building and even military recruitment – glamour is a promise of escape and transformation. Audrey Hepburn, Angelina Jolie and Kerry Washington are paradigms of glamour and society looks to them for self realization.”

Maggie Norris

While the exact definition of glamour might be elusive there were definitely some bedecked women at this cocktail party. Jean Shafiroff, the hostess, in a Carolina Herrera dress with a Gucci fur and Van Cleef jewels rightfully noted that, “glamour is intangible and enigmatic, you either have it or you don’t.” Ike Ude, a sartorial expert whose current art show was lauded by The New York Times stated, “the etymology of glamour even before Edwardian England was witchcraft, where one was burned at the stake for being glamorous. The world evolved and redeemed glamour to assume a positive role of seduction, mystery, opaqueness and revelation, where you reveal as much as you conceal.” 

Play the video with Virginia Postrel discussing her book below:

Tom Gates, the travel editor and writer for Palm Beach Society Magazine, lamented the dearth of glamour in the Hollywood of today, while longing for the old days where true glamour icons existed such as Ava Gardner and Lana Turner. Rod Keenan, a men’s milliner, said, “glamour is a woman in a sleek black sheath or a coiffed Daphne Guinness. As for glamorous men Tom Ford is the one – but maybe that is just because of all the eyeliner he wears.”

Lucia Hwong Gordon in Zang Toi

At the conclusion of the evening the guests were reluctant to leave the elaborate setting. Maggie Norris, the designer, stated it “is all about style, timelessness, beauty and pleasing the eye. One must look at the great masters of every century to admire them and create our own glamour with an eclectic view of the world.” Assessing the nature and mystery of glamour is not a pursuit that either Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs might have engaged in, and yet it is an important endeavor as it dominates much of our culture. The advent of the social technology revolution allows millions to decipher every sartorial move of the famous in our society; however, this extensive coverage has also removed the most important element of glamour-the curiosity as to where it emanated from.

– Lieba Nesis

More about the Couture Council:

Couture Council annual membership is $1,000 per
individual or couple, or $350 for Young Associates (under the age of 35).
Membership is tax deductible to the extent provided by law. Please make checks
payable to the FIT Foundation. Mail checks to The Museum at FIT, attention:
Couture Council, 227 West 27th Street, Director’s Office, Room E304, New York,
NY 10001-5992.

Members of the Couture
Council receive invitations to at least five special events a year, including
behind-the-scenes tours of the museum’s collection and exhibitions, opening
receptions, and visits to the ateliers of fashion designers in New York. Couture
Council members are also the first to receive notice of the annual Couture
Council Artistry of Fashion Award luncheon.

Catherine Petree-Biron

Director of Sponsorship 

Jonathan Marder + Company 
D: 212.907.6484
M: 917.306.0865

Lieba Nesis

My love of fashion, writing and photography were something that always dominated my lifestyle however it wasn't until I was approached by the editor of Lookonline that I realized I could utilize these three skills in combination.

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