FGI Celebrates 85 Years

To cap off fashion week and celebrate their 85th anniversary, Fashion Group International held a cocktail party on the rooftop of the Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square. The event was a fitting end to New York fashion week. “I’m not 85!” President of FGI Margaret Hayes was quick to announce to the major designers as well as other perhaps less known members who were present.

Mary Lou Luther and Ralph Rucci

Look at me — I’m just having drinks on the roof with a few of the industry’s legendary and key players, I told myself as did a few other star struck younger members that I spoke with. Fashion gods and goddesses including Ralph Rucci, Carolina Herrera, Norma Kamali, Stan Herman, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Jeffrey Banks, Wes Gordon, Misha Nonoo and Nina Garcia, as well as plenty of important fashion executives such as Rosemary Bravo were in “da house.”

Rose Marie Bravo

Chairman Donald J. Luftus spoke of the forming of FGI in 1930 with founding members including Elizabeth Arden, Margaret Case, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helena Rubinstein, Lilly Dache, Nan Duskin, Virginia Pope, Edith Head, Carmel Snow and several others who he called the “Fashion Nuns.”

Norma Kamali

He mentioned that Case and Poke created the first fashion shows, while Snow, the “founding mother of Harper’s Bazaar” gave the organization their second office space after the relocation from Louis Fairchild’s Women’s Wear Daily building on East 12th Street. In 1934, the move to 30 Rockefeller Center was accomplished using funds raised through a “Fashion Follies” member talent show lampooning the fashion industry. Today the organization consists of 5,000 men and women and has chapters worldwide. There were brief speeches by Carolina Herrera, Ralph Rucci, Rose Marie Bravo, Norma Kamali, Isabel Toledo, and Nina Garcia who all praised Margaret’s ability as a visionary who “keeps things moving forward.”

“A roof with a view…”

The evening was truly magical as the weather was perfect, the view amazing and the company legendary. Conversations ranged from those reminiscing over old times to those exchanging business cards and forging new connections.

Cheers to the next 85 years with FGI!

– Laurel Marcus

Better Bets
On and Off
The Runway

Paul Frank
Circus Jumble

Photo courtesy of Paul Frank Industries
Parents and children, including many celebrity moms and their
offspring, crowded into the Hudson Mercantile on the first night of New York
Fashion Week for a presentation and runway show of the Paul Frank Industries
Circus Jumble Collection. In addition to previewing the Spring/Summer 2016
children’s collection, attendees were treated to sweet treats and performances
by stilt walkers, hula hoopers and aerialists, as well as a DJ and circus
The collection featured bright pops of color as well as shiny
metallics and geometric and animal prints. Notable moms in attendance included
Rachel Zoe and Coco Rocha.

Playful Geometry

Photo: Rhonda Erb

The Spring 2016 collection of Malaysian designer Yeohlee Teng
consisted of deceptively simple looks (basic coats and dresses, slim skirts,
plain blouses) in neutral tones and blue and white. Fabrics ranged from natural
silks and cottons to polyester and polyurethane. Upon closer observation,
Yeohlee’s preoccupation with mathematical precision can be seen in the “6”x6”
square pockets on a coat” or the 36”x36”x6” platform that the models stood on
for the showing in her 29th Street store. After
the show, Yeohlee and her team gathered in front of her store and posed for a
celebratory photo, which the designer called “a great photo to have”.

Bretan’s NYFW Wrap Party

Photo: Rhonda Erb

On the evening of September 15th, a variety of
fashionistas mingled with celebrities at New York City’s Hudson Hotel at Malan
Breton’s NYFW Wrap party to benefit Sound Affects, a charitable organization to
fight cancer. The designer auctioned off two of his gowns in support of the
organization, including the finale gown from his Spring/Summer 2016 show. The
auction of the gowns and other items raised more than $10,000 dollars for Sound
Effects. Celebrity guests included Sonja Morgan, Maye Musk, Farrah Krenek and
Randy Jackson’s newest artist, Wil, who performed at the event.

Celebrates The Ever Changing Faces OF Women

Photo: Courtesy Desigual

Barcelona based Desigual always brings a touch of lighthearted
fun to their runway shows. The brand’s Spring 2016 collection draws inspiration
from the many facets of the free spirited modern woman.  Working with stylist
Misha Janette and artist Lauro Samblas the runway styles feature playful layered
ensembles, oversize blouses and midi skirts. Whimsical print dresses are paired
with jumpers as turbans and bold accessories complete the looks. Famous faces
in the audience included Laverne Cox, Karolina Kurkova, Nigel Barker and Iris

– Rhonda Erb

Rhonda Erb

Rhonda Erb writes about fashion, travel and lifestyle from a New Yorker’s perspective in Better Bets. A self-confessed Instagram addict, her work has also appeared in such publications as Runway Magazine. Follow her at: Instagram: @betterbets Twitter: @betterbetsny tumblr: betterbetsny.tumblr.com

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