Pratt Institute’s Legends 2014

On Thursday, November 20, I, along with fashion designers Mary McFadden and Catherine Malandrino; Paper Magazine’s David Herschkovits and Mickey Boardman; Elle’s editor-in-Chief Michael Boodro; New York Magazine’s design editor Wendy Goodman; editor in chief of Architectural Digest Margaret Russell; publicist James La Force; Fern Mallis, filmmaker Albert Maysles (his latest is a documentary on Iris Apfel), and many others, attended Pratt Institute’s Legends 2014. Chaired by Pratt Trustee David Waltentas and his wife Jane (they founded Two Trees Management Company), the annual scholarship benefit honors icons of art and design whose “works have helped shape our cultural landscape”. Held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the gala (cocktail reception, dinner and award ceremony) raises funds for merit and need-based scholarships, which is important because 80 percent of Pratt students receive financial aid to pursue their education.

Pratt Trustee, Gala Chair and founding principal of Two Trees Management Company David Walentas,
NYFW Creator Fern Mallis

Since their inception in 1990, the Awards have traditionally celebrated those individuals in the worlds of art and design, whose accomplishments and values resonate with those of Pratt. Past Legends Awards recipients (individuals in the worlds of art and design whose accomplishments and values resonate with those of Pratt) include Laurie Anderson, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, David Easton, Pete Hamill, Marc Jacobs, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Meier, Beverly Pepper, David Rockwell, Margaret Russell, Patti Smith, Julie Taymor, James Turrell, Bruce Weber, William Wegman, Robert Wilson, and Eva Zeisel.

Irish Apfel, David Yurman & Kim Hastreiter

There were three very deserving honorees this year: Iris Apfel, David Yurman, and Kim Hastreiter. The tireless 93 year old style icon and interior designer Iris Apfel arrived with Nigerian fashion designer Duro Olowu, who also presented her award. Fittingly, the designer is known for his exuberant use of prints and color, and while this can also describe Iris’s personal aesthetic, last night she was quite subdued in a black Mongolian lamb accessorized with her signature bangles and necklaces.

PAPER Magazine Editorial Director Mickey Boardman,
PAPER Mag Creative Director Drew Elliott, Honoree Kim Hastreiter,
Henny Garfunkel & Albert Maysles

Designer and CEO David Yurman, a sculptor, artist and artisan whose jewelry can be thought of as a work of art, received his award from Paul Greenhaigh, director of the Sainsbury Center for Visual Arts). PAPER magazine co-founder and editor-in-chief Kim Hastreiter accepted her award from Padma Lakshmi, the award winning author, model, and host of Bravo’s Emmy Award winning show, Top Chef.  Speaking of which, you must be living under a rock if you don’t know what’s been ‘cooking’ with Kim and Paper these days. (Does Kim Kardashian and her celebrated high gloss rear end, ring a bell?)

Edgar Battista & Fashion Designer Mary McFadden

I chose a beloved vintage Geoffrey Beene architecturally shaped quilted short coat for the evening, one which never fails to elicit oohs and aahs. (Of course, it’s impossible to think of great design without thinking about the late great designer). And coincidentally, in my mind, Kim and Paper are always inextricably linked. I’ll never forget the time I interviewed him at his 57th Street atelier in 2002. I noted that the only magazine he had on his desk, was Paper. He actually admitted that he didn’t look at any fashion publications other than Paper. When I asked him why, he told me “The reason I like ‘Paper’ is I don’t know who the audience is. I know Kim (Hastreiter, its editor and founder) very well and I respect her. She’s probably the most open-minded of editors – whatever her magazine is. It’s the only one I advertise in, and Kim knows that. I’ve just taken out a double page for May and I haven’t advertised a dress in years. I don’t know who her audience is and that sort of fascinates me.”

New York Magazine Design Editor Wendy Goodman,
& Artist Alexander Vethers

Their long mutual admiration society was solidified when he wrote her a fan letter in 1988 after Andre Walker wrote an article in the magazine and borrowed a dress from Geoffrey which he proceeded to style in a very “unorthodox way”, which he loved. Still, I could not help but wonder how Geoffrey (the epitome of refined taste) would feel about the Kim Kardashian cover and inside pages, which, according to Ms. Hastreiter, came about with one goal in mind: the staff of Paper wanted to “Break The Internet” with their winter 2014 issue (it hits the newsstands next week). But then again, he was ultra-modern: the ultimate rule breaker with a divinely wicked sense of humor, so needless to say, he would probably love it (or at the very least, “get it”) which is precisely what Kim said, when I posed the question.

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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