Yes, we did a Love Boat post back in October. I remember. And, no, I never thought we would write about the Love Boat once on this blog, let alone twice in four months. But the truth is that I really, really liked this show when I was a little kid, and to this day I still love ensemble cast anything, the cheesier it is the better. So I don’t really mind promoting the Love Boat twice. But the post back in October was about favorite appearances by fashion designers on TV shows and was merely inspired by the long-lost Andy Warhol 1985 episode of the Love Boat—and this new discovery from 1981 blows that episode out of the, ahem, water: The Fashion Designer episode! Yep, the whole show is themed around fashion and features four of the top American designers of the 1980s. Here Read More »
On This Day In Fashion readers have already been properly introduced to Geoffrey Beene, but no tribute can compare to collecting the designer’s clothes, vowing to wear one of his garments every day for a year and documenting it all on a blog. Patsy Tarr is the founder of 2wice Dance Foundation in New York, the publisher of Geoffrey Beene: A Design Tribute and the blogger behind Beene-iana, her journey of a year in Beene launched nearly one year ago today. OTDIF chats with Tarr about knowing Beene, collecting high fashion and the daunting task of wearing one designer for a year.
On This Day In Fashion: What inspired you to start Beene-iana?
Patsy Tarr: I went to see Julie and Julia and thought it was so much fun. I started to think about what I could do every day that would be interesting, and the one thing I could very easily do every day would be to wear something designed by Geoffrey Beene, because I have such a large collection. And that’s what I did.
OTDIF: How many pieces are in your collection?
PT: I am going to guess in the vicinity of 350.
OTDIF: When did you realize that you were amassing a collection?
PT: There was no conscious decision; I just gravitated toward his clothes. I figured, ‘my daughter is going to wear this when I’m done with it,’ so I never threw his stuff out and after many years I had a collection. Read More »
A great thing about the crowded blogosphere is discovering all of the different types of people sharing their talents/hobbies/collections with the rest of the world. (It can also be a bad thing, but that’s another story.) While researching today’s Story Behind the Styles about Geoffrey Beene, I came across one of the great ones: Beene-iana, the blog of New Yorker Patsy Tarr, who challenged herself 11 months ago to wear something designed by Geoffrey Beene every day for a year, à la Julie Powell of Julie and Julia but with clothes instead of cooking. Tarr is the publisher of the dance/art magazine, 2wice, and a collector of fine things (her apartment is decorated with works by Robert Rauschenberg, Horst P. Horst and Richard Avedon, as well as a collection of silver teapots.) Beene-iana features another extensive collection: Geoffrey Beene clothing, including pieces that were custom-created especially for Tarr. The blogger posts infrequently and does not model the clothes, although she writes about the places she wears them. Instead, she displays each piece on a mannequin like a work of art—just as it should be. Her love for Beene’s work is tied to the designer’s insistence that his clothes be comfortable (so much so that she has Read More »
Awarded for a Lifetime of Merging Simple Comfort with Good Taste, Geoffrey Beene Became an American Icon
American designer Geoffrey Beene was always a bit of a rebel, which might surprise those who know him only as a favorite designer of society ladies who lunch. But as a kid born in 1927 to a family of doctors, Beene spent his time at medical school sketching the dresses he saw on Hollywood starlets, all while absorbing knowledge about the structure of the human body and how the figure moves and bends. So he quit after three years and followed his distraction, moving to New York and climbing the fashion ladder from window dresser to designer. When the National Arts Club presented the designer with its first Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement in Fashion on this day in 2003, Beene was a 40-plus year veteran of the industry, and already a recipient of eight Coty Awards and three CFDA awards. The designer smiled for pictures though he cared little for ceremonious acclaim, often stating that his only motive was self-expression. And yet throughout his career, Beene was always at the top of critics’ lists despite his disregard for trends. “I hate clothes that look saleable,” he said. “I love when they look desirable.” Beene was a designer who knew how to cut a dress to fit a woman’s curves without sacrificing comfort, who understood that no matter what fashion editors say, women want comfort first and style second.
Before there was Geoffrey Beene, Inc., the designer earned praise working for Seventh Avenue clothiers Harmay and Teal Traina. In 1963, he founded his own company and gained the freedom to assert his own viewpoint. From the beginning, Beene’s Read More »
“I’m not a driven businessman, but a driven artist. I never think about money. Beautiful things make money.” —American designer Geoffrey Beene, who died on this day in 2004. Photos: photographers unknown; the designer Geoffrey Beene (left); a Beene design from 1965. Be sure to check On This Day In Fashion on Thursday for our Story Behind the Styles about the designs of Geoffrey Beene. To read more fabulous Fashion Statements, click here.