“The nature of fashion is changing, and we have to find a new terminology to describe it. Fashion is no longer defined as a pretty dress. The important thing is how the dress works. I see my role as a designer as trying to make people’s lives easier.”
- Geoffrey Beene as quoted in The Fashion Makers, 1978
“PERRY ELLIS fans will be glad to know that his crunchy tweed jackets and cable-knit sweaters are as comfortable and foreverlooking as they’ve always been. His tartan plaids are livelier and his coats more handsome than ever. Everything is a bit longer for fall and winter: the sweaters, the coats, the jackets.
There is the same insouciant feeling – of a college woman slipping into her boyfriend’s jacket that is a size or so too big for her, or putting together a jacket and a pair of pants in patterns that don’t quite match, but look quite appealing when you think about it.
The designer’s fans are quite a catholic group. Among the 500 or so who clambered up the bleacher seats that lined his showroom on Seventh Avenue were Lauren Hutton and Cheryl Tiegs, the actress Anne Baxter and Sonia Rykiel, the French designer, who found his clothes ”so young and so original.” Mr. Ellis has achieved such stature that the presidents of Bloomingdale’s, Bonwit Teller, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel feel it is necessary to make the trek to Seventh Avenue to see and be seen as well as to check out the trends.”
- from ELLIS FOR FALL: GOOD AND NOT SO GOOD by BERNADINE MORRIS, NYT 1982
“It is a collection in which neatness counts. The clothes are in the American tradition of glorious sportswear, updated by the use of precious materials. There are strong men’s-wear accents in the double-breasted jackets in pewter gray plaids and checks, and in the lean trousers that overshadow the knee-baring skirts. Occasionally there is a hint of mauve or green in the tweed jackets, sweaters or trousers. Softening agents are the drifts of knitted cashmere, in triangular shapes or in long stoles to wrap around the body. Some knitted styles tie at one side of the waistline for a new sweater shape.”
- from FOR KLEIN, NEATNESS AND LUXURY COUNT by BERNADINE MORRIS, NYT, 1989
Ferre’s F/W 1985 campaign photographed by Herb Ritts.
In his way, Gianfranco Ferre offers the same variety of choices. His clothes are the sleekest, most sophisticated of all those shown here. The leitmotif is the high-rise waistline, on both skirts and trousers. While that serves as a unifying theme, other aspects of the clothes are constantly changing. Gray pants are topped by fuchsia, red and mallard blue coats. Long jacket suits with short skirts are paired with long silk poplin coats lined with black Mongolian lamb and quilted panels. Black leather jackets curve into the waistline, and ribbed cashmere tops are a cross between stole and sweater. The designer considers gray his newest neutral color but counters it with a lot of strong, clear shades. His finale consists of simple long black jersey dresses accessorized with brilliantly colored scarves and huge jeweled necklaces. The dresses are smashing.
- EXUBERANCE KEYS OPENING OF FALL MILAN COLLECTIONS by BERNADINE MORRIS, March 12, 1985
Excerpt from “Clothes for Fall Soothe Rather Than Shock”
By Bernadine Morris
Too much sobriety can be numbing, and Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana made sure this didn’t happen. The principals in Dolce & Gabbana turned fashion inside out.
They gave corsets, panty girdles and bras new meaning as outerwear. These were paved in rhinestones and big multicolored stones or were made of fabric that looked like Jackson Pollock had dribbled paint on them.
The corsets were decorated with skating skirts made of black fox tails or layers of chiffon. They were sheltered by ostrich boas or fake leopard capes and for the new propriety were worn over black tights and had turtleneck tops.
Bracelets of colored stones climbed up the arms. Hadn’t Madonna and Jean-Paul Gaultier showed the way? Not for an entire collection. Where do you wear these things? Late-night clubs or swimming pools, of course. Are these clothes for liberated women or for sex objects? Topic for a seminar. Either way, the show provided a break in a serious season.