By Amber Roniger
Such a fab-a-mataz uptown evening. Only it’s downtown with the Mad-Ave fashion crowd at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Trés fierce all around, no? Dressed in my killer-best loaned gown and jewels (courtesy KIMBERLY MCDONALD), new-used designer shoes (absolute rapture) and layers of VINCENT LONGO eyeshadow for miles. The Rose Bar is extravagant, low lit, prowled by fabulous fashionista creatures in glitzy duds and serious bobbles. This crowd is no foolin.
Chi-chi cocktail hour pouring too many bubbly offerings in honor of two great design men: jewelry-maker extraordinaire ROBERT LEE MORRIS, this year’s recipient of the GEOFFREY BEENE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (first accessory designer celebrated), and GEOFFREY BEENE, the man aptly branded America’s first couturier for one hellovan illustrious career.
(Calvin Klein, Diane von Furstenburg, Richard Lambertson, Robert Lee Morris)
This newly renamed award, presented by the CFDA’s (Council of Fashion Designers of America) President, Mz. Countess Diane von Furstenburg (I swear those cheekbones have inspired arias, if not I’ll write one), in honor of Mr. Beene, master-crafter and fashion icon of the innovative, high-concept, style-forward creations he was famed for. In recent years, GB has posthumously become America’s greatest fashion benefactor – the brand living on and funding cutting-edge research into cancer (Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering) and Alzheimer’s (Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative), fashion scholarships and awards (YMA & CFDA), protection for women and children, and a host of other choice causes. Get into the ‘clothes that care’ philosophy and buy your honey some juicy GB dress-up duds today. Some may say that clothes can’t care, but the Beene brand is hot on the trail to prove otherwise. Isn’t it nice to know that your hard-earned cashola is going to benefit worthy organizations, eh? Don’t we always yammer on about only supporting virtuous companies and shutting out the evil-doers? Of course we do. Well hello, let’s go…
I know you’re wondering – how is this apparition doing so much do-gooding and throwing such an enchanting soiree to boot? (Can never get enough of those nibbly cracker thingies with the stewed tomatoes and olive paste, omg, sinful – I know my nutritionist is gonna clobber me!) But to get down to nitty-gritty reality for a moment, when Geoffrey was diagnosed with cancer, he was stunned to find himself suffering an incurable disease in this day and age. So the Executor of Geoffrey’s Estate (who is surreptitious, sneaky), promised Beene he’d utilize the Company’s profits to support cancer research and other charities. The Estate is pledged to find a cure, plain and simple. And that’s what this is all about, doing the right thing with the green.
Robert Lee Morris, spoke so humbly and thoughtfully – absolutely endearing – of flying over the city, perfectly clear and lit-up beneath the full moon and feeling so privileged to be part of this premiere pool of such brilliant and influential designers that is Manhattan. (Even yours truly, Ms. snark-pen, was touched by his sincerity.) I must say, RLM’s really the perfect representative to communicate the concepts Geoffrey Beene stands for: design legacy and philanthropy, in no way relegated to the fashion past, paving the road ahead, keeping the dream alive, and doing it in style.
Teensy sidebar: I must be totally honest with you and admit that I didn’t get the memo about Mistress Peters’ relation to the whole CFDA-Beene-shebang, but who cares when the dame brings it like this – baby’s still rockin’ her NY legend status in Broadway style. I kept waiting expectantly for her to break into show tunes, but alas no such luck on the performance tip. But the Proseco did keep me grinning, aw yeah. (And we all covet a diva sighting in our midst, especially when we get to snap a pic!)