NEW YORK — "What woman in America wouldn't want a gold T-shirt?" asked designer Andre van Pier at Wednesday's opening of his new "jewelry clothing" collection, dubbed "24 Carat."
The T-shirt, in pink gold for $3,000, goes with a matching $8,000 jacket.
Platinum Costs More
"We also have white gold, we have platinum," he continued. "You know platinum's slightly higher than the white gold."
"And this," he says, pointing to a model, "is the famous diamond bra."
The bra, so jewel-studded it needs to be viewed with sunglasses, was purchased by Joan Collins and belongs to Van Pier's earlier "Diamond Collection."
It is too soon to tell which celebrities will go for the "24 Carat" collection, but Van Pier devotees include Sophia Loren, whose picture hangs on the showroom wall, Mary Tyler Moore, Patti Davis, Liza Minnelli and Anne Randolph Hearst.
Mick Jagger dropped $40,000 for the sequined Van Pier jackets and tuxedos with sweat pants he wore in his "She's the Boss" video. Jessica Lange wore his silk dresses in "Tootsie."
Van Pier, who can sound like a trader on the gold market, said it took three years to develop the process by which he converts gold to fabric.
He first shops the gold market, then flies the metal to France, where it is ground to dust and spun into a raw silk base.
It takes 82 grams--more than four ounces--to make one dress, he said.
The most expensive item in the collection, at $25,000, is an embossed gold gown.
It is the least expensive item, though--the $900 gold scarfs--that Van Pier thinks "will be the hot item"--especially at the retail level. Van Pier said Macy's is buying the collection.
As for his next project, he said: "We have a process in Japan where we're making clothing of tofu."