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Paris Haute Couture 2013/2014

Andre Leon Talley's 'Little Black Dress' exhibition feted in Paris

July 01, 2013|By Ellen Olivier
  • A version of Norma Kamali's cut-out dress for Pink, on display at Andre Leon Talley's "Little Black Dress" exhibition in Paris.
A version of Norma Kamali's cut-out dress for Pink, on display at Andre… (Ellen Olivier for The Times )

The fashion crowd celebrated the “Little Black Dress” on Monday at an exhibition curated by Andre Leon Talley, which opens Wednesday at the Mona Bismarck American Center for Art & Culture. The former contributing editor for U.S. Vogue, Talley originally created the show for the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Seated at the entrance in a voluminous electric blue caftan, signing books and greeting well-wishers, Talley said the college named a gallery for him and so he figured he had to put something special inside.

“I love the idea of the little black dress,” Talley said. “The little black dress expresses a moment of freedom and individuality every time.”

Vera Wang, among partygoers, fit right into the show. “I’m a black dress girl,” she said, clad true-to-her-word in a black thigh-skimmer, accessorized in an over-wide black belt and black tights. “I’m known for black in my ready-to-wear.”

Also known for her wedding dresses, Wang designed a bridal gown featured in the show, only in this case, constructed of black tulle rather than virginal white.

Although not present at the party, Rihanna also contributed a show-stopper, in her case the Stella McCartney gown of embroidered lace that she wore to the 2012 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala.  In another highlight, a mannequin displayed an elaborate Tom Ford gown designed for Lady Gaga of sheer Chantilly lace, dripping from the neckline in jet beads.

Among other standouts were a framed Chanel haute couture classic, which came from Anna Wintour’s closet; a version of Pink’s midriff-baring body-hugger by Norma Kamali; and the dress Marc Jacobs wore to the 2013 Met Gala.

Sally Perrin of Los Angeles and Paris called the exhibition “beautifully curated,” adding, “It makes me want to go out and get myself a little black dress.”

Also from California came George Kotsiopoulos of “Fashion Police,” Christine and Gabriel Chiu, Michel Perrin, Sutton Stracke and Christine Suppes, among others.

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