Walking the runway at New York's Fashion Week is humbling (to put it nicely) and deliriously fun. Especially when the show in question is Pat Kerr's 30th anniversary retrospective - "Memphis Takes Manhattan."
Kerr's bridal and cocktail dresses made her famous, but her charm is what has kept her fans loyal since her 1980 launch at Dallas' downtown Neiman Marcus store. True to her Southern hospitality, she served her guests Mint Juleps as they arrived and rocked out to music from Chopin, BB King, and Van Morrison during the cocktail hour.
The rehearsal was pretty typical -- which is to say it was organized chaos set to musical glitches, show runners hollering at models and each other, and intense discussion about "the line-up." The inevitable answer to "the line-up" question is always the same -- no, there will not be nearly enough time to change between looks, but let's make it work anyway.
So, with those monumental decisions made; we are near first changes. This means it's time for the models to worry needlessly over hair and makeup. Since it poured rain all day, I was mostly hating my hair and was relieved when it could be put into a messy bun. Until, of course, I put on my first look and Kerr sweetly asked if I could put my hair down since it would play better to open the show. Not to worry -- the short, black lace dress I was wearing meant no one would even notice my coif.
The show sent her Spring 2011 collection down the runway accompanied by the designer's favorites from the past, and three of us opened the show in pieces for the season ahead. We especially loved the short numbers with taffeta skirts trimmed in lace; the ruffled, organdy gowns for bridal or black-tie, and the metallic lace and tulle elements in many of the dresses.
From the vault, we loved seeing her hand-painted taffeta creations, the visually stunning gowns with Victorian collars, and the nude and neutral gowns that prove that, in fashion, everything old becomes new again. Other gowns on display included the signature dress that graced the cover of "The Plaza Wedding" and the dress from Estee Lauder's original "Beautiful" fragrance campaign.
If you didn't attend Kerr's show, then you missed the best, most original show at Fashion Week. Long live the Queen Of Lace!
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