Last night I was honored to attend the opening reception for a new exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York celebrating the work of legendary African-American designer Stephen Burrows:
Stephen Burrows is widely touted as the first African-American designer to reach international acclaim. Known for his signature lettuce hems and bias cuts, the New Jersey native dressed the likes of Grace Jones, Naomi Campbell, Diana Ross, and more in his body skimming, colorful, and supremely sexy matte jersey frocks (read more about him in our Stephen Burrows archive).
Burrows’s clothes captured the essence of the disco era, and the exhibit fittingly features clothes on mannequins striking dance poses,with Studio 54 era music and video playing in the background.
For the opening reception, fashion glitterati including Robin Givhan, Pat Cleveland, Bethann Hardison, Iman, Bill Cunningham, Michaela Angela Davis, Harriette Cole, Tai Beauchamp, Debra Lee, Emil Wilbekin, Bevy Smith, and more filled the museum’s entrance and adjoining rooms.
I actually forgot the event was happening until the night before (oops!), so forgive my camera phone pictures, as I didn’t have time to assemble my photography and video crew.
I actually pulled an outfit together last minute, but ultimately went for an artsy vibe in a Peter Pilotto dress, Walter Steiger sandals, and my favorite Proenza Schouler bag.
What do you think?
It was a fun night, and a great way to honor a living legend.
(Pat Cleveland is a hoot. I asked her what was the biggest lesson she learned in all her years of modeling. She said, “Keep Going.” Indeed).
At any rate, I’d highly encourage you to check out the exhibit if you’re in New York. It will be at the Museum of the City of New York, located at 1220 5th Avenue at 103rd street in Manhattan starting today (get more info here). No immediate plans to come to the Empire State? You can purchase the book dedicated to the exhibit, titled Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced, here.
See more pictures from the night below:
Will you be checking it out?
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