Phillips Flashback: November 30, 1984

D.C.’s reputation for tennis shoes with sensible suits and other fashion sadness has lifted a bit as the city has recently achieved the once far-away status of “cool”. But was it a hip place back in 1984? I’d guess not. In the thick of the Reagan years, Fodor’s description of the city noted that sales of women’s white gloves were skyrocketing. But what about the fashion barometer at the Phillips? Well, while processing archival materials from the Board of Trustees, archives assistant Colleen Hennessey stumbled on a real gem:  Karl Lagerfeld, the mayor of the world’s beautiful people, presented a fashion show at the Phillips on November 30, 1984. Here’s the description:

On Friday, November 30 Karl Lagerfeld will be at The Phillips Collection to present his spring designs. This is their first showing outside Paris. The evening will include the fashion presentation in the Music Room and a seated dinner on the second floor of the annex. The entire evening is being underwritten by Saks Jandel, Mr. Ernest Marx, President. Tickets are $275 per person. Letter invitation are being mailed now.

Mr. Lagerfeld, anytime you’d like a reunion, we’re here for you.

A selection from the full-page coverage of the event in Washington Dossier magazine, February 1985. Photo by John Whitman. Clipping from Phillips Collection Archives.

A selection from the full-page coverage of the event in Washington Dossier magazine, February 1985, shows Laughlin Phillips and his wife Jennifer with Saks Jandel’s Ernie Max and the famous designer. Photo by John Whitman. Clipping from Phillips Collection Archives.

One thought on “Phillips Flashback: November 30, 1984

  1. If Karl doesn’t want a reunion @ the Phillips, ask Ines instead!

    Lagerfeld’s then-muse, Ines de la Fressange (seen in this video, on runway) was “branded” by House of Chanel/Lagerfeld with an exclusive contract in the early 80′s. Not a unique phenomenon today; however, this took place three decades ago!

    I haven’t read her 2010 autobiography (link below of her promoting it/herself on French TV) but Lagerfeld terminated La Fressange’s contract with Chanel in an alleged power struggle between the “brander” and the “brandee” over how to define the “brand.”

    Despite the nexus that is French celebrity/beauty/fashion/commerce, innumerable +50-year-old women (myself included) are probably curious enough to drop $25 to find out how Ines (b1957) looks like “Ines”:

    http://www.ina.fr/ardisson/tout-le-monde-en-parle/video/I08276332/interview-biographie-de-ines-de-la-fressange.fr.html

Leave a Reply