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Showing posts from April, 2010

The Lost Designer of the 80's

Claude Barthelemy seems to have been one of those if-you-needed-to-ask-you-didn't-need-to-know designers. In the '80's, he was listed as a young, hot couturier alongside go-the-distance blue chips like Karl Lagerfeld and Lanvin with his oversized sweaters, minis, leggings and fur-trimmed stoles. Exclusive stores carried his soft-edged jackets to shoppers in the know.

And then what happened? His pleated skirts, intarsia sweaters, and naughty, zippered wool catsuits still fetch high prices in vintage world and any dealer with his elegantly simple, Gallic tag on her racks raises a flutter in second-hand seekers. He designed for Barbie, for heaven's sake! But the designer himself, who seems to have cut a meteoric swath across the runways and then...?

So what's the story with this wasp-waisted pleated skirt? I wondered what else this woman could have dropped off on her Goodwill drive-by--a Chanel original? A couture Pucci? Surely someone this linked in wouldn't just h…

Go for the Pulitzer

Naples, Florida: the epicenter of all things Lilly.
All those breezy prints and sporty, shift dresses may have been designed for socialite, seasonal bluebloods in Palm Beach, but it's the practical wives of nuts-and-bolts Midwestern industrialists and Captains of Yeast, Sausage and Baking Soda empires and Generals of Mills who truly rally beneath the bright-colored banner--after all, those saturated, citrus hues and quirky textile designs wear like iron and endure season after season, doncha know.
I suspect the owners of my found Lillys had to die before she parted with her collection, her sons prying that hardly-worn-yet wrap skirt out of her cold, dead fingers. She almost certainly came back to haunt them because they buried her in the lavender suit. She specifically told them she wanted to sleep for eternity in the super comfy, new blue print silk.