impactcfda - Red carpet report: CFDA exhibit opening

Like a bowlful of cherries: Johnson, known for her playful style, arrived wearing what everyone else probably wished she were wearing: a yellow puffer coat, shearling-lined flats and SoulCycle leggings. She had to think back to come up with the year that her cherry-print dress on display was created. “Well, I did it once in the ‘70s — not so poofy — and then that version, on the cotton lycra — I drew that print, it’s a good cartoon drawing, I’m proud of that print — and that time, when I was more in my tutu petticoat phase, was 1985.” Her style, she says, remains constant. “It keeps coming out, whatever I am. Same with everybody, any designer. There should always be that identification.” Johnson, whose show is on Monday, is one of the few designers not stressing: “Piece of cake … make that piece of cherry pie.”


IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA exhibit opens today at The Museum at FIT. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the CFDA, an exhibition to recognize the individual and collective influence of American designers. Designers selected to participate were asked to select a single ensemble that best represents his or her impact on the fashion world. Approximately 100 garments are on view, and in the companion book about 400 designers are represented. Kiosks with ipads showcase all the designers as well as a timeline history. Exhibit runs Feb 10 - Apr 17. Anyone in town for NY Fashion Week shouldn’t miss this - it’s an exceptional collection of the who’s who of American fashion, and a chance to see these iconic garments up close and personal. (photos: MicheleK.)

It’s impossible to name here all the important designers of the past 50 yrs, but a partial list of those represented: Diane Von Furstenberg (CFDA president), Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, Norma Kamali, Tom Ford, Halston. The designs of all past CFDA presidents are represented.

                “As a designer I have fully embraced the concept of collabora­tion to define and enhance my individual artistic vision. Since the advent of my career, I have partnered with visionaries on multimedia projects ranging from photographic exhibitions to short films that showcased my clothes and illustrated my creative universe. My debut collaboration was the short film Wendybird, directed by legendary photographer Ellen von Unwerth, starring actress Kirsten Dunst wearing my Winter 2006 collection. This commenced a series of photographic and film projects that drew upon the talents of Zooey Deschanel, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Karen Elson, and other inspirational women who served as muses. Eventually, the collaborations extended beyond media and led to partnerships with larger retailers like Target and Juicy Couture. This was the perfect combination of my role as a designer and the collaborative work that had become part of my creative process. The traditional fashion narrative focused on the lone designer as an uninterrupted creative entity, but venturing beyond this myth has allowed me to be more creative, inspired, and grateful for my role in the world of fashion.” ~Erin Fetherston