The brilliant Verbal Croquis is hosting the next Carnivale, and she asks:
"You are throwing a little dinner party in your apartment featuring fashion glitterati, past or present, dead or alive. You are only allowed to invite 5 people, so be careful in your selections. Feel free to include designers, style icons, journalists, models, moguls, intellectuals, you name it. Make your invite list, please share your reasons why you invited each person. Remember, every good hostess takes into consideration how their guests will mingle, so tell us about that too. For brownie points, tell us what they're wearing, what you'll wear and what you'll serve, etc."
Well, with all the fabulous members of the fashion community past and present, deciding who to invite to was no easy task. I wanted a good representation of different eras and styles, and like any good hostess, I wanted all my guests to enjoy each other's company. So, in no particular order:
1. John Galliano: He's one of the most interesting and talented designers working today, and his perspective on the current state of the industry and unique ideas would definitely earn him an invitation. Also, he would definitely be wearing something memorable.
2. Elsa Schiaperelli: Another talented designer, her views on fashion and art (she collaborated with a number of artists in her time, including Salvador Dali) would make her a fascinating dinner guest. I would imagine that she would wear one of her own surrealism-influenced designs to dinner.
3. Madame de Pompadour: We owe a lot to Madame Pompadour - a hairstyle and various styles of furniture and architecture are only the beginning. This brilliant woman rose above her status as mistress and influenced affairs of state and captured the imagination of many artists - all while being the premiere fashion icon of her time. Always impeccably dressed, at this dinner party I think she would be wearing something by Lanvin or Rochas (classic French houses that reference the past in an ultra-modern way).
4. Helen Gurley Brown: Not really a fashion figure, but a revolutionary who changed the lives of women forever, she was stylish and witty - in fashion, it is important to remember that "beauty can't amuse you, but brainwork - reading, writing, thinking - can." The former Cosmopolitan editor and ultimate Cosmo girl would be wearing a classic Chanel suit or little black dress; something simple, sleek, and revolutionary in its own way.
5. Catherine de'Medici: She essentially invented high heels (by commissioning a pair from her cobbler in order to counteract her short stature) - that's enough fashionista credibility right there, but she was also one of the most intriguing women of her time. A clever courtier with a passion for luxury, she would be a fabulous dinner guest in something vivid and opulent from Gucci or Versace.
My guests would sit down to a feast that included everything from classic Italian dishes to sushi - there is something for everyone chez Kiffen. I think my guests would get along famously - they all have stories to share and distinct styles of their own. It would definitely be a super-fantastic party to remember!