THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

January 26, 2007

Fashion Avenue Walk of Fame

Filed under: Designer Inspirations,Fashion,Gigi,Industry — Gigi @ 1:09 pm

What could be more thrilling for the Sewing Divas than having some of our favorite designers of all time immortalized on Fashion Avenue’s Walk of Fame? Darlings, this is where I want my ashes scattered!


The ’70s belonged to Halston. Though he began his career as a milliner, his shift to ready-to-wear clothing made him a superstar. He was America’s first minimalist designer. By combining clean lines and classic fabrics, Halston designed clothing that was seasonless, made for travel and looked elegant night or day. It is no surprise that many members of the burgeoning “jet set” became his most celebrated clients.


Di Sant’Angelo exemplified the invidivual designer. He rose to prominence during the late 1960s when exuberant youth styles dominated. Inspired by non-western dress and hippie anti-fashion, di Sant’Angelo’s clothes were an eclectic mix of vibrant fabrics, rich ornamentation and ease of cut. Freeing the body was a prime focus. Leotards, beandeaux and tube dresses made of stretch fabrics covered in layers of filmy chiffon became his leitmotif.


A designer’s designer, Geoffrey Beene is one of the most artistic and individual of fashion’s creators. He is known for his surgically clean cutting and his fluid use of materials. His designs display a sensuous appreciation of the body and always permit movement. Beene blends masterful construction techniques with seemingly disparate elements, such as whimsically patterned fabrics. The end results are spirited garments, like his famous sequined football jersey evening gown.


This Anglo-American couturier is widely regarded as one of the greatest fashion designers in history. Having begun his career as a milliner in the 1920s, James later incorporated the sculptural techniques of hat making into his dress designs. His juxtaposition of opulent fabrics and unparalleled color combinations was enhanced by his inimitable and complex constructions. James’ engineered garments came as close to works of art as anything ever made in the realm of fashion.


Following a career in costume design, Cashin launched her fashion business in the 1950s. Calling her clothing “kinetic art forms for living”, she adapted simple cuts from the history of world clothing to meet the needs of modern women. She advocated playful but subtle exoticism and introduced layered, interlocking garments that could be rearranged to suit the wearer’s taste and activity. Fusing practicality and whimsy, Cashin’s distrintive style and philosophy celebrated independence.


Having brought the comfort and simplicity of sportswear into the realm of formal dressing, Blass can rightly be credited as one of the creators of a true “American style”. His blending of classic fabrics, like cashmere and satin, have made him a favorite among this country’s best-dressed women. Labeled the “hardest working man on Seventh Avenue”, Blass has cultivated an unforgettable personal and professional style.

More to come tomorrow!



  1. I’m with you Gigi – take half of my ashes and scatter them over dive sites on Bonaire, and the other half here! My only question, and maybe someone in the readership knows – what’s up with the Geoffrey Beene medallion? It looks like either a mistake in casting or it’s supposed to be a pattern piece???

    Comment by gorgeousthings — January 26, 2007 @ 2:51 pm

  2. Now that I look at it, I wonder if that plate had an image that had to be removed for some reason. It looks like something was ground off the bronze.

    Comment by phyllisc — January 26, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

  3. Hmm. Not sure about the Beene one. The dress on the Charles James one caught my eye, though!

    Comment by Summerset — January 26, 2007 @ 4:58 pm

  4. I did a little research on the internet and found an article that mentioned that each plaque features a sketch *by* the designer. I’ll see if I can find out any more.

    Comment by Gigi — January 26, 2007 @ 6:15 pm

  5. I have a small, whimsical book called “Beauty and the Beene.” I believe it has the image that was used for G.B. The book is written in a very poetic and lyrical way – not much with analysis or explanations.
    On the page next to the image, it quotes Geoffrey Beene, “You can cut out a triangle and just start with it.”
    The drawing has a splash of pink color showing a triangle with a tube attached, depicting an arm jutting up as viewed from the back of a person. That is what you see on the upper right of the Beene image. Behind the pink is a black triangle jutting in the other direction and the bottom half shows black shapes as in legs split wide. When viewing it, the “cut-out triangle” would be the mid section of the figure.
    The whole drawing suggests a person – perhaps a dancer – caught in mid-motion. Beene does a lot with negative space – both in his garments and his drawings. I’m sure it made sense to you when you were looking at it. (Perhaps more sense than my attempt at an explanation?)
    Thanks so much for putting these images on the website. When I first saw them, before reading anything, my heart started palpitating because I thought they were individual CD’s documenting the work of these designers on them. LOL.

    Comment by Miriam — January 27, 2007 @ 12:17 pm

  6. Thanks for the fashion history lesson, how fun. It’s neat to see their fashion illustrations.

    Comment by Kelly — January 28, 2007 @ 10:13 am

  7. As someone who is in NYC every day, all I could think of when I saw the pictures was, “oh God y’all were some of those annoying people who stop in the middle of the sidewalk and take pictures!” But then I realized that you saw the beauty in something that I have walked over a million times without thinking about it! So thanks for helping me remember that it is pretty awesome to have a Fashion Hall of Fame on streets that I walk on constantly!

    Comment by cmarie12 — February 10, 2007 @ 11:19 am

  8. Nice blog I will recommend you to all my friends. Thank you.

    Comment by Jerrold Albert — March 9, 2007 @ 3:57 pm

  9. This blog is really superb!!! Thank you for you work! Good Luck.

    Comment by Blanche Watkins — March 9, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

  10. Did you see the public voter’s poll on the Fashion Center’s website: You can voice your opinion on this year’s winners for the returning Fashion Walk of Fame

    Comment by helena — March 11, 2008 @ 12:06 pm

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