At the MET: In America – A Lexicon of Fashion

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Represented are some of the giants of the industry, both the original masters of style paired with those who followed in their footsteps.  The influence of the great Charles James, Norman Norell, Claire McCardell, Mainboucher and Geoffrey Beene are indelible as seen in the offerings by Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Halston, Diane Von Furstenberg, Tom Ford, Carolina Herrera and Ralph Lauren.

Where fashion has evolved since the days of high fashion is now more of a beauty in the eye of the beholder statement.   All are not necessarily “my cup of tea” but definitely this exhibit has something for every level of taste.

Part Two is expected to open in May 2022.  Hopefully, some of the icons missing, Hattie Carnegie, Pauline Trigere, Adele Simpson, Zuckerman and Krauss, Mollie Parnis, Maurice Rentner and his protégé Bill Blass, Donald Brooks, and Victor Costa will be included.

A sneak preview of some of the designs on view, with dozens more to be seen in person.  Photos© Ellen Easton

Sidebar: an absolutely true story, my mother, Reva, through her 1960s research into the oil industry as a stockbroker, knew the company that developed ultra suede.   She was asked to use their fabric to try to make clothes she would feel comfortable wearing.   Reva designed a sand colored trench coatdress, a turquoise mini skirt with a contrast black trimmed vest, and used some of the fabric as appliqué with trim on a tweed maxi skirt and vest. Her wonderful dressmaker, Helen Snead, in White Plains, NY, then made the clothes. (see photos)

In 1970, Reva wore the ultra suede trench coatdress to see Halston. Halston was enthralled with the fabric.  Reva introduced him to her contact.   It was Reva and not as reported in Vogue, that Halston first saw Ultrasuede on Issey Miyake in Paris in 1971”, Need I say more?The rest is fashion history. And no, Halston never gave Reva any credit for his “genius” idea.   And no, my sweet Reva didn’t even care.  Her attitude was he was trying to make a living and glad she could help. But I think it’s time Reva did receive the credit for being the inspiration for the dress that put Halston on a new projectory.

Reva Paul,1970, in her ultra suede designs




  • Ellen Easton

    Ellen Easton, author of Afternoon Tea~Tips, Terms and Traditions(RED WAGON PRESS), an afternoon tea authority, lifestyle and etiquette industry leader, keynote speaker and product spokesperson, is a hospitality, design, and retail consultant whose clients have included the Waldorf=Astoria, the Plaza and Bergdorf Goodman. Easton’s family traces their tea roots to the early 1800s, when ancestors first introduced tea plants from India and China to the Colony of Ceylon, thus building one of the largest and best cultivated teas estates on the island.

3 Responses

  1. Mercedes says:

    This is both fascinating and moving!
    Ellen knows and is part of good taste and gracious history. I love her!!!!
    Congratulate her work ?????

  2. Melissa Nicholas says:

    Love the story! Here here @Halston Please make good and give Reva Paul’s Legacy the credit due. #NeverTooLateToDoWhatIsRight

  3. Stephanie Hasiotis says:

    This is wonderful. Can you give any insight to the Reva handbag line? I came across some beautiful dead stock pieces but don’t know about the company

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