15 July 2013

fashion Foward: Perry Ellis


this fall-finally-comes the book that celebrates the genius of designer Perry Ellis & his contribution to today's street fashion-to the runway-and to what it is that defines classic American style. Perry Ellis freed that style- with a slouchy sleeved tweed jacket, a sweater that touched to the ankle, becoming a dress.

Knee socks with heels? That's Perry Ellis.

Shorty short rompers- sun suits- in Liberty of Londonesque prints? again Perry Ellis.

I think of Perry Ellis' clothes as having an unwritten motto in its label saying-"Loosen Up." It's not a bad idea to consider today. Think about the overtly tight-the binding clothes women wear. Now, think about the flapper. Ellis' woman presented that kind of freshness. His clothes are an amalgamation of the best in Classic style -and remember it was the Eighties, with completely over the top ruffles, flourishes-really awful!

Now it's thirty years later- I still have a camel alpaca winter coat from Perry Ellis (a lot like the one he is wearing below) I wear and love, though the winters in the South have changed drastically-I rarely need a full length coat-or even a coat for that matter. I loved his clothes then-and looking through some images floating around pinterest of his work-makes me fall in love with them all over again. You will too- I can't wait for this book- PERRY ELLIS.

Look for this book in the fall- and as a prelude consider reading Johnathan Moor's biography about Perry.


  1. I love, love love this article about Perry Ellis!!
    I have a story about him; up close and personal! And here it is!

    I hesitated for about 30 seconds......to tell this story! Then I got over it!
    It is actually about "Perry Ellis"; the person! It is a bit circuitous ; bear with me.......if you want to!!

    YEARS AGO!! (1982!!) I was selected (because a lady who worked for I. Magnin for 40 years or so) recommended me.
    I Magnin was asked to select two women. One from Northern California; one from Southern California....(LOTS OF STORES!!)(each store nominated someone!)
    A wonderful lady who had been at the Pasadena store from the time I was buying stockings with my mother for "cotillion"; to my buying my daughters's "Florence Eisman's children's clothes. She was my "fan"! The sweetest lady. (She thought I was "chic"!) I adored her!

    So......I was in I. Magnins..(no cell phones no internet.....) and someone said....."OH! IT'S YOU! MRS. BIANCHI!! CAN YOU SPEAK TO THE MANAGER??"

    Yikes! (what have I done now??) springs to mind!

    I went to meet with the manager......a lovely woman.....and she just "got to know me"! I had no idea what was going on. None. Lots of questions!!

    After 15 minutes or so.....she drops a "bomb"!!

    she says......"Vogue magazine is hosting a "seminar"; for some women from all over the country; they will go to New York as Vogue's guests; be interviewed by Vogue....by day; and entertained by Vogue at night!!

    All expenses paid by Vogue! Ms. Beenken suggested you; and that is the reason you are in my office. I must admit, I was a bit skeptical when Ms. Beenken said........"I KNOW THE ONE!!!"; however; she is right....I will put you forth as my nominee for "Southern California"! YIKES!!!

    (I was thrilled to even be considered! I was 35!!!)

    Also; (there were several other locations..Beverly Hills, and a few others; I didn't keep my hopes up!)

    Well; I was picked!! Lord have Mercy! Flown first class to NYC...limousines to and fro!!! The biggest suite you have ever seen at the "Helmsley Palace".......and the most amazing five days I have ever spent in my entire life! As Vogue's guest!! ( I could have flown home without a plane!)

    I won't go on.........(and I could for days!!) but......I went to a dinner party at La Cirque!!! Perry Ellis was my dinner partner! We talked clothes!!

    He was so darling! HE WAS INTERESTED in what I wanted in fashion!

    We had the best time! He was adorable! He was enthusiastic; so, so curious about what I liked; and didn't....what worked and didn't......it was thrilling beyond!
    and your pictures made me choke up! He was the most adorable, warm and darling man EVER!!'

    We lost so many talented people in fashion and in decorating (my biz) and then.........when I thought it would never stop.......those medications stopped the carnage.

    I will be forever grateful for the "pharmaceutical industry "
    Now it is a different world.

    Thank you for these adorable pics of this adorable , funny, warm and talented man!

    thanks to Vogue......I was able to spend an evening with him! He was a "darling"!!

    As funny and cute as your photgraphs show!

    Lucky readers! You get to see that "fun"! It is in short supply these days!

    Here is to more FUN!!!


  2. When I met him.....he looked EXACTLY like the picture with the doggie! warm, darling, and delightful!

    I am so happy a book is coming!


    1. Penelope, I LOVE this story. I can just imagine what an exciting event that was! and I can see how you were picked indeed! I have no doubt whatsoever that Perry was a perfect dinner partner. Such good looks too-and of course a Virginian to the core-grew up there, attended William and Mary College- worked in Richmond. His clothes have stood the times. I am so happy you shared your Perry Story. pgt

    2. Thank you so much! That came straight from my heart!

      I am so delighted that you did such a wonderful post about him! We lost him way too young! His influence is still alive!! Do you agree???

  3. the only vintage shoes i will not part with ever are a perry ellis pair of ballerina flats with pom-poms made in some extraordinary material in spring grass green.
    how has it taken so long to honour this man one wonders.

    1. refuse all offers! There isn't enough money in the world! You just wear those ballerina flats.....and dance, dance, dance! He is "watching" you!
      He was a darling, darling, man!


    2. B- I think we are alike in that Perry Ellis thing. I don't have lots from THAT era I saved-and what I did it is never going away, guess that's a good thing. I agree about the wait to have such a book as this one. I know the photography is suppose to be out of this world. it should be a good one.

  4. I always adored Perry Ellis - some of the best American Sportswear ever made. Love Penelope's story and Beth's too!

    1. B- I agree. looking in on some of his work,it is perfect for today. I predict a resurgence of his work and style this fall with the release of this book. pgt



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