Sotheby's and CFDA's Thom Browne toast new auction and exhibition


While fashion people delight in collecting clothes, Thom Browne shows that his accumulations extend beyond clothes in a new auction at Sotheby's.

Steven Kolb (left), Thom Browne and Anna Wintour – BFA

'Visions of America', curated by the designer as a museum exhibition, highlights aspects of American craftsmanship ranging from fine arts, furniture, decorative arts, ceramics, books and manuscripts and, of course, fashion.

This last category was highlighted with a special exhibition, 'CFDA: Defining American Style', in which more than 37 American fashion brands and designers participated. Proceeds from fashion sales will go to the CFDA Foundation, which benefits its scholarships and business mentorship programs. The auction was marked by a cocktail party on Thursday attended by popular industry figures such as Anna Wintour, Julia Fox, Evan Mock, AnnaSophia Robb, Richie Shazam, Cory Michael Smith, Jason Wu, Stacey Bendet, Christian Siriano and Mary McFadden, who made a rare appearance, kicked off the 2024 New York Fashion Events as the January reboot was still in force. .

A gallery on the main floor of the auction house displayed the looks of American designers, both active, retired and deceased.

“It was important for the CFDA to celebrate the truly individual American designers that make up the organization. There is so much diversity and creativity in America, and that's what you see in the exhibition,” she told FashionNetwork.com via email after the event. .

“The only criterion was that everyone send something meaningful to them, something they considered worthy of being in one of the best galleries in the world,” he added.

the Norma Kamali dress – BFA

The scene-stealing centerpiece was a red knit Norma Kamali dress with a huge hem and an extended train over a round platform, which was made for the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty in 1986. Although the white bridal look, which lacked a front panel, leaving the midsection and crotch area exposed, worn by Julia Fox, and the floral hoop skirt worn by Richie Shazam, overzealous for a Thursday night sucking homemade cocktail, They threatened to overshadow the looks. show.

These included an everyday utilitarian look by Halston, a sequin dress by Tom Ford, a gold wrap dress by Diane von Furstenberg, a bow dress by Isaac Mizrahi and a dress by Mary McFadden. Also on display were contemporary designs such as a white sequin dress by Khaite, a denim sheath dress by Rick Owens and an eyelet dress by Proenza Schouler.

Kim Kardashian, Margot Robbie, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Anna Wintour, Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman, Paris Hilton, Kendall Jenner, Kate Moss, Erykah Badu, Winnie Harlow and Jessica Chastain were among the names in bold who had worn the styles on sale.

Browne appeared like a proud father among the designs on display, he said in a statement.

“I am very proud to be a distinctly American designer. I appreciate American art for its simplicity and representation of craftsmanship at the highest level. American art comes in many different forms and tells many different stories, allowing me to see my own stories in new ways – to elevate them and challenge the way I think about the world.”

Julia Fox (left) and Richie Shazam – BFA

Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, was equally enthusiastic, saying in a statement: “The CFDA's collaboration with Sotheby's for this unprecedented auction of important American fashion pieces was a natural synergy. The items from the auction are significant pieces of American fashion. history of fashion in their range, craftsmanship and unique stories they tell”.

Designer Jason Wu explained that, in addition to supporting the initiatives of the CFDA and its community, it was an opportunity to highlight the prowess of American fashion.

“Being able to showcase the importance of American fashion that “You can lose it to the big conglomerates around the world and it's good for the community,” she told FashionNetwork.com, highlighting the exposed dress that actress Liu Wen wore in an early issue of Vogue China around 2013.

“I was in China last November; it's interesting to see how important China's role is in American fashion and the opportunity to embrace my Chinese roots. It's also red for Chinese New Year,” she said, adding, “It was great to receive “The freedom to choose what look was essential for us. Growing up in Asia, fashion wasn't a well-regarded career path, so we've come a long way to have my brand and still be here ten years later.”

As guests ascended the stairs, they discovered a gallery transformed into a fabulous New York-style pied-a-terre designed by Corey Damen Jenkins. On this level and the third level, exhibits focused on the other categories mentioned above and more (there was even a bourbon and rye themed auction).

Corey Damen Jenkins – BFA

Notably exclusively American were Western Art & Design of Bar Cross Ranch, Wyoming, Hudson River School in Focus and Native American Art, with nine sales in total to offset the sales, which take place at various times in January. As curatorial director, Browne selected elements from each category, displayed as Thom Browne's Edit. According to the CFDA president, who is an avid collector along with his partner Andrew Bolton, senior curator at the Met's Anna Wintour Costume Center, he and Bolton like things that feel “distinctly American.” The designer added that collecting allows him to tell different stories through different mediums.

She told FashionNetwork.com that it was also a natural and intuitive process. “It was all instinctive. I just chose pieces that I liked and could live with. I wanted to show that collecting should and can be personal,” he said.

Browne also hinted that we might see more of his healing in the future. “Of course, I would always look forward to collaborating again because Sotheby's is the best at what they do,” he added.

Currently, the CFDA Fashion Sale, which started on January 9th. and ends on January 23, has some clear favorites for bestsellers: Alice & Olivia's stunning pink dress is at $3,500 with 13 bids; a 1982 Bob Mackie dress costs $2,200 with 15 bids; and Michael Kors is at $1,300 with 15 bids.

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