Friday, September 14, 2012

The connection between art and fashion

I attended the Art of Fashion event at Neiman Marcus last night and it was so much fun I think I Tweeted more from that one party than I did during the whole DNC.

Just walking into Neiman Marcus is uplifting for me. The displays, the merchandise the sales people - they're all quality and are presented in such a creative and beautiful way that you can't help but feel happy and inspired.

Add in the party atmosphere and outrageously chic guests and I'm in style heaven.

When I walked into the event through the Men's department, I saw such a commotion over in the accessories area that I thought maybe a famous menswear designer was making a personal appearance. But it was even better: JJ's Red Hots, the new gourmet hot dog joint on East Boulevard, was serving up their delicious dogs. They could not put them out quick enough to stem the rush of well-manicured and bejeweled hands politely waiting to pluck them from the trays.

Then it dawned on me that the music I was hearing in the background must be from a band playing nearby. A really good band performing classic rock and blues. I couldn't wait to track them down. I was so surprised when I saw it was one guy, Owen Poteat, known as the One-Man Band. Owen, you rock.

I breezed through the makeup department where almost every chair was full of guests getting makeovers and trying out cherry lip colors, which the experts say is a big trend this season.

Upstairs, more stylish men and women drank wine and champagne while nibbling hors d'oeuvres from Delectables by Holly. I stopped to talk to Erica Hanks of QC Exclusive magazine, one of my favorite style experts. She was on her way back to her style pop-up store where she curated and displayed top trends for guests to try.

The runway show was about to start so guests who had paid a $50 donation to the Mint Museum of Art were already in their seats. Before the models came out, Jay Everett of Wells Fargo shared his meaningful thoughts about the connection between art and fashion. We all need to be reminded of that because there's a tendency among some to think of fashion as frivolous, but it's an important outlet for self-expression and creativity. And a well-designed piece of clothing is equal to a work of art.

Neiman Marcus manager Kristine Ottens Matthews singled out super chic arts patron Dana Davis. Then the incredible clothes were shown off as the models strutted down the runway. Afterward, Kristine reminded me that more than 100 original works of art are displayed throughout the store, another beautiful example of how art and fashion go hand in hand.

This is nothing new for Neiman Marcus - they've promoted this philosophy for more than two decades with their annual Art of Fashion campaigns combining top fashion designers, photographers and artists to create a cutting-edge "book" of the best of Fall fashion. It's just nice to see the message hitting home with so many now.


Anonymous said...

Olivia - This is wonderful, thanks for writing this. As the owner of Three Little Birds, a stationery store in Southend, we often see how both art and fashion influence what we do. From wedding invitations we create here, to the design in your homes, offices cars and even men, yes, in your sports teams uniforms and stadiums/arena, so many aspects of our life are influenced by art and fashion in a "chicken/egg who came first" kind of way. Without art or fashion, the world would be a bland kind of place. Even if you don't have thousand to spend on either, admire and buy what you can and do so often. The dollars you spend on art and fashion support numerous industries. Think about it this way, each fashion house has designers, but also accountants, lawyers, mail clerks and janitors and all of these people buy groceries, gas, eat in restaurants, go to the movies; you get my drift.
So, shop with pride and if you can't buy art, visit your local museums often!
Kristen Stewart, owner Three Little Birds Stationery & Gifts