|The book cover|
For those of you unfamiliar with Miss Lambert, she was THE New York City publicist for decades - promoting fashion designers, stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf's and Bendel's, and artists and art galleries. She created the Art Dealers of America and Park Bernet Galleries and played an important role in establishing the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She started what we now know as Fashion Week in 1943 at the Plaza Hotel, she started the American Fashion Critics Award, which became the prestigious Coty Awards, she created the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), and her coup de grace, creating the International Best-Dressed List!
One of the fun things I read about was her involvement with Truman Capote's Black and White Ball, the party from which all future parties are judged, in my opinion. She was the one who convinced the tiny terror to make Katherine Graham the guest of honor, instead of himself. She also guided him in making the infamous guest list, while dangling tantalizing stories to the press about who and who wasn't being considered.
The indomitable Miss Lambert, also known as Mrs. Seymour Berkson, also convinced Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor to give her wedding dress to the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute. She had joined with colleagues to form the Costume Institute in 1937 so America could have its own collection of fashion history. Her enthusiasm inspired the creation of the Institute's "Party of the Year" in 1948, which is now the biggest charity event in New York (and on my bucket list of things I want to attend before I die, along with attending a State Dinner at the White House!).
The book is jam-packed of original press releases and the photos which accompanied the releases. I think at one time or another, she represented every major American fashion designer including Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Pauline Trigere, Halston, Geoffrey Beene, Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein and the list goes on and on. The same with artists. She represented Jackson Pollack, Isamu Noguchi, Cecil Beaton, Thomas Hart Benton, Salvador Dali, and so many more.
She lived most of her New York life in a gorgeous apartment at 1060 Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park. The book contains several photographs of different rooms. I loved her bedroom! She, like me, has all sorts of books and magazines stacked up around the room. I do too, much to the chagrin of my husband, who pretty much complains about it all the time. I also have a photograph of her dining room, which hosted many a luminary ranging from Greta Garbo, to Diana and Reed Vreeland, to Claudette Colbert and all of her many clients. Oh, how I long to have been on the guest list for those intriguing and enchanting dinners!
Starting most of her days at the famous Kenneth salon, THE hair salon for high society at the time, everyone on her staff would take turns meeting her there. She was a queen at multi-tasking long before it was fashionable - simultaneously sitting under the dryer, getting a pedicure, and using the salon's telephone, way before the day of the cell phone.
|Her seat at Kenneth's salon|
|The perfect picture of Miss Lambert working at her desk - love the divine fur hat! I have a jacket that is almost identical to the one she is wearing and I wear my pearls with it, too!|
|Her captivating bedroom|