Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Karl Lagerfeld's not the only who has had Inès de la Fressange walk the runway. Here she wears Patrick Kelly's red, pearl embroidered dress circa 1988.

Toukie Smith was curvaceous and yet she still graced Patrick's Runways... and so did others.

The Collections

"I can't say I wouldn't have made it in New York because I didn't stay to find out."
  ~Patrick Kelly

In the 1980s an American fashion designer from Vicksburg, Mississippi by the name of Patrick Kelly took Paris by storm, becoming the first American member of the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter (the governing body of the prestigious French ready-to-wear industry).

"Super Model" Coco Mitchel Wearing Patrick Kelly

Embellishments, embellishments, embellishments...Kelly remembered much of his Southern upbringing and paid homage to it with many of his designs, which featured large buttons, some completely embroidered in buttons and pearls...but his creative spirit did not stop there.

...He also decorated his dresses with colorful bows, embroidered lips and hearts, and even in one collection he paid a tribute to his African roots by doing an entire collection in Kente cloth. Some wanted to say it was Betty Davis who put him on the map, not so because he had a legion of other well known women who were also fans of his clothes. The America media has been twisting stories for decades which goes to show that this is nothing new.

His clothes were sexy and glamorous and of course without controversy because to some people his logo supposedly reminded them of negative images of Little Black Sambo. Sadly, Patrick Kelly died in 1990 at the height of his career.

Photos: From my own personal collections
of magazines scanned by moi. Those of Toukie Smith,
Patrick Kelly and Ines de la Fressange are from CORBIS.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think your readers will enjoy an Interview with Erin Beatty designer for SUNO clothing.

Take a virtual field trip to New York with Morgana (age 12). Learn about the history of the NY garment district and how a designer takEan idea to finished garment.

MEET ME AT THE CORNER, Virtual FIeld Trips for Kids is a series of free kid-friendly educational video podcasts for children ages 5-13. Each episode comes with a list of recommended books, a list of fun websites and a Learning Corner of questions and extended activities.


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