New York’s era of fine fashion is gone

New York’s era of fine fashion is gone

Designers may come, designers may go but who knows when they come back. 550 Seventh, built 1925, 23 floors, was fashion’s holy grail. When we wore stockings with seams — or back when we just wore stockings — that was the shmatta trade’s Versailles.


You’d see Streisands, Lizas, Hillarys. Seven elevators could clang a door shut and whisk its one one-namer up to a fitting. Ralph Lauren had 12 floors. Donna Karan seven floors. Karl Lagerfeld, top floor. In it was Bill Blass, Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Badgley Mischka, Lilly Pulitzer, Carolyne Roehm, Geoffrey Beene, Jill Stuart, Claire McCardell, Adele Simpson, Norman Norell.


Now, not. It’s T-shirts with logos made in Pakistan worn by stars long enough to post naked selfies. Seventh and 39th is emptying. No more limos. Now bicycles. Ralph Lauren’s 5,000-ply cashmeres — gone. His 12 floors — kaput.


One memory: First Lady Imelda Marcos wanted Trigère couture — but wholesale. Octogenarian goddess Pauline Trigère I knew well. She’d lunch in my home, and her menu was gin. So she allowed us to stand in her salon after hours. To try on. To get fitted. In our underwear. Imelda took 10 outfits. Payment, after a reminder, came three weeks later, I delivered it in an envelope.


Seeing dead people


Stars may come and go, but G. Clooney goes on forever. He’ll direct and produce a movie of John Grisham’s book “Calico Joe” about fathers and sons in the world of baseball . . . Next for Joaquin Phoenix is “Kitbag” about Napoleon’s rise to power and his love, Josephine. After completing “Gucci” with Gaga, De Niro and Pacino, Ridley Scott directs. Gaga will play Patrizia Reggiani, ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci who was convicted of orchestrating his murder in 1995. All films about all guys who all passed on. What next? A Mussolini musical?


A biopic about Sammy Davis Jr. is based on daughter Tracey’s book. It’s about his later years, determination to overcome racism, and attempt to rejuice his earlier stardom. Two other Sammy projects are also in the works. Black stars matter.


Dare we look up


No NYC theaters show movies. No Oscars award movies until the end of April. Only Andrew Saffir screening them in the Hamptons does movies. But movie stars film movies. Like Streep, DiCaprio, Chalamet, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence doing Adam McKay’s newie “Don’t Look Up,” about scientists warning a disbelieving world about an asteroid set to strike Earth in six months . . . Plus comes a TV series, “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies,” about the principal characters before their senior year, which is when “Grease” is set. Also taking shape is its prequel “Summer Lovin’.’’


What I’m hearing


Assorted bits: Ewan McGregor once thought he resembled Elvis Presley . . . Travolta’s opinion was terrorist attacks could turn people to Scientology . . . Stallone bought $1,000 worth of boxer shorts in one go at Banana Republic . . . Sean Connery took dancing lessons for 12 years . . . Rachel Weisz spoke only German as a child . . . David Schwimmer debuted in a Jewish version of “Cinderella” playing the fairy godmother . . . And Megan Mullally said: “I won’t get on an airplane unless it’s an absolute necessity.”


Skip Halloween


Covid got trick-or-treating banned in Beverly Hills. Nothing Halloweenish can go on there. No handing goodies, no distributing treats — not through a front door, not off a car — no “trunk-or-treating.” No nothing. Zippo. Not allowed! Banned. No candy. No treats. Come the 31st, not even hookers can get it on in Hollywood.



With nobody to see, no place to go and nothing to do I finally taught Jellybean, my baby Yorky, manners. I just got him paper trained.


Unfortunately, he’s now doing it while I’m still reading it.


Only in New York, kids, only in New York.