Monday night, an intimate group of fashion students, the style savvy and curious industry vets were privy to a master class at Pratt Institute given by legendary editors Anna Wintour and Hamish Bowles.
The evening started with Ms. Wintour’s remembering of iconic fashion photographer Irving Penn. While many people know her as the muse for a certain Prada-wearing Devil character, it was actually touching to hear her get choked up about her friend. Media insiders smirked when she recounted several anecdotes where Mr. Penn took her to task for making Vogue too commercial. The editor also reminisced about his gracious manner and how he dressed formally to walk 5 blocks to work, only to dress down into jeans again at the office.
The dapper Hamish Bowles next led a discussion about other notable contributors that shaped the magazine. He described Mainbocher as a “Truffle hound for talent”. Under his direction came striking images by Horst. Diana Vreeland brought movement and energy along with photographer Richard Avedon. Mr. Bowles presentation led up to contemporary work by Annie Leibowitz, Bruce Weber and Mario Testino.
In the Q&A portion of the event, Anna Wintour was asked what she was doing to help young designers. That particular person was verbally spanked as she replied that the student had not done her homework. She explained that her Vogue/CFDA fashion fund had developed, promoted and financially aided many talents like Alexander Wang and Rodarte.
On the subject of sustainable fashion, Ms. Wintour noted that there was a new style ethics column, and green fashion designers that were helped by the fashion fund as well. She was also supporting an eco-collection by Michael Kors.
On the touchy subject of fashion bloggers, Hamish Bowles and Anna Wintour graciously noted that all coverage of fashion was a good ting. They embraced it, but pointed out that Vogue’s own website had it all and their professional experience made the difference…