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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Marisa Berenson, Fashion Muse

marisa berenson

In my teens, a friend insisted that I had to see the movie Cabaret.  As we were both dancers, she believed the Bob Fosse choreography was crucial to our dance education.  I was already a film buff, so it was kind of a no brainer.  I also was a big Judy Garland fan and was curious to see her daughter perform.  We rented the video and I watched Cabaret for the first time, transforming me into a fan of the film, Liza Minelli, Michael York and of course Bob Fosse.

But the biggest revelation for me in the film was Marisa Berenson.  I was quite taken with her beauty and her acting, thus sparking in me an interest to find out more about her.  I did my research, discovered her fascinating career as a model and became a life long fan.  Not only was I captivated by her beauty, but a radiance that came across in her photos and films, leaving me wanting more.

Years later as I was at Parsons studying Fashion Design, I finally made the connection that Marisa Berenson was the granddaughter of famed Couturière Elsa Schiaparelli.  I had been in awe of Schiaparelli for years, but somehow I had never made the connection between the two of them.  This of course added another dimension to Marisa Berenson that would keep me enthralled.

When Fashion’s Night Out came upon us this last September and I was flipping through numerous invites, trying to decide where to go, I received an email that set my course.  A PR person I highly respect, Deborah Hughes, invited me to Donna Karan’s Boutique for the launch of Marisa Berenson’s new book,  Needless to say I was ecstatic!  The chance to meet someone I had been so long a fan of was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

I am happy to report that Ms. Berenson is as beautiful, radiant and charming in person as one might imagine that she would be.  Meeting her was the high point of Fashion Week for me and getting a signed copy of her book was a thrill.  The book, Marisa Berenson: A Life in Pictures , sits on the side table next to the big comfy chair in my CA bedroom and I have spent many an evening perusing the gorgeous photos within.

As for Donna Karan, the hostess of the event, she was vibrant full of energy and engaging as always.  I did manage to get a few moments of her precious time, but I am saving it for a video I am working on about her Los Angeles Urban Zen Foundation store.  Stay tuned for when that video will air shortly.

-By Mdivani Monroe, Ladies Who Lunch Travel, Video Photography by Nicholas Waickman

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