Can I Have This [Square] Dance?

Ah, Memory Lane. . . let’s take a quick walk or a [square] dance down it, shall we? 

I was looking through some of my files the other day trying to find a particular furniture image I had in mind for a client and I came upon these photographs from my former career on Seventh Avenue when I designed and produced my own line of eveningwear for such retailers as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Barneys, Neiman Marcus, etc. 

The top image, shot by Stephen Anderson, is a beautiful one-shouldered evening gown with a black silk velvet bodice, silk satin belt with a round diamante buckle and very, very full black silk chiffon skirt.  The skirt had 40 yards of 60-inch-wide fabric!! It was perfect for dancing, square or otherwise.  Even though I designed the gown, I have always thought it was Stephen who turned it into magic.

I was thrilled when Pamela Fiori, the legendary editor of Town & Country, also chose to put it on the cover of one of her issues.   It was probably the high point in my former career – that, and when I got those first collection orders from Bergdorf’s and Saks. 

The little black Empire-waisted “Jackie” cocktail dress above was made for Bergdorf’s and they ran it in a holiday catalog.  Sold a ton of these cuties.  The sketch was a first-pass inspiration for the black silk velvet one-shouldered dress shown at the bottom, which I did for Neiman Marcus.  Although it’s not shown in the photo, it was available lined in black or an ethereal pale pink silk charmeuse.

I love how Neiman’s photographed the gown against the rustic chic industrial rooftop.  And I’ll never forget seeing the tall and willowy TV star, Deborah Norville, taking a turn in it.  She brought it to life beautifully.  Thanks, Deborah!!

Memory Lane can be a very good place to visit every once in a while, although it’s not always a good idea to live there (unless, of course, you’re living a life of rustic chic).  But I do dream to one day have a dressed-up dance in the barn with everyone in their billowing gowns and handsome tuxes so I can ask all the gals, “Can I have this [square] dance?”

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5 Comments

Filed under Interior Design and Style, Style, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Can I Have This [Square] Dance?

  1. What a Renaissance man you are! Love the dresses, and they still look quite chic today. Classic!

  2. Janis Paris Sides

    Hey Joel,

    Beautiful Barn/home!! You know I grew up on a farm! Love your blog. Thanks for sharing.

    Tina and I want to go to your (square) dance!

    Janis

  3. Thank you for the article. I enjoyed reading it. You have a very well-done website.

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