How the World Has Changed: It Is Now One. How the Fashion World Has Changed: It, Too, Is Now One.
April 4, 2012 Posted by admin
Today with the Internet, everything is known. If Paris has a new coral jean, it is already available in Bloomingdales, already worn by the fashion buyers on the streets of New York. In the following weeks, it will be available in Target; even in the children’s department, there will be coral jeans. There is now World Wide Fashion — forget copyright laws and exclusivity. World Wide Fashion is the new real democracy. I decided to join the world.
I will be the first French couturier to sell dresses on HSN!
My beautifully cut dress patterns that only were used in custom couture clothing will now be available for every woman. My first appearance on HSN will be in the evening of April 25 at 11 p.m. EST, and again at 2 a.m., when the HSN pros all shop.
Among the designs for sale are Elizabeth Taylor’s caftans, including a short version of the navy chiffon gown that in the recent Christie’s auction sold for $8,700, but now it will be available to all, in solids and a brightly colored French bubble print of grass green and turquoise.
Also for sale on HSN TV will be the caftan of her daughter Liza, inspired by a hippie scarf skirt Liza found at 16 at the Antiquarius Market on the Kings Road in London. I have been selling the “Liza caftan” since it first appeared in Henri Bendel’s in 1971, in beautiful kashmir prints and pastel ombré chiffons. The first clients were Diana Ross and Barbra Streisand. Then, it was sold for $450; now, in 2012, it will cost about $150 in the identical lime green, purple and pink kashmir print. Ladies can wear “the Liza ” serving summer dinners on their back deck, or at spring proms or beach weddings — unlike Elizabeth, who only wore it lying around hotel suites eating room service on silver trays.
I just had the delight of being invited to meet Retailer of the Year the amazing CEO of HSN, Mindy Grossman, at the March of Dimes Beauty Ball in New York. Mindy was the guest of honor at the Beauty Ball. I sat at Mindy’s table next to the beautiful blond hostess of the evening, Deborah Norville (from Georgia, she confessed, as I mentioned that I live in Paris and nearby Alabama).
At our table were the other HSN Celebrity Fashion Designers, Iman and Tommy Hilfiger. We dined in the ballroom of Cipriani’s and Le Toute New York in the beauty world was there in splendor… Beauty sells… As the Vicky Tiel fragrances in my sculpted goddess bottles have been selling for 22 years.
Mindy spoke on stage about the work accomplished for children today by the March of Dimes and then she sat next to me and handed me two old photos. I had made her wedding dress and later the dress she wore for the bat mitzvah her daughter. I had touched her life in a major way and now she was touching mine. After 48 years, Mindy would bring my Paris creations to all the ladies in America. Our collaboration was meant to be.
For decades I have been asked to manufacture less expensive clothing in China. Once, more than a decade ago, the still-dashing Oleg Cassini (at 85), asked me to discuss making clothes with his company, Hero Industries, and we met at the St Regis bar in New York. I turned down both his professional and personal demands after drinks, mentioning the Hero production quality was not up to my standards, and that I had a younger husband and would not consider breaking my marriage vows. Oleg was not used to being turned down.
I continued to produce only couture and my handmade clothes have now been exclusive in Bergdorf and Neiman Marcus for more than 20 years. It was hard to imagine any change… however…
I found the dream company in the New York-based G111, owned by my couture dress clients, Arlene and Morris Goldfarb (as I also did their daughters wedding gown). Their manufacturing quality today is superb… for us Frenchies. They produce Calvin Klein dresses and in the past few years having built a several-hundred-million dollar dress house, bringing Calvin’s cool to the working woman.
Now they will have the Queen of the Bustiers (as People magazine called me), the queen of seduction. I learned the art of seduction from my glamorous stars and the powerful women I’ve had the honor to dress. How to seduce through clothing! I wrote a book about it that I will also sell on the HSN show. Now I will teach every woman my power secrets… so ladies give yourself a reward and tune in!
Vicky Tiel began designing clothes 40 years ago in Paris and still owns a boutique there. Her couture dresses are available in Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, and her perfumes are carried in Perfumania. Her memoir, It’s All About the Dress: What I Learned in 40 Years About Men, Women, Sex, and Fashion was published by St. Martin’s Press in August 2011.