Friday, September 30, 2016

Pictures From an Exhibition - The Laundress

As I type this, Hurricane Matthew is going full tilt boogie in the Caribbean Sea and it still has a chance of literally hitting me where I live, and I'm trying - with only a modicum of success - to get my mind off it.  So I thought that writing about a reception I attended earlier this month - at which I had one of the greatest moments of my life (I'll explain in a moment) - would help do that.
Stan Wan is a fashion photographer I met through my association with the many beautiful models I have connected with, and I consider him a friend.  So I was really pleased when he invited me to a reception for his exhibit of fashion photographs at, of all places, a boutique laundry-supply store.  The store, called The Laundress, is on Prince Street, just below Houston Street, in Lower  Manhattan, and though it was an odd place for a photography exhibit - imagine, conversely, buying laundry detergent at a museum - I still had a great time looking at Stan's fashion photos from Europe in the 1980s, which are very impressive.  His photos, many of which were taken in Paris, included photos of a short-haired model named Jennifer Linley Taylor,  a young Paulina Porizkova, and a somewhat more obscure model from the 1980s named Martha Longley, whom I recognized on sight.  Stan was surprised that I remembered her or even knew her name.  It's easy to remember a woman from the eighties named Martha, because back then there weren't too many women with that name. :-D  
As much fun as I had looking at Stan's photos, though, I had an equally fun time mingling with the other guests, including several of my friends from the modeling profession, who were there in full force - along with one model among my Facebook friends that I met in person for the first time. 
And here she is with me! :-D
Yes, that is the one and only Kim Alexis, the multifaceted fashion and beauty model who was the fancy of teenage boys all across America in the early 1980s - including me.  I had missed the chance to meet her before at one of Nancy Donahue's and Harry King's parties when Facebook lost my invitation to that particular soirĂ©e, but this time proved to be the charm.  When I got there, I saw Nancy Donahue outside the store and gave her a hug, and as I was looking over her shoulder, I noticed this drop-dead-gorgeous blonde woman standing behind her, and my first thought was, "Oh, my God . . . that's Kim Alexis!"  :-D
Anyway, Kim Alexis, in addition to still being gorgeous, is a very sweet and engaging woman, and I had the opportunity to talk to her - as in a real conversation - and I told her about my writing career, while she told me about how she'd just moved after having lived out west for awhile.  She now lives in Manhattan; I imagine I'll be seeing her again, particularly at one of Nancy and Harry's parties.
I think Stan himself took this photo of us, though Nancy definitely took this photo of Kim and me with Stan. :-)
And Nancy and Kim, who modeled together a lot together in the early eighties, haven't lost their ability to make hearts melt, as evidenced below. :-)  (Disclaimer: I did not take this picture.)
I also saw Alva Chinn, who remains a dear friend as always, at the exhibit, and our mutual friend Fred DeVito got this picture of the two of us together, below. Thanks, Fred! :-)  I always enjoy posing with her.
And here I am, below. with both Kim and Alva, along with Barbara Camp, an interior designer who's also designed sets for fashion shoots, I'm led to understand.   The person who took this pic caught Fred taking a picture of the same scene! :-D 
I also met another veteran model whom I'm friends with, Yasmine Guenancia, whose husband co-owns Cafe Un Deux Trois at 123 (get it?) West 44th Street, but I didn't get my picture taken with her.  But it was great seeing her, as she's always been very sweet to me. :-) 
So yes, it was a great night, and it was a wonderful experience.  Wonderful experiences are hard for me to come by these days, so I'm glad I went.  And if you hurry, you can see Stan's photos at The Laundress, at 199 Prince Street in New York, if you live in the Tri-State area.  :-) 

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