Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How About Another Fashion Reunion Party?

For the fifth time in a row, this past month, I attended the annual spring soirée hosted for veterans of the fashion world by top model Nancy Donahue and hairdresser Harry King, at a club in Lower Manhattan.  And at least one blogger documenting models of that period was also invited - that would be me.
It's always a guess as to who shows up when you arrive at one of Nancy and Harry's parties.  In fact, the only guarantee is that Nancy and Harry will be there.  I was hoping for a big surprise, like when Anne Bezamat showed up in 2016.  I got one when I saw the tall and lovely brunette Catherine Roberts walk into the club.  I took this picture of Catherine shortly after she arrived.  (I took every other photo from the party in this blog entry except for two of them.)

The dim lighting in the above photo of Catherine has an effect similar to that in many of her late-seventies Charles of the Ritz cosmetics ads.
Here's Catherine with Geoffrey Beene model Liz Lee.

And here's Catherine with makeup artist/hair stylist and photographer Joseph Boggess.

Gee, you think I have a thing for Catherine?
Yes, and the thing is this.  Catherine Roberts was and remains one of the most beautiful and one of the most astonishing models in the business.  Her lovely face and her classy demeanor have long made her one of the most sought-after models for advertisements for not just fashion and beauty products but for accessories and even beverages.  Sadly, she's better known by sight than by name, as she's done little editorial work and thus rarely gets an identifying credit.  Also, Catherine was one of the first models to discover my blog and befriend me on social media. She is a very sweet and engaging woman, and I greatly appreciate my friendship with her.  And, because she doesn't  live in the New York area, I hadn't seen her in person in four years.  That's why I was so glad to see her and why I am eager to sing her praises here.  
Of course, there were several other models at Nancy and Harry's party, many of whom are my friends as well.  One of them is Bhavaja Kat, who posed with me for this picture.
Bhavaja and I have a shared history in that we both grew up in the same part of New Jersey, though we didn't know each other then.  While she still looks stylish, she now pursues another profession, and that is all I'm going to say about that, because it's none of your business.  
I can say this . . . she knows Beverly Lee, the groundbreaking Asian-American model from the 1970s and 1980s.  They were happy to pose together for me.

Ms. Lee, still the beautiful woman who made me sigh when I was a teenager, was a favorite of the designer Hubert de Givenchy.  She and Kat worked together a lot.
I also got this great picture of model Dawn Gallagher, another dear friend of mine, with some friends of hers that I regrettably (and ironically) cannot identify.

Of course, how could I not get a picture of the always lovely Nancy Donahue, the hostess with the mostest? Nancy was the first top model I ever met in person, I having met her when she was doing a promotional event for her body-buffer product at Bergdorf Goodman in Midtown Manhattan, and she's gotten more beautiful since then.  And she always dresses to impress.  Here she is in a stunning red and green evening dress with Dawn Gallagher and two gentlemen - photographer Hamid Bechiri (in hat) and L.J. Kirby, who used to work at Studio 54.
Ah yes, Studio 54, the disco nightspot popular in the 1970s among the many people who attended this year's fashion reunion party, though I was too young to frequent 54 back in the day - not that I would ever have been let in, as they would have sized me up as a Jethro Tull fan.  Jethro Tull records there were not, obviously, among the records played at this year's spring fashion party, but there were plenty of records from Donna Summer, the Silver Convention, and Gloria Gaynor, and although I prefer the Cars' "Let's Go," which revolves around the lyric "I like the night life, baby," I had to put up with Alicia Bridges singing "I Love the Night Life" instead.  However, I can honestly say that I would rather hear Carol Douglas sing "Doctor's Orders" (which I heard at the party) than hear Carl Douglas sing "Kung Fu Fighting" (which I didn't).  But some classic rock did make its way into the soundtrack - the Beatles ("I Saw Her Standing There," appropriate for a setting with so many beautiful women), the Rolling Stones ("[I Can't Get No] Satisfaction"), and Sly and the Family Stone ("Dance To the Music," of course).  
And Nancy can dance to all of it. :-)
She sure can cut a rug . . . or could have if there had been a rug on the floor.
Yours truly got in the picture more than once, such as in this photo of me with model Asia Dyrkacz, taken by my pal Fred DeVito . . .
. . . and in this selfie.  Recognize the lovely lady in the background? ;-)
It was another night to remember fondly, made sweeter by Catherine Roberts' surprise appearance. As someone I've known longer than anyone else at the festivities - even Nancy - she obviously holds a special place in my life, and, well, I'll leave it at that.  To those who still ask me how iconic and how distinguished she is as a model, well, I need only show you one of her Charles of the Ritz ads from the late 1970s.
One picture is worth a thousand words. :-) 

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