The Industry: Patrick Kelly 1954-1990

1 Jul

The past couple of weeks has brought a lot of bad energy into the fashion universe- with the Galliano trial and Azzedine Alaia and Giorgio Armani unleashing torrents of unflattering observations about fellow designers and a certain editrix in chief. A long holiday weekend seems like the perfect time to remember a designer who was taken from us far too soon but always made us smile and cemented our love of all things fashionable.  Patrick Kelly was born in the deep south, but made a name for himself in the City of Lights after studying fashion design at Parsons. Besides the amazingly exuberant clothing that he was known for, in particular, the slinky black dresses with the riot of multi-colored buttons, we loved Kelly for his complete lack of pretension in the way he presented both his collections and himself. The Parisian fashion world was equally entranced by Kelly, admitting him to the elite Chambre Syndicale de al Couture, the first American and the first person of color to ever receive this honor. Sadly, Kelly died of AIDS in Paris in 1990, and the void that he left in the industry can still be felt by the fans who loved him and his spirit.

Kelly with Iman, Naomi Campbell and Grace Jones by Roxanne Lowit

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