There’s no arguing that Geoffrey Beene is one of the greatest and most influential American fashion designers of all times. In his heyday, his clients included everyone from Lady Bird Johnson and Nancy Reagan, to Faye Dunaway and Glenn Close. Kay Unger, Alber Elbaz and Doo Ri Chung all worked under him before branching out via their own successful creative director roles. Since the designer’s death in 2004, the Council of Fashion Designers of America created the annual Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement award (which most recently went to Anna Sui) and one of his devoted former clients, Patsy Tarr, published a book (along with the art director of Tarr’s dance magazine 2wice Abbott Miller), entitled “Geoffrey Beene: A Design Tribute.” Tarr is continuing to honor the designer’s legacy by putting a number of her Beene pieces on display for an exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum.
Called makes “Geoffrey Beene: Trapeze,” the exhibit will run through March 7th. Tarr Dennita Sewell, the museum’s curator of fashion design said that she sees this particular exhibit as very different from any previous ones as the viewers are “not just looking at Beene and his work, but looking at it through the eyes of a dedicated wearer.” Tarr adds — “I didn’t buy the clothes to have a collection. I bought clothes to wear.”
Thirty-seven pieces from predominately the late Eighties and Nineties are featured in the exhibit. Here’s to hoping this will be a traveling exhibit that will find its way to NYC!