Perry Ellis: An American Original

by Keren Klein, Fashion Publishing

At the Perry Ellis event...

At the Perry Ellis event…

The Parsons 560 auditorium was transformed, all of a sudden it looked like a real fashion event was in play. Elegant arrangements with white roses on high top tables, waiters in black attire serving perseco and cheese spreads on fancy plates. I was standing amidst legends in the industry– real trail blazers– and even though it was hard for me to place them all and attach names to faces, I knew that the room was full of important individuals.

As a true Parsons student I did spot several popular icons and managed, ever so subtly, to snap pictures of them, gracefully stating that it’s for the school’s social media platforms, but I digress.

The event was a book launching party “Perry Ellis: An American Original” written by Jeffrey Banks, Erica Lennard and Doria de La Chapelle. I know some of you are asking “Who?” and I must confess as did I, so let me clarify. Jeffrey Banks is a Parsons graduate who worked with the legendary Perry Ellis in the late 70’s; the other book contributors are a fashion photographer and a writer. The intro to the book was provided by another famous Parsons alum who also interned for the house of Perry Ellis, non-other than Marc Jacobs himself (though he was absent from the soirée). To me, the book launching party was a great excuse to observe 70 original Perry Ellis garments that were donated for the event.

Kay Unger, another Parsons alum, was particularly nice and said that when needed Perry Ellis would opt for Parsons Grads as his interns above all others, so some words of encouragement were imparted.

In conclusion, I can honestly say that it was a nice experience, topped with a Bill Cunningham photo op and a paparazzo moment where I spot DVF eating peanuts on the bench outside of the auditorium. Not a bad night’s work.