On August 30, 2016, The Fashion Group International of Dallas (FGI Of Dallas) hosted “An Evening with Marylou Luther” at Gallerie Noir. Marylou graciously shared her “Top Ten Fashion Moments” with an audience of fashion professionals, journalists, designers and influencers. Although some Dallas tastemakers were still out of town, the event was well attended with the presence of fashion royalties like Jan Strimple, Ken Weber of Vintage Martini, designers Melissa Rountree of Level3Active, Allison Mitchell, Britt Harless of BAHZ, Jennifer de Socarraz-Fleming of Pearls+Talons, Lilit Matevosyan, Wendi McGowan of Wendistry, fashion influencers like Rhonda Sargent Chambers, Rosanne Hart at The Hart Agency, Carinthia Kishaba at Couture Rocks Fine Jewelry, Amy Harper, VP of Dallas Market Center, professors Dr. Marilyn Sullivan from El Centro College’s Fashion Program and Dr. Sally Fortenberry from Texas Christian University, just to name a few here. History has made itself that night as Marylou unfolded her career highlights from its transcript that was prepared in advance and securely kept in a Chanel Airline folder. Yep, it is a Chanel Airline folder!
I had the privilege to meet with Marylou Luther for lunch hosted by Chuck Steelman, Regional Director of FGI of Dallas, at the famed The Zodiac inside the Neiman Marcus‘ on Main. It was The Zodiac you know, upon my arrival, Marylou asked if I were an Earth sign. Yes, I am and I share the same birthday with the newly appointed Calvin Klein Creative Director Raf Simons. The conversation continues into discussions of Thom Browne, Tom Ford, Paul Smith, Caroline Herrera, Pascal Millet, Derek Lam, Philip Lim, Prabal Gurung, Stan Herman, Thakoon, Norma Kamali, Alber Elbaz, Peter Coping, Oscar De la Renta, Delpozo, Joseph Altuzzara to Hood by Air. “You must read the latest article by Christopher Glazek on Hood by Air for The New Yorker. Also keep an eye on this new talent Claudia Li, she used to be at J.W. Anderson,” Marylou mentioned a couple of emerging designers while sipping a glass of Chardonnay with her grilled salmon salad.
Wait a minute… if you failed to catch up from here, you should not be at the table with our legendary, and, the Original Fashion Editor of the fashion world.
Marylou Luther started her journalistic career in 1951 at the Lincoln Journal in Lincoln, Nebraska. She mentioned to me “I began my FASHION career in 1953 at The Des Moines Register.” In 1958, she was one of the eye witnesses to Yves Saint Laurent‘s debut collection for the House of Christian Dior. She was there watching the young Saint Laurent made history.
The evening began with a reception at Gallerie Noir. Marylou was in her Joanna Mastroianni jacket and pants by Yeohlee accessorized with a chic black Louis Vuitton tote. The guest of honor shared with us her many fashion moments that would kept our jaws dropped the entire evening. She had dinner with Sonia Rykiel and Kenzo Takada in Paris. I was star-struck that Marylou forged a longtime friendship with Rykiel and the late designer was the one who presented the Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres to our legendary fashion writer in 2008. When she mentioned her friend, Sonia, she tried to hold back her tears.
Marylou brought us back to meet with fashion designers who made history by defying and re-defining the rules of fashion, they reshaped the world every decade and onward. From Edith Head, Stan Herman, Hubert de Givenchy, Halston, Rudi Gernreich, André Courrèges, Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Lacroix to Gianni Versace, we were educated and entertained by Marylou’s Top Ten Fashion Moments. Then there was Coco Chanel herself who descended from her famous staircase at 31 Rue Cambon for an interview with our legendary fashion writer.
Marylou asked Hubert de Givenchy to come to Dallas upon the request of then Apparel Mart President Kim Dawson, and Givenchy arrived. She asked Gianni Versace to come to Dallas, and there Gianni arrived. She started her career when few women had careers other than being homemakers. Rosanne Hart at The Hart Agency said: “We all wanted to write like Marylou Luther. She invented the writing style for fashion journalists.”
Marylou received a standing ovation that evening. That moment itself was one of the Top Ten Fashion Moments for many of us.