Sunday, August 8, 2010

There's Always A Back Story: Giorgio St Angelo and Then



Maybe you really can find anything on facebook, even memories. Eva Voorhees created her website (link here) SUPERmodel Icons as well as a Facebook page for Supermodels of the 70s and 80's (link here) to show selected Vogue and Bazaar covers along with some of the editorials in the issue. It's an amazing resource going back to rare issues and including current issues. The models, stylists, photographers, make-up artists and magazine editor are all identified.

Eva keeps it very exciting, sort of cliff hanger and what's next; her selection is not linear. A day ago she posted this British Vogue from 1990 showing some of the supermodels of the '90's. Naomi and Linda's radiant smiles lit up life as well pages. The days of not getting out of bed for less than 10,000.00. But there's another story here that touches on that time in my own life, about divorce and fashion.

My divorce from Charles seemed complicated, and sometimes endless. We'd closed the shop across the street from Mr. Chow and for a while there was only the Alaia boutique on Rodeo Drive. It wasn't enough and the Sunset Plaza location seemed perfect. It was during the year of building his store that we stopped fussing and quietly our lives together ended. There was a new generation of designers, just starting as once Armani, Versace, Ferre, Montana, Gaultier and so many had - very indie and exciting. He opened with Alaia, Helmut Lang, Maud Frizon, Isaia, Margiela: very, very The Moment and strong.

I knew I wanted my own shop; no doubts at all. Marion Wagner was closing her Sunset Plaza shop and it was perfect; even room for a rose garden and next door to Le Dome. I loved that sort of irony, that no one ever promised you a rose garden and now I could do my own. My only hesitation was that Charles would be across the street. It was a wide street and really what I wanted to do would be so different, not minimal as he was doing. I was shocked that the management company didn't want another Gallay and couldn't accept that. I went to Paris without a store, without a lease to buy, living on hope and espresso. When I came back, orders in hand and needing to be immediately sent off to Galliano, Dolce & Gabbana, Ozbek, Chantal Thomass, Eric Beamon, Manolo Blahnik, Giorgio St. Angelo and so many accessory houses, there was an agreement. They would give me a lease if I could have my shop open within three months. Well, of course I could.

The store would have my name: the signage went up opening night. The next morning was time to be in business, do displays and fling open the doors. There was a hand addressed envelope from Charles saying that he would go to court to stop me from using my name. It took a few days before he made an offer ... if I would buy Giorgio for his store he wouldn't pursue the lawsuit.

I called Giorgio and maybe he was already sick then. He didn't agree right away, not liking this situation at all. Nor did I but after more than a year of lawyers and papers during our divorce, I wanted peace. Giorgio agreed and so the beautiful chiffons, just like in these photos, were across the street.

5 comments:

  1. Madeleine... such a beautiful story. I admire your strength and passion. Really inspiring :_)

    xoxo
    Stacy

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  2. What you're doing is inspiring ... you do what it takes and that is a good thing.

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  3. I love how u can tie in fashion with personal. I feel like we just sat for tea.

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