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The New York Times: On the Runway

October 23 2014 – Stephanie Lake

The New York Times: On the Runway
The New York Times: On the Runway
Looks from the Bonnie Cashin exhibit.Credit Zandy Mangold

Bonnie Cashin is still in fashion — not that she ever really went away.

Ms. Cashin, the germinal sportswear designer who died in 2000, might be best remembered for her long association with the accessories company Coach, which still stocks some items from a Legacy line it produced that splashed her sketches on silk scarves and reproduced some of her signature handbags.

But there was far more to her long career, which is being spotlighted at the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show that runs Friday and Saturday at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street, prowled by not just dedicated secondhand Roses but stylists seeking possibilities for awards season and fashion designers looking for inspiration. (Jean Paul Gaultier has been known to amble through.) Many of the 90 vendors will be stocking her wares, which reached the height of their popularity in the 1960s and ’70s, and will display then-innovations like metal turn-lock closures, piping and skirt fastenings resembling dog leashes.

Trying on a vintage look.Credit

David Ornstein, an organizer of the show who with his wife, Maureen McGill, has a 20,000-square-foot warehouse of vintage clothing in Albany, N.Y., from which they supply costumes for movies and TV shows including “Girls” and “The Americans,” sees Cashin’s influence everywhere on runways. “A lot of it is big and bold and colorful,” he said. “She has a lot of architectural interest and a lot of hardware and I think a lot of those things are very current.” And for autumn: “She also leans heavily on the Scottish plaids, and a lot of those are really in.”

There will also be an exhibition of pieces lent by Stephanie Lake (nee Iverson), a Cashin scholar and close friend who helped with an earlier retrospective at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and maintains her personal archive from Minneapolis, where she is herself a jewelry designer. Ms. Lake is working on a book about Cashin, scheduled for fall 2016 publication by Rizzoli, with the working title “Chic is Where You Find It.”

Mr. Ornstein hopes that it will be found in armfuls at the show, on the overflowing tables and armoires of those who love old clothes. His favorite Cashin item on display is a matching coat, hat and bag ensemble. “All leopard spot, which was unusual for her,” he said.

Alas, it is not for sale.