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The Encyclopedia of Superlatives


By Amy Larocca

In 1944, fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert got word that Paris’s Fashion Week had been canceled, and New York’s was born. There have been a slew of memorable shows since, but a few that people never stopped talking about:

1984: Ralph Lauren “Safari.” He’d taught us to love prep and then took us around the world with a desert-inspired collection that looks as if it could have been designed last week.

1985: Donna Karan debuts “Seven Easy Pieces,” a wardrobe for modern women that was less about imitating men than it was about flattering women.

1992: Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis “Grunge” collection. The show led to the immediate firing of Jacobs, but it is still regularly invoked as spectacular, mostly for the way Jacobs mashed up the boundaries of high fashion and street fashion.

1997: Calvin Klein does minimalism, and he does it on Kate Moss.

1999: Alexander McQueen shows in New York: hurricane conditions outside, a flooded runway inside, and models stomping through the puddles in many-inched stiletto heels. That McQueen wanted to show in New York was the ultimate endorsement for the city.

2000: Miguel Adrover’s “Midtown” collection. The unknown son of a Majorcan almond farmer popped up with a collection that stabbed right at the heart of the Zeitgeist, mocking the moment’s dual obsessions with luxury and “vintage”: a Burberry coat inside-out and backward; chopped-up Louis Vuitton handbags; and a dress made from the discarded mattress cover of Adrover’s recently deceased neighbor, Quentin Crisp.

Andy Kaufman and friend at Carnegie Hall, 1979.  

By Reggie Watts
Most stand-ups come at comedy almost as a sporting event: Here’s my set list. How do I remember my set list? How was the comic before me? Andy Kaufman had a more artistic take. He wasn’t afraid to go into an awkward place, or one where people became resentful or frustrated or angry. He played around with those elements. That’s what he thought was best for the audience—he was their caretaker; they were his playmates. That Carnegie Hall performance where he had buses waiting to take everyone to get milk and cookies? Only someone who really cared about his audience would do that.

Reported by Eric Benson, Thayer McClanahan, Raha Naddaf, and William Van Meter.


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