September Issue

I always look forward to Diane von Furstenberg’s fashion shows. Before it begins, there is a tremendous air of expectation and excitement at her design studio. Runway shows are about marketing and promotion. They are a media event, a buzz, and to some degree, they are also theatre.

At Lincoln Center where the shows are held this year, there seem to be more people on the outside trying to get in, than there are ticket holders entering the building. People (journalists? Tourists? Fashion students?) have lined the path to the entranceway. Inside in the reception area, more people are milling around, some with glasses of wine. Still others are in lines. You are directed onto one of these lines – the wrong one as it turns out. You are one of the chosen few! You are ushered onto another line for ticket holders.

Now inside the auditorium, I look down toward the front row. I get my bearings from a mane of bright red hair. It belongs to Grace Codington, the creative director of Vogue magazine. She who stole the show of The September Issue, last year’s documentary cult hit, is already seated.  To her right sits Anna Wintour, the editor –in – chief of Vogue, and also star of The September Issue. Andre Leon Tally, one of the fashion industries most influential style setters, takes his place on her left.

Great excitement! Sarah Jessica Parker just arrived, surrounded by paparazzi, flash bulbs popping.

I can see Anderson Cooper. And there are fashion reporter Lynn Yaeger, and Suzie Menkes, fashion editor at the International Herald Tribune.

The lights go down and all eyes turn toward the illuminated entrance of the catwalk.

The models stride out and strut their stuff. The press is in the stands directly opposite the catwalk entrance. All lenses are trained on the models walking toward them before looping around to return to the back stage area.

The clothes are nothing short of fabulous. Diane has pulled off a particularly polished and exciting collection. The prints for which she is famous, are shown off to stunning advantage; in bold dramatic strokes, and combined with the sleek silhouettes of the clothes, they help to make this a truly great collection!

Along with her creative director, Yvan Mispeare, and to much applause, Diane takes a bow. Her granddaughter presents her with a bouquet of flowers, and the three walk off together.

And all too soon, it’s over. Outside, Bill Cunningham, fashion photographer and style hound for the New York Sunday Times, his bike padlocked to a tree, is taking pictures of the departing audience.

As always, the after- dinner party is a lot of fun with its high- concentration of creative energy. Whew! I’m fitting in with my black DVF ruffled blouse and leggings.

Illustration of Diane von Furstenberg ©2010 by Bobby Clennell

Meanwhile, my son Jake Clennell and husband Lindsey Clennell are in Pune. They sent these pictures of B.K.S. Iyengar who was the guest of honor at the annual Pune Ganesh Festival. You can see him here taking part in the puja with the priests. This special ceremony is undertaken to invoke Ganesh’s holy presence into the statue of Ganesh. Mantras are chanted. Offerings of are made of coconut, sweets, rice, flowers and coins. The statue is then paraded through the streets accompanied by devotional singing, drum beats, dancing and much fan-fare. The streets are very crowded, and are filled with boisterous devotees.

Ganesh, the elephant headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is the god of wisdom and prosperity. He is popularly worshipped as the remover of obstacles, though traditionally he also places obstacles in the path of those who need to be checked.

© 2010 Bobby Clennell. Photos © 2010 by Jake Clennell.

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3 Responses to “September Issue”

  1. Debra Says:

    Hello Bobby

    Wonderful newsletter!! I am from the NY Inst. I finished TT and assist Naghmeh on Mondays. I am also very close with Mimi and was staying with her in Pune last month. I met your son because he recognize from the NY Inst. It is fun having him and his camera around, as well as to have his good energy in class!!

    Namaste. Debra

  2. Pranaganesh Says:

    Well said. Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace. Thanks for sharing!

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