News & Runway

One Minute With … Designer Elie Tahari

Image: Getty

Image: Getty

As of late, the fashion world has taken quite a shine to featuring women of a certain age in its advertising. Joan Didion fronts Celine’s spring campaign. Last year, Jessica Lange was named the face of Marc Jacobs’ beauty campaign. And yesterday, Elie Tahari included legendary Carmen Dell’Orefice in his Fall 2015 cast. On a turning stage decorated to look like a forest, she sat as stately and fierce as ever among a crop of young girls, her white hair fluffing out from her head like a kind of gorgeous headpiece. Through the show, spectators truly got a treat, seeing the model in action. For the younger models, it was a lesson in posing. The 83-year-old pro hit mark after mark, at some points stretching out her legs, kicking them up higher than we’ve seen women a quarter of her age do.

Carmen’s presence was just an added treat to the collection. Tailored jackets lined with shearling and fur served up a luxe coziness. Textured separates were given a touch of toughness with zippers and fringe. Overall, it was a strong showing from the designer, who stopped to chat with us before the presentation.

theFashionSpot: So, what is the inspiration behind this collection?

Elie Tahari: Emerald City and the urban forest. In New York, I would describe it more as an urban jungle. These clothes are what you need to defend yourself in this climate of New York City.

tFS: We see you cast Carmen Dell’Orefice for the collection!

ET: I love her. She’s [almost] 84 years old!

tFS: And she’s killing it!

ET: She is amazing. The young girls are here getting tired, but Carmen — she has a lot of energy. 

tFS: What would you say is your favorite piece?

ET: Oh, it’s so hard to decide, I have so many favorite pieces. I love every one, but that neoprene evening dress is special. It cuts raw and it’s white on the inside, it’s so beautiful. It stretches, that’s why you can see all the curves [of the woman’s body].

tFS: What was the hardest part about putting this all together?

ET: That’s a tough question, but I think having patience. A lot was going on as we were designing for the show, it was Christmas vacation in between and we came back and the weather was bad. 

tFS: What are your post-Fashion Week plans?

ET: I’m going to Disney World! No, I’m going to the showroom and help the sales department sell. We are in market.

tFS: So…more work!

ET: Always more!

tFS: Fashion doesn’t stop, as they say.

ET: Never! You have to have a passion for fashion, which means compassion.

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