A week or so ago I received a phone call from my dear friend Koos van den Akker. I interned for him when I was a senior in college at The Fashion Institute of Technology and then worked for him after I graduated. Koos and I have remained great friends over the years, so last week when I received a phone call from him asking if I could try a few things on for him I arrived at his studio as soon as I could. Koos is working on his Spring collection right now inspired by African textiles, the new movie Fantastic Mr. Fox and his usual flare of his own creative genius.
In the studio I spotted a bright blue vinyl garment hanging from the rack of clothes, and asked what it was. Koos said it was something that didn’t work out. I tried it on and quickly protested that there was a great deal of potential here. I also mentioned there was an event the following week and this would be something really fun to wear. Koos offered to finish the coat for me, but I might not get a lining, and I didn’t care. A blue raincoat would come in handy some of the globally warm January days.
Yesterday, I went to go pick up the coat on the way to the Rowena Reed Kostellow Award Ceremony at Knoll. It was fully lined in fabric from his new collection, as seen above the the third photo. He has taken special care to the cuff area for extra comfort when wearing. He also started a yellow silk/linen version of the blue vinyl coat which was just as stunning as the blue one. In the viedo link I’m wearing the yellow coat and his current intern is wearing the blue one.
With the blue coat on, I shoved my big puffy olive coat in a sleek black plastic bag and was off to coat check for a little bit. I met a few people as they entered into the event, and everyone loved my new blue coat. I was happy to see Ruth Shuman of Public Color who is very familiar with Koos’ work. One of my greatest joys in life is when the people who I know and love from different areas of my life have a cross-pollination of interests and knowledge. Their connection is one of them. I only know Ruth through others at Pratt, and I know Koos through others at The Fashion Institute of Technology. I have also virtually sold the jacket off my back to a professor at Pratt, Karen Stone I do hope she get s coat like mine!
I was released from coat-check duties just in time to hear Tom Patti receive his award. A friend took the first photo above- strategically placed by Breuer’s chair for Kandinsky. It was a fun evening to realize the great community where I am in school. So many Pratt graduates have moved on and are working in great places as well as establishing names for themselves at designer.
After all the coat checking and schmoozing I was in dire need of something to eat. Vanessa Marie Robinson and I called up Lys in the west village and asked if we could come over. We chatted over chamomile and lavender tea and lite bites we got on the way. Lys took the last photo of the evening, above of me on her couch with Wally, the most lovable little cat I’ve ever met. The amazing Vivienne Westwood shoes missing in this photo are from Alter in Greenpoint- now of sale!
The trip home was extremely cold. I piled on my olive puffy coat on top of the new blue vinyl one, not terribly chic, but warm and wind proof, and at that point it really didn’t matter. The evening was a sucess and the trains were on my side and I was home quickly.