This past Friday, Fashion’s Night Out (a.k.a. FNO) took over New York City, where the garment business is the second-biggest industry after finance. A thousand stores stayed open late across fiveboroughs. Payless provided free transportation to key shopping destinationson double-decker buses, plus photo opportunities with its star designers, Patricia Field, Lela Rose, Christian Siriano, and Isabel Toledo. And all over the city, hotels offered FNO packages to lure out-of-towners to sit, stay, and shop.
Dogs being creatures of timeless style, they managed to make cameo appearances at two swanky stores – and that’s not counting the numerous micro-dogs who accompanied their intrepid owners, toted along in designer carriers.
Downtown, on Seventh Avenue South – the further-North part of Seventh, in the heart of the famed garment district,is known as “Fashion Avenue” –the fabulous flagship store of designer John Bartlett is branded inside and out with the image of Bartlett’s dog, a mixed-breed named Tiny Tim.
This handsome mutt has quite a life story thus far: He landed atNorth Shore Animal League America,our country’s largest no-kill shelter, shortly before Christmas Eveeight years ago. After hisright foreleg was amputated, he was aptly named after the sweet little boy in the Charles Dickens classicA Christmas Carol.
From those humble beginnings, K9 Tiny Tim steadily rose to fame as theimagerepresenting Bartlett’s signature collection of handsome, tailored-yet-hipthreads and accessories. “Tim is my true icon,” Bartlett explains, so the dog’s strikingsilhouetteis branded on everything from T-shirts to jeans to underwear.
Here’s a helpful hint, shoppers: Renowned astrologer Susan Miller warns that Mercury, which went direct today, will turn retrograde again in October and December; she offers starry style counsel by encouraging us all to purchase holiday gifts well in advance of the actual holiday, i.e.in the second half of September, the first week of October, or November 19-30 “for best results.” Well, whatmore stylish, thoughtfulpresent fora well-dressed dog lover than something bearingthe Tiny Tim Bartlett logo?
The tripod K9 image also appears on the shop’s glass door and on the shopping bags and gift boxes. “At first, you don’t notice thatthe logo isa three-legged dog – he just looks like a sweet dog,” Bartlett adds. “And I like clothing and fashion to have that element of surprise.”
To celebrate adopted mutts everywhere, Bartlett even designed a special “Fashion Hound” Tiny Tim T-shirt, sizedfor men and women, with proceeds from sales donated to North Shore.
With his distinctive walk, Tim cuts quitethe dashing figure. Bartlett is quite easy on the eyes himself, sowhen the two appear together, heads turn. Duly inspired, the artistRichard Haines – a talented Southpaw whose chic, charming pencil sketches are irresistible eye candy to fashion followers -recently immortalized the pair in a sketch that depicts Timand his designer Dadmost fetchingly.
My dog Sheba was lucky toscore a date with Tim one evening back in 2008, at North Shore’s DogCatemy Awards gala;photographic evidence of the eveningis on Bartlett’s web site, where Tim has his very own page.
Meanwhile, uptown on Madison Avenue, visitors to the Akris storehad a chance to view “Indigo Lights,” an exhibition of 29 photographs by Claiborne Swanson Frank, sister-in-law of therenowned photographer Peter Beard and former assistant to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. The exhibition will remain up through this Wednesday, September 15.
Appearing in the photographs are various and sundry beautiful young things – Frank’s photogenic friends and family members – all dressed in clothing by thisSwiss fashion label, which is designed by Albert Kriemler. “He plays on the contrast of color, shape, and texture in an understated way, as I do in my photography,” Frank explains. “We share a similar idea of beauty.”
Theimage selected for prominent display in the shop’s window is none other than the photographer’s own self-portrait; she’s pictured sitting in the back of a car alongside a handsome brown dog.
“I set out to take portraits that capture women in their greatest beauty and truth, whatever that may be,” Frank said. And really, doesn’t every woman look her most radiant alongside awell-loved and lovingfashion hound?