Wednesday, March 9, 2011




When I decided to take my collection to Paris I asked my good friend Bill Cunningham who would be best to handle the arrangement there and he gave me the name: Percival Savage and his telephone number in Paris. I called him and he immediately acepted the job claiming even though Paris was all booked for the fashion season he could arrange it and he did. He booked the Farah Diba suite at the Hotel Crillon for me, my assistant Gene Lott and my two models: Anushka and Judy which accommodated the four of us wonderfully. He also booked the grand rooms at the Hotel Crillon for the collection to be presented. He engaged Genevieve Antoine-Dariaux, formerly of Nina Ricci, as my directrice and arranged dinners, entertainments, had the proper invitations printed and mailed, arranged for extra runway models, photographers et al in the most polished and perfect way. The first night after we arrived he took us to Castel's for dinner and dancing where we met Julie Christi and Warren Beatty. {after that Jean Castel for years after greeted me when I arrived and offered me a free bottle of Dom Perignon each time} He sent beautifully printed invitations to all the international press, celebrities, society women including Madam de Gaul, the then first lady of France. He provided photos of the clothes as handouts to the invited guests. He arranged lunch at the Plaza Athenee for the two of us, dinner for Earnistine Carter at L'Orangerie on the Ile St. Louis, dinner for Eugenia Sheppard (who didn't show up) at Maxim's on a Friday night. He took us to Prince Serge Obolenski's party at the George V where I was introduced to Prince Basil Yurievski, the then rightful heir to the Czardom of Russia. We went to La Coupole for dinner at Midnight. There was nothing not done that wasn't exceptionally excellent and all arranged within one week prior to our arrival.

What can I say but a great BRAVO to Percy Savage.

Percival Savage was a larger than life character but little did I know at the time who he actually was nor how he fit into the fashion scene in Paris. Certainly he knew how to get things done very well but too since I was financed by Rebekka Harkness there was ample funds to cover his fees and all necessary expenses as provided me by her Paris attorneys.

There wasn't any time to ask questions.

He was much younger then from the photo of him shown above and much more wild in appearance. He wore a long bear skin coat and a long scarf, similar to an earlier Dr. Who and a floppy large brimed hat. He had a booming voice and moved about confidently. Everywhere we went all heads turned and he waved his arms around as a gesture of love to everyone.

After that event I returned to New York City and then here in Old Bennington, Vermont but when I tried to contact him he no longer was in Paris and without the computer or Internet it wasn't easy to find people. Recently when searching for him I came across his obituary and learned things about him that astounded me. I also came across a letter I have from Genevieve Antoine-Dariaux, whom I also knew little about at the time, finding information that was extraordinary about her position as the Doyen of Paris Fashion.

BRAVA to Genevieve Antoine-Dariaux
I often think about our wonderful time together in Paris.

BRAVO to Percival Savage
Paris became even more Paris with you there!

I have greatly missed you both!

May you both rest in peace and hope you come to me in my dreams to say hello.