Nu-mode Coverage- DENNIS BASSO

20 Sep

“I’m not even supposed to be here” was what I kept saying to myself. I wasn’t on the list. I wasn’t supposed to be getting VIP backstage to Dennis Basso at the St. Regis Hotel. The only reason I was even here was because some photographer named Gabriel who I had met the other day at the David Tlale presentation had invited me to this. Well, he didn’t even end up coming, nor was he on the list.

“Uhhhhh Gabriel” I said to the check in lady. Not surprisingly she asked for his last name, to which I didn’t know. “He’s a photographer” I then said, realizing how ridiculous I sound. How didn’t I know this guy’s last name? I’m just blindly saying I’m with Gabriel the photographer and expecting to magically get in? She then asks who he is affiliated with, to which she gets another blank stare. Then I get an idea.

“Oh, I’m also with Nu-mode magazine. I’m not sure if we are on the list, but I’m press.”

“Oh, okay, you’re press. Sure, hold on one second.”

What? That’s all it takes? In a few seconds a dark haired lady with a clipboard and headpiece comes up to me and introduces herself. “Alright, follow me backstage–there are just two interviews in front of you and he’s all yours.” Wait. Now I get to interview the designer, THE Dennis Basso? I’m not even supposed to be here! So I get my recorder ready. Let’s do this.

If you don’t know who Dennis Basso is, just picture the jolliest man you can think of and you will be pretty close. As I’m backstage watching models getting their hair and makeup done, dresses being altered, and press running around like madmen, Dennis sticks out like a sore thumb because he is simply glowing. He is beaming as he answers questions, compliments the models as they walk by and admires his fabulous work. Two interviews go by, and sure enough, he is all mine.

AB: So I read on Wikipedia that you started first selling clothes out of the trunk of your car? Can you tell me a bit about that and how you got to where you are now?

Dennis: (with a big laugh) Thirty years ago when I was starting my collection, we had no showroom and we were selling individual items to women who were doing house parties–which were kind of like tupperware parties but we were doing it with fur. And that was in 1982. It became so successful that by 1983 we showed our first collection at the Regency Hotel. And I’m celebrating my 30th anniversary next year. As a boy, this is what I dreamed about. Everyone else was playing army, and I’m dreaming about being a dress designer.

AB: Wow, congratulations on your upcoming anniversary! Where did you get your inspiration for this particular collection?

Dennis- This inspiration was taken from Deauville, France. It was during the 60’s where Deauville really had its rebirth. This is when women got dressed up. I’m seeing visions of beautiful women with their hair done, smoking a cigarette, drinking champagne, sitting there gossiping, fixing their makeup–all dolled up– while their gorgeous men were inside gambling. It’s really an element of another time and I tried to take pieces of that of that glamour, that excitement and tried to translate it for the modern American woman today.

AB-Do you have any advice to any up and coming designers?

Dennis- You know, I think you have to follow your dream. Did I ever think thirty years ago that I’d be a part of Mercedes Fashion week? That I’d have an intelligent lady next to me with a headset, organizing all the press?  And it’s something to show that you can…. (Dennis gets distracted by model walking by in a gorgeous black gown) Look at this. Look at this! (Dennis admires his creations and the crowd “ooohs” and “ahhhhs” almost like a fireworks display.) It’s heaven! If you told me that dress (points to dress) was NY couture, or Gucci or whoever- it could be any one of the greatest designers in the world-and you say it’s Dennis Basso, it’s amazing that I could ever dream that I could possibly in that category.

AB-Thank you so much Dennis.

Dennis- Not a problem. Please, stay for the show!

Of course, I stayed for the presentation and I have to say it was completely mesmerizing. The dresses were beyond gorgeous and even the models in this collection seemed to just be on a whole different level of stunning. The showroom was bustling with press, and numerous celebrities such as Ivana Trump, Star Jones and Susan Lucci. Overall I was completely thrilled that I was able to attend such a presentation and even interview Dennis Basso myself when…..I wasn’t even supposed to be there. :-)

NYFW INTERVIEW & COVERAGE ANDREA BOEHLKE

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One Response to “Nu-mode Coverage- DENNIS BASSO”

  1. Cassie September 23, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    What a fun experience!! I like your voice as a writer, a lot of personality shines through. 🙂

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