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Fashion History 101: The Accessories Renaissance

Fashion History 101: The Accessories Renaissance

Catherine

September 24, 2017

It’s the most stylish time of the year. As we head into Paris Fashion Week, we’re still reeling from New York Fashion Week and all the ways in which designers incorporated jewelry and accessories into their respective visions. From the glittering statement jewels that twinkled on the Jeremy Scott runway to the simple and bold arm pieces of Proenza Schouler, there was an aesthetic to inspire every taste. But this wasn’t always the case. The resurgence of accessories in fashion is a movement nearly thirty years in the making, and one Colette Malouf herself helped to spearhead.

During the heroin-chic era of fashion in the 1990s, minimalism reigned and accessories were a mere afterthought, if they were present at all. So, Colette Malouf joined forces with designers Robert Lee Morris, the late Carlos Falchi and Patricia Underwood to address this crisis of creativity in the fashion world. Together, they partnered with the CFDA to reignite excitement for accessories. The result was an impressive exhibit in front of Bryant Park in a window-front space, designed by Michael Gabellini, who was revered for the Jill Sanders stores he designed at the time.

All CFDA accessories designers were invited to participate, and the event attracted fashion A-listers including Pauline Trigere, Kenneth Jay Lane, Dawn Mello and Elsa Klensch. The accessories renaissance was officially set into motion.

Since then, Colette Malouf has remained a champion of creativity and emerging talents in the accessories space. She sits on the 2017-2018 Advisory Board for the Elaine Gold Launch Pad, a virtual residency program created by the CFDA and the Accessories Council that mentors and nurtures new designers.  Colette’s commitment to encouraging new talent is a reminder that our experience of fashion as consumers is only as vibrant and inspired as the community that creates it.

John-HardyDawn Mello