Betsy Bloomingdale

     Betsy Bloomingdale, born August 2, 1922, was a fashion leader and socialite as well as the widow of Alfred Bloomingdale, the Bloomingdale department store heir. She passed away last week at 93. The New York Times' Obituaries described her as a "high-octane doyenne of the social register whose friendships included presidents and princes, tycoons and leaders of government, entertainment, publishing and the arts. "

     Betsy Bloomingdale was a part of an elite society of women whose lives evolved around social decorum. They entertained, dressed to perfection, and turned the art of "seeing and being seen" into a daily ritual. They lunched at La Cote Basque, attended costume balls, and hosted dinner parties on a regular basis.  Author Marie Brenner gives us a glimpse into the lives of these strong women in her book, Great Dames: What I Learned From Older Women. Brenner describes these women as mighty warriors, social leaders, and women of aspiration and perseverance. For example, Brenner illustrates the powerful women who survived and lived through the great depression and a world war. Circumstances could not defeat them. They were strong, charming, vivacious and knew how to capture their audience's attention. Had they been born in a different time, they would have been CEO's of their own companies or leaders in whatever they were passionate about.

     Betsy Bloomingdale lived in a world surrounded by finery but she was never pretentious. She often took trips to Europe to buy designer gowns from the Parisian Couture houses of Valentino, Balmain and Marc Bohan. She later donated a large part of her couture collection to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. She was a fun person who never took herself too seriously. She once wore a lavishly feathered cape over a filmy gown to a costume exhibit; clearly, her tastes were her own. When she was casual, her styles reflected a New York kind of nonchalance. It is this elegance and grace that inspires Coco & Cyd to create fashion that is relaxed and sophisticated yet urban.  


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Quote to take with you for the week:

“No one knows what you have been through or what your pretty little eyes have seen, but I can reassure you ~ whatever you have conquered, it shines through your mind.”

― Nikki Rowe



Gail KhanComment