NEW YORK — Dennis Basso may be PETA's No. 1 enemy, but the designer sure knows furs. For 30 years, he has been designing lavish, over-the-top sable, mink, fox and chinchilla pieces for celebrity clients, among them Houstonian Diane Lokey Farb, who owns too many Basso creations to count.
Farb was on the front row at Basso's fall 2013 runway show, along with Joan Rivers, Joan Collins, Martha Stewart and Star Jones, to help the designer celebrate his milestone anniversary.
Basso designs serviceable dresses, gowns and pants, but the clothing often takes a back seat to the fab furs in wild shades of teal and chartreuse.
He pulled out all the stops, with a collection that paid tribute to great American fashion icons like Babe Paley, Gloria Guinness, Millicent Rogers and C.Z. Guest — "all women who were not afraid of putting their personal signature on what they wore," he said in his program notes.
Basso designs serviceable dresses, gowns and pants, but the clothing often takes a back seat to the fab furs. Indeed, only a handful of his 44 looks, including a taffeta plaid dress and embroidered tweed and tulle town, were not embellished with a fox shrug, sable coat or broadtail cape.
For this collection, Basso also incorporated alligator pieces that add an edgy look to the softer pieces. A gray alligator jacket toughens up a sequin tweed dress and the closing look — a slate blue alligator vest over an layered organza and velvet gown — is made for a princess who means business.
But it's the furs in wild colors of teal and chartreuse that draw the most attention — some as accent pieces on the collar or as a shrug and others as full-on glamour coats.
Not surprisingly, security was beefed up for the fur-heavy collection, the New York Post reported. “Anyone else at @DennisBasso and get your bag checked? High security alert in case members of PETA sneak in. Glad I am wearing faux,” tweeted writer Hitha Prabkahar as she entered.
Basso is also celebrating a 20-year partnership with QVC this year. But he only sells faux furs, along with home furnishings, scarves, handbags and blouses on the popular home shopping station.