Style & Fashion

New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week reviews: Dennis Basso

The Daily Beast

February 14, 2017

As she took her seat on the front row of Dennis Basso’s show at the Skylight Clarkson space on Tuesday afternoon, there were no spaces around Tiffany Trump.

The night before, at the chaotic Philipp Plein show at New York Public Library—complete with Madonna, Kylie Jenner, and a lot of free booze—it was noted that there were spare seats around her.

“Once she was seated, two editors from a top women’s magazine immediately got up and left,” reported The Cut. “Other well-known influencers nearby requested seat changes shortly after.”

Trump’s “best” (friend, presumably), Andrew Warren, a “Rich Kid of Instagram,” posted a message claiming the empty seats was reserved for Plein’s family.

On Tuesday, at Basso’s show, Trump again sat alongside Warren and another friend. She was wearing a red/purple dress, with a jewel-encrusted front and sleeves, and talked animatedly to Warren and other friends.

Finally, after a Fashion Week notable for a wide variety of oppositional takes by designers against Trump’s administration (especially at the Chromat show, with its “Fuck Donald Trump” rap), a Trump could take their front row seat and know they were on friendly territory.

Lurking behind Trump was a gentleman in a dark suit and ear-piece, who was possibly her Secret Service guy. (Word to the wise: if you want the best vantage point at a fashion show, join the Secret Service.)

Trump looked as if she enjoyed the show, and at the end Basso—who did a full circuit of the space—stopped to greet her.

Ivana Trump, a longtime friend, has attended Basso’s show before, and he vouchsafed his own support and affection for the Trumps to me in a December interview.

Unlike other designers, Basso is happy to dress Melania. “Absolutely. 100 percent. I think you have to step aside from the politics and look at it that it’s an honor to dress the first lady of the United States of America.”

Today, backstage at his show, Basso told The Daily Beast that Ivana, Ivanka and Melania, who he has dressed before “are just regular women who like beautiful clothes. I’ve known the family for 35 years. They’re lovely people. They’re a very fun, close-knit family.”

How did he feel about the current political situation, then, especially in light of the prevailing mood of Fashion Week?

“I really don’t discuss politics. I’m all about fashion. I know them as a family: that’s all I can comment on. I’ve known the children since they were born. They’re lovely people.”

Basso is most famous for his furs—and they were on proud display among the 67 mostly stunning, very dressy, and very expensive outfits in Tuesday’s show, sometimes the central part of an outfit (as with broadtail and sable coats with a fishnet top and tan slit-skirted trouser), sometimes the accessory (sable necklaces are just as decadent as their description summons), and sometimes totally absent, as in a sequence of rippling, gracious lamé gowns. Other elements of Basso’s dresses had delicate embroidery, and the designer also produced a series of capelets, chiffon gowns, turtlenecks, velvet trousers and cocktail dresses, and fox boas.

Basso told the Daily Beast that the collection mixed “a little bit of boho, these items are rich in fabric, they can be casual or dressed up. It’s important to have that modern approach to dressing today.”

His inspiration is the world traveler, a modern woman who likes to experiment with fashion, to mix high and low, a little bit of a free thinker. She likes the touch of things. She’s very tactile. This collection has that feeling.”

There’s been a lot of fur on the runway this week: the self-imposed ban among designers using it seems a long way over. “Everywhere is showing fur,” Basso said. “I’ve always shown fur. I love the glamor of doing it, and now I’m doing ready-to-wear.”

His Madison Avenue store was robbed at Christmas, with around $1 million in stock taken. “The robbery is a little crazy,” Basso conceded. “But I’m a very positive individual. I feel very sorry for those people who did that. It’s obviously problematic to resort to that sort of violence. I’m moving forward, full speed ahead, and leaving it in the hands of the authorities. Every day is a new adventure: we’ll see what happens.”

As she continues her controversial travels through New York Fashion Week, Tiffany Trump may well be thinking the same thing.