2010 June 16

Soul Sisters

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Catherine Malandrino, Mary J Blige Catherine Malandrino, Mary J Blige
PAUL BRUINOOGE/PatrickMcMullan.com
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(NEW YORK) “I've been a hip hop fan forever!” announced Catherine Malandrino Tuesday night before her collaborative 2011 Resort show with FFAWN, Mary J. Blige’s charity dedicated to empowering and educating women. Guests congregated at MoMA for cocktails, soul music and a lively runway show. While she may hail from France, Malandrino revealed that she’s always had an ear for Motown. “Growing up, I would listen to James Brown, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, everyone.” But her go-to Mary J. Blige song? “'Take Me As I Am.' It’s my very, very favorite!”

Blige and Malandrino, clad in black one-pieces looked quite similar, although the designer noted, “Yes, we are very different people.” Blige nodded in agreement, and Malandrino added, “But we are the same because of our values.” Blige motioned towards her black Malandrino jumpsuit. “Look, Catherine is one of my favorites because she designs for us. Us meaning different body types. If you care about a woman that much as a designer, then bless you!” She laughed, “I need to know that, okay, my behind can fit into that skirt!”

Parisians and hip hop enthusiasts filled the museum’s garden, helping themselves to red velvet cupcakes and Belvedere pink grapefruit drinks pre-show. Cigarettes were stamped out (guests fit in a few smoke breaks during the cocktail hour, bien sûr) and the crowd shuffled inside for the runway show. Blige teared up while introducing the collection. “I don’t write scripts because I don’t believe in scripts. I come from the heart.” Malandrino smiled, “Mary, it was love at first sight!” The audience bobbed their heads to the sounds of the Jackson 5 and The Temptations as macramé leather jackets, fringe-embellished frocks and silk chiffon mini caftans sailed down the runway. Post-show Blige opted for a costume change, slipping into a dress. What was the occasion? “The night is not over.” Malandrino assured. “Now we’re off to a nice, long dinner!”
EMILY POPP



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