There’s an empty seat at the Paris Fashion Week couture collections. Dodie Rosekrans, art patron, collector, philanthropist, fashion icon, and international society figure who died in November will be sorely missed for her never-to-be imitated or equaled style.
To be invited to her Tony Duquette homes in Paris and Venice was to be assured of mingling with an eclectic mix of artists, designers, Bohemians, and dignitaries – as long as they were interesting, they were friends of Dodie’s. To know her was to be astonished, as echoed by John Galliano who remarked, “I was simply bowled over by her sense of style” or fashion illustrator, Glady Perin Palmer, who described Dodie as “By far the most imaginative, original dresser I’ve ever met.” Let me add a few personal remembrances of my own.
Her husband John told me of a time early in their marriage when they were getting ready for a formal event and he found Dodie at work removing pink bows from a billowing while lace gown. As they left, John complimented her dress queried why anyone would have covered it with the bows. Dodie confessed “It was a night gown.”
Dodie’s jewelry could look like found objects and she turned found objects into jewelry. At a soirée in Paris, Dodie arrived with her throat encased in chunks of green stones that looked like sea glass, but were, in truth, unpolished emeralds. Dodie would have enjoyed them equally and worn with the same flair had been glass. Another time at her home, she draped, and artistically knotted, a length of silk of the most delicate rose color over the front of a tweed suit. The contrast of the sweet with the tart was captivating and when I asked where she’d found it, she said it had been ribbon that wrapped a gift she’d been given. Artists give us the gift of seeing through their eyes – a fresh vision of the world. That’s what Dodie did with fashion – she turned it into poetry.