Thank you, Michael Vollbracht, for sharing fashion history with Tampa Bay
Last night I had the greatest dream.
I was laughing it up with chic colleagues at an au courant industrial space buzzing with fashion enthusiasts. Jean Patou, Christian Dior and Roberto Capucci were there. I brushed up against Jeanne Lanvin and shook hands with Michael Vollbracht.
Thing is, it wasn’t just a dream. It was a dream come true.
Vollbracht, 68, is an artist and designer who worked for Geoffrey Beene and had his own lines at Saks and HSN. He was head designer at Bill Blass until 2007. During his formative years, Vollbracht amassed an impressive collection of priceless treasures, discarded one-of-a-kind designer pieces that he rescued from Upper East Side thrift stores back before vintage was cool.
Last night in Ybor City, he shared that collection in an exhibit titled “Though Tattered and Torn,” a showing of what’s left of the antique garments that succumbed to the humidity of Vollbracht’s Safety Harbor home while the designer moved on to pursue interior design and art. He repurposed them, gave them new life and presented them so beautifully that I several times felt like pinching myself.
The event was sublime and enriching and, for anyone who appreciates fashion history, heaven. It also was a great success benefiting a wonderful cause.
Take a look at the slideshow below. I shall call it Reverie.