I first went to New York for fashion week when I was nineteen. I'd married my boss, the fashion coordinator and buyer for the designer department in a fine specialty story. I went as the store model, as well as the wife of the man with the best taste in women's clothes in Salt Lake City. The specialty store was Makoff's. Sam and Richard Makoff were the brothers who owned the store. I worked there at the height of it's popularity. This made me Salt Lake's top model. I know, that doesn't sound like much, but it was great training and took me to New York and LA for fashion week at least twice a year. The years were 1961 to 1964. When we were in New York we went to shows and then to the showrooms. I was given samples by the salesmen. We were treated to tickets to plays, the opera, ballet. We were taken to lunch. The world was our oyster. I knew the Garment District, felt comfortable there. I loved New York.
When we went to LA we stayed at the home of Rudi Gernreich's boyfriend. We saw Peggy Moffitt and Rudi at his showroom. More samples for me. I preferred the New York Shows to California's casualness, but LA certainly had it's charms.
Nothing has brought back that past to me more powerfully than this documentary. It's not just that it was one of the most vivid parts of my late teens and early twenties, but I loved the men and women who worked in the Rag Trade. I loved every part of it. But what I was not aware of was the way the Rag Trade is an example of what went wrong in American. Watch this documentary and see how Wall Street ruined us and the garment industry was the canary in the coal mine of vanishing industries and disappearing middle class.
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