March 23, 1965
Streisand Dons Mink By Partos
By Marylin BENDER
Photos by Jack Manning
A 10-FOOT scaffold astride the brown handbag counter, cables drawn across the serene gray carpeting of the Delman shoe salon, half-devoured delicatessen sandwiches and coffee cake crumbs dotting the stationery display, the fragrance of kosher pickles wafting over the louvered screen that barred the archway of the Van Cleef and Arpels Boutique, and a cluster of men and women watching a television monitor set in the men's necktie department signified that Bergdorf Goodman was not taking its customary Sabbath slumber.
On Sunday, the street floor of the Fifth Avenue specialty store was converted into a television studio for taping of a segment of "My Name Is Barbra," a musical starring Barbra Streisand that will be seen on CBS- TV on April 28 from 9 to 10 P.M.
During nine minutes of the program, Miss Streisand will sing, dance and clown her way, through a fashion show in five costumes created by Emeric Partos, Bergdorf's Hungarian-born, Paris-trained fur designer. Halston, the store's custom milliner, made the hats for Miss Streisand.
Thrift Shop Goddess
The teaming of Miss Streisand and Bergdorf's, whose executives hesitated before taking their first plunge into show biz, underlines the fashion evolution of the 22-year-old actress. When she burst into Broadway stardom a year ago with "Funny Girl," Miss Streisand was a thrift shop goddess who confirmed the female beatniks' passion for vintage feather boas and other attic fashion oddments.
Since then, she has become a hot issue that any investment banker would be pleased to underwrite. She reportedly earns more than $5,000 a week on Broadway, has a 10-year television contract guaranteeing her more than $5 million, and reaps untold income from her phonograph albums. Her taste in clothes seems to have changed, too.
At the Inaugural Gala last January, she performed in a beaded dress by Donald Brooks. She chose Partos for the high fashion sequence in her television show after having been dazzled by seeing one of his fur collections last year. For the rest of the show, she has been working on clothes with Bill Blass, the pet designer of many young socialites ("I sketch and he sketches and we sit on the floor and we talk," explained Miss Streisand, a perfectionist who is deeply involved with her professional and personal wardrobes).
"I used to like crazy things," Streisand conceded during a fitting at Bergdorf's last week, for she appeared in a maroon suede coat, poor girl sweater and wool socks and oyster-colored corduroy slacks and low, suede boots. But she went on to explain that even when she was "A Second Hand Rose" (a ditty she sings on television attired in a $15,000 Somali leopard coat), she was impressed by the quality of construction and the fine details of some old clothes.
Can Be a Great Look
"I didn't really like boa scarves as much as they said, I did," she protested. "But boa can be a great look if it's kept simple like with gray flannel and a hairdo very tight and slim. Curls and boas don't go."
The blue-eyed, copper-haired actress whose favorite coiffeur, Fredrick Glaser of Chicago, flew here to do her hair for the TV show disclosed that she was "narrowing down" the contents of her closet, "throwing out" and giving clothes to thrift shops.
"I like simple elegance, neat. I'd rather change my jewelry and have a few things and wear them all the time," she said. "A person is more important than clothes. A dress should fade out of sight but greatly."
Like many young women who can't afford it, Miss Streisand "used to hate mink but now I appreciate it for its solidity." (She stamps on the wild mink lining of a paisley velvet robe in the TV sequence). "Lynx sheds. I have Russian broadtail —it's the most beautiful fur— but terribly perishable and I hardly wear it because it's so cold," she declared. "I'm mad for fisher."
Miss Streisand has never worn French clothes.
"I can't wait to explore that whole area," said one of the most famous alumnae of Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn with a shiver of pleasureable anticipation. "I can't wait, to go to a Paris fashion show."
Page Credits: Special thanks to Dennis Fotia for contributing this article!
Related: My Name is Barbra TV Show
[ top of page ]