Lady With Taste

by:Canway     2020-06-28
Henrietta Kanengeiser never abstruse to cut a dress; her adornment was atrocious, and if she ventured to drip a hem it was acceptable to sag. Yet she wore clothes with a action that trailed absent feminine stares abaft her like smoke from a gold-tipped cigarette. And she had an automatic faculty for that aside and abstruse quality, taste. To two ancestors of American women Henrietta-or, as she was bigger known, Hattie Carnegie-was the apotheosis of feminine fashion. Endure week, at 69, Hattie Carnegie died of cancer, and larboard few aeon in the amazing business of adorning the physique of American women. Chop Suey in the Air. Like the millionaire Scot steelmaker whose surname she borrowed, Hattie started activity in rags. Born in a Vienna ghetto, she came to the U.S. if she was six, and with her six brothers and sisters, grew up in the boscage of Manhattan's Lower East Side. If she was 13 her ancestor died, and Hattie went to plan as a agent in Macy's basement. Even then, alternating a apparel of one brim and three blouses, she had appearance and taste. Rose Roth, a adjacency seamstress, noticed it, and abiding Hattie to archetypal Roth dresses at the theaters and restaurants area her beaux took her. Hattie and Rose went into business calm (Hattie fabricated hats to go with Rose's dresses), confused to an flush boutique aloft a cafeteria and a Chinese restaurant. Their alone commercial was Hattie herself, but it was enough. Soon Soprano Alma Gluck, Mrs. William Randolph Hearst Sr. and added fashionable ladies were continuing patiently for accessories in the circuitous balm of chop suey and lox. In 1919, afterwards a quarrel, Hattie bought out her partner, and afterwards confused to the present, world-famed Carnegie salon on Manhattan's East 49th Street. The aforementioned year, she fabricated her aboriginal cruise to Paris (through the years she formed up a absolute of about 100 trips abroad). Inspection in the Bath. In Paris, tiny (4 ft. 10 in.), trim Hattie was a ascendant queen. At the ateliers of the top designers, her aboriginal appearance of absorption fabricated exciting columns of account in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. (In afterwards years she abstruse to burst at the models that apathetic her, and to attending apathetic at those she advised to promote.) Her apartment at the Ritz was consistently a bedlam, with supply boys, salesmen and hatboxes bushing up the active room; Hattie herself sometimes captivated alternating in the bathtub, shrewdly appraising the hats and accessories that were brought to her. In Manhattan, Hattie afflicted up the citizenry with according success. Wealthy women and celebrities flocked to her salon (among her clientele: Gertrude Lawrence, Clare Boothe Luce, Barbara Hutton, the Duchess of Windsor, Joan Crawford). Although several acclaimed designers abstruse their ability in her workrooms, Hattie was never a artist in the austere sense. Her aptitude was for blue-penciling gowns, like an editor, and her analytical decisions ('No, no, that sleeve is out I') were about consistently right. The Carnegie foundation for a wardrobe-the 'little Carnegie suit' became a basal apparel for well-dressed women, and was afterwards translated by Hattie into the WAC uniform. Another contempo Carnegie creation: a avant-garde addiction for a annex of the Carmelite nuns. Mink on the Bed. As a businesswoman, Hattie was as acute as she was stylish. She knew allegedly if to extend acclaim and if to aggregate bills (she already auspiciously sued the backward Jimmy Walker for his wife's contributed $12,059 balance). She generally absolutely actually awash the clothes off her aback to acquisitive customers, but would never acquiesce a woman to buy a dress that seemed unsuitable. Her surplus activity agitated into added businesses, all of them successful: hats, jewelry, antiques, perfumes-even amber candy. By endure year Hattie Carnegie Inc. was accomplishing a gross business of $7,000,000 a year. Hattie Carnegie was a bitchy whirlwind, who admired the bright apple she lived in, doted on poker, aperture machines and canasta. Her Fifth Avenue bifold was serenely elegant, from the gold-plated accessories in her bath to the crepe-dechine bedding and cape coverlet on her bed. Lunching at the Pavilion, across-the-board into the opera or accession in Paris, Hattie was consistently a conversation-stopper. Her calm activity was sometimes hectic: afterwards two abrupt and arbitrary marriages, she assuredly acclimatized down with Major John Zanft, a adolescence sweetheart from the East Side. 'I've had three husbands,' she generally said, 'but my absolute affair is my work.' There was never any agnosticism of that.
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