|Robert Gage in tile covered space - photo via @Robert_Gage on instagram|
|Right: Catherine Nugent Left: Geri McCuish with Mary Symons, recipient of the Fashion Group International Lifetime Achievement Award|
|Dana Baines and James Burn|
|Crissi Giamos and Roslyn Griffith Hall|
|Clara Northcott and Leesa Butler|
|Mary Symons and I with her FGI Lifetime Achievement Award at the Thompson Hotel's Scarpetta restaurant - photo via www.cdaily.ca|
To learn more about Fashion Group International please visit them online www.fgitoronto.org
|Left: Ann's radical approach to ski wear | Centre: A 70's chignon case by Yves Saint Laurent | Right: Pants in white Mongolian lamb fur|
Ann Bonfoey Taylor led a stylish life full of adventure. Born 1910 and raised in Illinois, by age 12 she was taking flying lessons in the family plane arranged by her father who saw it as a useful distraction when boys began to pay young Ann attention. In the 1930’s she was nationally ranked in tennis and competed at Wimbledon. As a form of escape from her troubled marriage to first husband James Cooke, Ann taught herself to ski and found solace competing on the slopes of Mount Mansfield in Vermont. In 1939 she was asked to compete for the U.S. Olympic women’s ski team but in the wake of WWII, served instead as a flight instructor for the Army and Marine Corps.
|Centre: Ann Bonfoey Talor cloaked in a coat of canary Mongolian lamb | left and right: Military jackets and uniforms influence Anne's casual dressing in Vail|
Anne's confidence in sport echoed in her personal style, a radical approach to dressing both on and off the hills that commanded fashion recognition. By the 1930’s she had developed her own line of skiwear "Ann Cooke" that grabbed the attention of Harper’s Bazaar who in 1946 featured her designs in a six-page editorial shot on New Hampshire’s Mount Washington. Ann herself made the cover wearing a grey and gold wool sweater, mirrored goggles and what is agreed to be the first fanny pack in fashion. Unable to keep up with the overwhelming demand she later sold distribution rights to Lord and Taylor who featured her coveted pieces in it’s Fifth Avenue windows and 20 other stores nation wide.
|Left: Custom sportswear from Hermes | Centre: Yellow tinted goggles and military helmet captured by Toni Frissell|
In the 40’s Ann met and married her second husband Vernon “Moose”Taylor a Denver oilman. The two maintained several homes and quickly became legendary hosts. Their ski home in Vail was one of the first to completed and the two were vital in the promotion of Vail to important early investors.
Taylor was unquestionably part of the international jet set and had the wardrobe to prove it. When not wrapped in glamorous ski apparel she was outfitted in the best couture. Her collection including pieces from Balenciaga, Givenchy, Madame Grès, Charles James and Fortuny is legendary not only for its quality but its complexity. When you look at Taylor’s collection you have a rare chance to appreciate and understand the personal development of celebrated designers over the course of their careers. In 2008 following her death the collection she amassed over 70 years was donated to the Pheonix Art Museum and selected by as one of the top 100 art museum gifts of 2008. In 2011 Taylor’s collection was the subject of an exhibition and accompanying book titled Fashion Independent: The Original Style of Ann Bonfoey Taylor presented by the Pheonix Art Museum. The retrospective featuring more then 200 pieces later travelled to the Georgia Museum of Art.
|Centre: Fashion Independent: The Original Style of Ann Bonfoey Taylor - available for purchase here|