The Joy of Fashion, an Interview with Pat Cleveland


I'm Samantha Bari the Editor in Chief of Glamour in our new podcast she makes money moves. Yulia women from across the country sharing their personal stories about their salaries financial struggles successes and the lessons. They've learned along the way I made about thirty thousand dollars for not going to be able to afford to keep the house. Eventually my credit cards just got DOC maxed out. She makes money moves production of glamour an iheartradio listen and subscribe at Apple Podcast iheartradio APP or wherever you listen to podcasts just the history of fashion as a production iheartradio with over seven billion people in the world. We all have one thing in common every day. We all get dressed. Welcome to address the History Korea fashion podcast that explores who what when why we wear we are fashion historians and your host April Callaghan and Cassidy Zachary well today dress listeners. We bring you a very special interview with one very special woman. The GROUNDBREAKING FASHION ICON MODEL PAT CLEVELAND JOINS US today today to talk about her fifty plus year career as a model I notice Oh exciting and actually we have the universe and thanks for making this happen April. You and I have had on our list since day. One of this podcast yes literally you and I were talking about her memoir. Walking with amuses earlier this year and I'm not kidding the very next day we got an email from the publicist and dress listener. Mark Rose proposing that pat it come on the podcast so it was fate. It was Qismat. Thank you so much mark for making this happen. Yes thank you universe and mark for answering in all of our fashion history prayers. I'm glad you mentioned pats memoir April because you and I have both read it and it is wonderful. Keep recommending it people people yes. It's so we highly recommend it to you. Our listeners because pat really provides us behind the scenes insider access into a world. Many of us can only dream of it is really this beautiful testament her life and career but also those many many left ones that helped her make it all possible so go out and get yourself a copy S. and M. available on kindle so I read mine on the train which was kind of cool but we spent a lot of time talking about fashion history on the show. Obviously that's what the show is entirely about but very rarely do we get to meet and talk to one of fashion histories creators so pat. Thank you so much for being here. Pat Welcome to address. It is such a pleasure to have you with us here today. I'm here and have with you too and our listeners are not already aware of your legacy. They are certainly now because April and I have talked about you on multiple occasions throughout the last two seasons of our show and and you've been on our wish list since day one so I just want to give a special thank you to our mutual friend Mark Rhodes who made this all possible yeah very special for me to talk to you so thank you for being here today and I I really just want to start at the beginning and kind of hear about a very young Patricia Cleveland. I'm curious if you have avenue first memory of being inspired by clothing and if you can tell us about how you were first inspired to your early fashion I think it all comes the world world of art you know I'd in music and movies and impressions of people who had like kind of bright spirit with dress up up in my mom who trust up in her own clothes she made in they were pretty spectacular shoes. Leo So really good show and as she would go to parties dressed up and win costume Balsam make clothes at home and you know the dancers would wear them in the singers who came to visit you know like Earth a kid and she may dress for Marion Anderson my godmother and she makes some close your friends I thought you know having those fabrics in the house and boa feathers since sequence think his sparkled my mind ringed and having those dancers in the living room you know from all these wonderful places my aunt was a dancer mother painter so so I was kind of grown up in between disturbed watercolor and fabric and dancing music the and I read your memoir. I'm were actually a couple of times now and I just loved reading about these these early years growing up with your mom and your aunt. I think you said something like these early years. In New York with your mom was was a time time of enchantment so magical experience of your childhood very much so because you know when somebody has a certain spirit of liveliness no matter what you to get infected by. That's what you got and I think it was your mom right. He decided cited. You should try your hand at modelling. I'm hoping he can tell us a little bit about your modeling career your early modelling career start to it and you know your first experiences with the Ebony Fashion Fair well. I never thought I model or anything. It wasn't something that people did really. I mean you sort of face in magazine covering you thought Oh it's not real or you know you just look in the magazines but we always had vogue and Ebony seen glamour and all the things that were there in fifty s in the sixties and we looked in remade the close to look kind of like the ones they had or we'd make up something and so you you know modeling was not like I didn't think ever. I just thought I'd like maybe be an artist paint which do now but I i. I never saw myself like that. My Mom said well. You know you could do it. You can do this look at them. You look good but nobody looked like me. I was like a baby giraffe. I didn't know maybe animals have some kind of glamour. I don't know maybe it was dior's but other than that she she's so something in May and she sent some pictures out to Ebony in Vogue and Glamour and do a lot of rejections and the pictures were taken it data Carnegie Hall by famous photographer that my mom knew because when she was always hanging out in the jazz places places you know she met this wonderful carve in Beckton people like that who would photograph all the Duke Ellington's people in the Harlem Renaissance Insensitive when it was time to be photographed so we have to have pictures taken in them while they made the pictures and they made the context sheets which is is really old fashioned and she cut them up like little squares put them in envelopes and send them off to the magazines and that's what she did find the again again an answer it was not that I was waiting for it. I had no idea but it came some months later that Mrs Johnson from Ebony had sin into request to see me and my mother and I was like fifteen years old. I had no idea went to the world of his story and I was dressed like the virgin virgin sacrifice. My Mom Kris me that day I had white tights white dresses white Straw hat white gloves white pat lead. I just didn't know what to think. I was like a nun walking in Waldorf going up to the presidential suite. Like what are we doing here. I had no idea dear and we get in. We see Mrs Johnson Standing Behind this regal desk in asking to walk. Now is so terrified because I I was just like a sprout in every other girl looked like fully blossomed and I thought wouldn't make doing but she liked me and I and she liked your lawn and you she asked if I could be in her fashion show which traveled around America and was a benefit to raise money for colleges. It was the Ebony Fashion Fair Miss Johnson Woodcutter Europe and by all the clothes I think she was the only editor for her who would buy Mike Elections because after she would sell them to raise money for the black society so that young people could go to college so it was all very worthwhile because besides the fact that I got to travel with all of these beautiful clothes for three months ahead to leave my school whoa and my mother came along as a chaperone in town we went around America and did his show every night. Wow I just remembered. I was doing my homework in the bus my American history homework looking out the window seeking America. They always say no your own backyard before you travel and nuts. I got to do Natalie did that. I got to wear the clothes that I loved. It was von. Sheen she and her own to you madam put to Navan in Qadam and baby clothes from is salon not like babies they would choose not even known Halston hats and things that people didn't even these designers not even they Miss Shannon. Mrs Johnson was buying their clothes and I I know that were one point house was in Chicago and saw me in the Ebony Fashion Fair. It just never know who's sitting audience but he was kind of unknown at the time too so it's kind of like everybody was starting. Cardi near careers nineteen sixties. You know the early sixty three sixty four sixty five his actually I had started thirteen thirteen really being in pictures but just being photographed. Hey it's cassidy and April all and we're excited to tell you that we have partnered with fabrics. 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You'll get up to fifty percent off regular pricing an instant instant access to their latest collections plus. The best part is that there's no commitment to order on a regular basis. You can skip any month so head on over to FAB LENNOX DOT com slash. I stressed now to get to leggings twenty four dollars. I loved reading that. Even though you're modeling career had started at this point you actually still had your dream set on being a fashion designer so your mom had really instilled this love of design and you and she taught you how to so and you want her made all of these wonderful clothes clothes that you wore and I loved reading that. It was actually your own designs that got you. I discovered by vogue. You were chased down basically but down on the subway by Vogue Editor Fashion Vogue Editor Carrie Donovan asking you just having to know who designed your clothes and this was of course you. Can you tell us about love. Your early designs your first vote experiences after the fashion fair. I went back to school. I went to art and design for fashion design illustration. I did really well right away. I I had modeled for that year but I was applying applying myself to my art and somehow I was walking to school. One day and there was a bus strike in I had been discovered by Carrie sorry Donovan and she wow she was like such an important editor. She was like Mrs Rylands favourite. Mrs Freely was the head editor and she was like amazing. Goddess a Japan empress style red cheeks Zidan Zidan vary from the nineteen twenties. Actually she knew my godmother metcalf in the nineteen twenties. My godmother was a editor should vote in France and she translated a lot of works but anyway that fact came out much later that I didn't realize when I was there. You're in that time but I had gone up to vogue. Finally they had caught me. I was in school and designing and they saw my clothes rose and they wanted me to do pictures in my outfits is a new designer so I double page spread invoke doc as a new designer and I get an opportunity to design for Henry Been Dell's collection which did and I enjoyed it and then I went back back to the after a year and they wanted to photograph made for an article about springtime in I remember there was Berry Berenson Joel Schumacher. WHO's now of film director and she took my picture in there? It was listen vogue again as designer so it was kind of I was on that path and I went back to vogue again. They caught me again this time. I'm something else happened stubbornly. It was like they wanted me to poke for them and I thought that was very strange because that was not my intention so by this time I had already started modeling a little bit besides doing fashion fair was the super big thing because a star studded in you know got a lot of publicity but I was going around being photographed in studios trying to put a portfolio together are get an agent and I was also dancing and making being in small films traveling to Mexico and different different places but other than that I came back to New York can I had the opportunity to work with Ole Cassini me and shut up T- photo and I became their fitting models and they suggested I get an agent which was Ford and I I went there ear and they were reluctant but then they took me because of elite Cassini shot to full so then I I stood modeling in I I started just fell in with designers because that's what my interest was really with making clothes and it wasn't so much about me putting a makeup and things but my mother always said if you don't wear makeup you're going to be an old mates I put on the make and he was different to be a model back right like you did all your own makeup for photo shoots and fashion shows. You had to be your own own person like a person that you have to be a fashion person like at well. How would I say Ladies Society always look to certain way or dressed a certain way you know so you had to push to make your own face your own hairstyles and inventive antef. You had to be inventive so I was pretty easy for me because to me it was like acting or pretending or basically copping my mom mom do what she did. I would put my makeup on the way she put it on or I observed her dress the way she she dressed her but more my own style you know I would make many dresses and dress up in that and make the hair long ponytails very sixteenths sixteenths with Seventies. Well still the sixties before I got any recognitions in society because I still had to meet these is wonderful designers today that were brand new and coming up and I remember I went to vogue and they said Oh what is due up to meet this new designer. at Henry Been Dell's by this time I had stopped designing so I didn't have a collection near but I went up to Henry been tells soon I met Stephen Girls who suddenly I discovered with making everything the way that I had hoped to make it so I just gave up designing and he said to me you just are the perfect girl for me and I stayed there and became his fitting model and I became became his friend and he became my friend so we would go out to parties dress up with his whole entourage. Stephen Burrows world was magnificent isn't at been Dell's it was like a black patent leather room with colorful clothes and had beautiful friends who very talented creative and they made music and crew plants and making to redecorating so we had a little tribe of France F Stevens we went out with in one night but to this party and it was like an Georgios San Angelo he introduced me to him. I started working with him and then he introduce hosting came in sat down next to me and said I know you. I've seen you before so he invited me to also so his atelier I started to be his model there and then everything started happening vocation to me and as yes. I was going around trying to be photographed. Suddenly I felt myself and pages of vogue for Irving Pin wow and I had a big spread and I was like nineteen and that kind of set me on my way besides Charles tracing a whole bunch of other Avidan irving pin every many photographers came over from London Paris and photographed me for for nineteen and it was just started photographing me for foreign magazines mostly and then I got an agent which was kinder to me other than being with Ford who were sure if I should be with him or not because if you know racial things I guess you know they didn't think I was fair enough or whatever but I went off with will Amina who is wonderful Dutch model who had so many covers vogue and she believed in and after I got with her things started happening for me because she was very good age and she said you know I think you could have a better the opportunity in Europe then sat Bam in before I knew it I was on a first class ticket which I saved up my money for I I was on my way to Italy to my ancient there which I only stayed for a day because too many playboys and so I went off and actually I had mentioned that while I was up at Vogue in sixty nine and seventeen nineteen hundred seventeen I met him illustrated coat mending ober gun who was a diner freelance right hand illustrated because at the time when people went to the Paris collections sixties early Seventies. There were no photographers that were like today. No film made it was just a private event for the illustrated. Go make the drawing the close so this manning over gun in that when I was up at vogue he wanted to illustrate in the clothes that would go into the magazine so he was my first real job. EPA Vogue posing like for months what's at stake in the green room posing all the clothes that would be going into the magazines and that's where I had to connection Mrs Freeland because I would being her office every day stripped down like chicken with no feathers in my robe and listening to her and being with her and having her ripped clothes off and put the clothes on and it was quite an experience and then after Mrs Real and Manning went to Europe the collections so there was no illustrator and as I was there up in vogue waiting to be illustrated this beautiful young man walked in and his name is Antonio Lopez. NOPE has the illustrator and he was the person who invited me to come to Europe to work with him and because of him him I was able to go to Paris and I went to Paris to stay with Antonio Lopez to be his sketch model and we lived in this very tiny apartment that was given to us by Karl Lagerfeld and it was me and Donna Jordan and Juan and a male model and Corey Tippin and we all lived in this tiny apartment with no kitchen so we were blige to dress up and go out until Eilly Carl started inviting riding on Karl Lagerfeld but we'd work all day and these illustrations pose and get hungry and go out and so we became sort of like the talk talk of the town. We were sort of like Donna. was you know one of. Andy were host stars and Andy had photographed me and they were just crazy for for Andy Warhol and they knew we were part of his entourage and Antonio Lopez was so extraordinarily beautiful and cruise automatic and magnetic in every everybody wanted to be with US Paloma Picasso and all those young royal kids and it was just like Our tribe was like attracting so much attention because we were pop art Americans with good music and we could dance we go go to the club said at night in dance with new music and new dance isn't people just could not believe our energy we trust open. Karl lack of Felton and then finally I just remember that somehow we got it with eight and eight was very young and just starting out very well with his Satyanarayan so between eighth and Carlin Kuensel and it was Terry McLaughlin all these wonderful creative people in just traveling around Europe being photographed in the south of France getting on boats and going to Africa. I'm doing the things that I had seen people do invoke posing at the Acropolis and I was doing those things I was going on locations nations around the world and that's what we used to do editorial shootings in London I would pose in London with Parkinson who would photo craft the queen the same date photograph me and it was just marvelous. I mean what an education fashion and Sandra Roads Kings Roden all the music you know and hanging out with the Beatles in you know being friends up at apple records being in the movies there and I had such a wonderful time being in Italy as well will. They suit fantastic designers and quality of their close. Oh my gosh you know so much to fashion. They call it fashion but it's more like living in certain style. You know it's they call it fashion to make it fast. It is fast businesses fast but it's not like people don't have a life. They're the designers the artists they have real lives and they're all friends really outside of business. You know and that's what you start making your friendships in. You realize lucky you are you come back to American you. You Find Young Designing Patrick Kelly who wants to go off and be a designer and so bottom Emma ticket and he went to Paris and he had the integrity he became someone that everyone wanted to be around because this was such a wonderful cruise attic young man Patrick was really an incredibly gifted designer and actually dressed listeners our next episode coming up actually on Patrick Kelly in commemoration Martian of what would have been his sixty fifth birthday so be sure and tune in for that. We're going to hear more from you pat after a brief sponsor break. My Name is Danny Shapiro. I'm the host of family secrets a podcast about the secrets kept from US secrets. We keep from others and the secrets we keep from ourselves. Family secrets is more than just a podcast audio experience. It's also a community a place for people to share powerful powerful stories of heartbreak healing and hope in season two we hear from a woman whose father's descent into dementia revealed his deepest darkest secrets and we hear from a man who kept his wife's terminal illness a secret to protect their children listen to season to a family family secrets on apple podcasts the iheartradio APP or wherever you get your podcasts welcome back dress listeners pat our listeners ours will be familiar with your role in the battle for size. We've already done episode on the nineteen seventy-three quote battle that put American fashion on the international national map but I'm hoping you can tell us a little bit more what that experience was like free you anything others in doing a benefit but it turns out to we some kind of what they call to battle and it seems like you know the American designers had really been on the stage in Paris when it came meantime was royal event and the Americans just shined you know we had all of those girls who could walk in in the music was so American in modern lighting and it just was something so new and the French embraced us so they call it a battle but I think they just fell in love with us because you know I had already been towers working so it's like going home for me but for a whole bunch of girls it was their first first time touching down there and then they went back and had that opportunity again so I think you know you get certain opportunities and you go off to Versailles and you dine unto the Chandeliers in the cherubs in new you made the Duchess of Windsor new you drink champagne in with her and princess grace. You meet all of these wonderful people in fashion because everybody dresses so beautifully because they feel that interesting makes them happy it. Does I mean living a life in fashion. Is I think a gift in many ways and you've done it so beautifully. I've been very blessed because people around me have all loved each other sincerely out of respect and you just adoring each other's style and it's like they're just different flowers that song and can you tell tell us a little bit about how your signature walk developed. I kind of say walk in quotation marks because it's so much more than that and it's just this incredible performance that you give us each every time that is so all your own and so Platt Cleveland and can toss a little bit about you know the role that dance played in its development but also the people who helped you develop it. When I was a child I used to dance with a wonderful African American Lady Catherine author done. I danced as a child. Cathryn Damon and I was her her little mascot and all of these wonderful people would be in the class like Marlon Marlon Brando and Ursa kid and oh wonderful ladies and I would hang off the monkey bars make fun they laugh and they play the drums. I wanted to be dancer but I was too tall at that time so I always felt that something that moves your heart like that can move your clothes too. You know I I just consider myself a flagpole. Jake Paul moving the fabric but she bring dance and movement even your first cover of Ebony Fashion Fair in nineteen sixty six year. You're you're already moving. You're making the clothes move you know already thunder early point in your career and then you bring that to the stage in such a wonderful way that really shares so you know with the audience your joy fashion you know how it feels when you put in a new dress she philo twinkly one is start showing showing off. Your goodies like this is how I feel. It stressed me sneak feel really beautiful. Even if you get something ugly on it's just it it has its own beauty to like. The spirit of the close is just somebody believed in that look and you're going to go along with their fantasy and enjoy their ride with them. Kosei had VICI- a vision. You know like Sushi think what is this then. You put put it on in new become part of their world like how they see things you. It's like more about wearing the designer than even wearing the garment haven't what you've brought specifically to think that is so incredible credibly special. I'm a happy person idle at one minute getaway for me that I didn't see something beautiful and deadly or something you know when when you think of all those people who so every stitch is like a minute of your life and I just basically do it because I I think that the people who make the clothes a part of the dress to you know I see them. I've been in so many ways and watch the ladies stitching I really. I think they're wonderful. Did just so wonderful to pardon me. I feel like they're part of the dress. Yes absolutely and so are you. I've been watching a lot of Pat Cleveland runway moments over the past couple of weeks in anticipation of this this AH Terry Mugabe's. I think were particularly fun. I saw you as the flower blossom awesome and as a kitty cat I mean you just bring so much joy to the runway and you have so much fun with it and I just I really appreciate that. Yeah we are you can have fun in everything. Put an a glove since what puff it I'll put in a sock you hand. It's a puppet you know you turn those close around but I just know Muga has such a fantastic imagination that he just infuses you with his his vision and they just want to be the ball of energy that brings it to live from because you know he's one of the first ones to put on those big shows where it's for entertainment as as well you know he kin so and I mean I remember those shows in the seventies. They were so magnificent saliva. You know it's not like when I first began you walk with a number in silent right staging and music in La People People shearing do it because you want what he insult to feel bored. You know it's nothing like a you know wet dressed dressed in a hangar but just in a hangar dripping exact he didn't want it looks like steamed staying. He had that for chase away the blues in fact you're still modeling. I just saw you and your daughter walking and singing your way down the runway this last fashion week. It was absolutely wonderful. Hello I'm telling you that was just spontaneous at in the bathroom five minutes before and she do it on the runway just singing into ANA. We always seem to channel and they put it on the runway believing so we get out there and we winged it. We just faked it too and we you know we like to do and stuff and for her she and I to be together. She's always travelling so that was just a special moment. We never you get to work together really very often. you know she just came off the follies. She was the star of the follies Ashir that and it was so wonderful to see her doing Josephine Baker because yes you know my my great aunt Josephine Baker's safety schoolteacher until Josephine get an gala the trading get out of town girl. You need to work it. You got it. She told her to play the piano and it's always been sort of in my family to have this wonderful full showgirl. Josephine in our lives. I am so special that you met her at the battle of her side right before that. Oh you day ah I knew her before that and I danced stage with her once Arnie all in another place in I was going to go up and be in her show but she died the week before I got there. I was going to try to be one of those cavalry. Yes Sir Yeah I love the Way Josephine Kinda comes in and out of your life to you because you've yourself of course have portrayed her many times on stage wonderful footage of you. I'm Patrick Kelly runway. He is Josephine Baker and we all orchids. She's the the number one showgirl for Black Society because she escapes such danger and she was able to live beautiful life. Yes and that's what we look for. We want to have a beautiful life all everybody. Yes yes absolutely as magazine just inaugurated their best in black fashion awards and you're the first person to ever receive the icon award in in there fritzy issue per se yard in parks and Susan Taylor and Oh my God there was so many wonderful the people and it was just like okay. We got to believe we gotta believe let's keep marching it forward and they were so advanced. They were already vegetarians using natural fabrics cushing international flavor into the black community. It was just enlightening to be with them and now they did a music awards and it just developed isn't it and beautiful editors. They have now and it's just beautiful. I'm so proud thank you and I just I'm curious because you've been a model now for fifty plus years and I'm just what does it mean to receive an award like this does kind of cause you to look back over your career and it just it brings everything into the present like you see the work and you see the development and you think this is a good thing you know when you're at the beginning of things most of the time. I'm at the beginning of things before they develop I duNno. It's just my path that then you see there's a room platform for many more people and you think. Oh Wow look at all these new people and you think okay that was good. It's good. We made that little walking path. which is now a highway or runway at an airport? I don't know it just opened doors. You think how wonderful hm this at things develop you know Nathan with having been able to enjoy fashion for so many years in work quin new designers and it's just amazing how people can take their imagination and make a life you know and that's kind of what I did. Use My Lai match nation and I make life for myself and I paint and I draw John. I ride and make music and every day I do something that makes me happy and I think modeling makes me happy because I get to be with these wonderful people that thank you so much for being with us today. In sharing with us you know the art magic enjoy of fashion and yourself really thank you so much inch stitching thinking painting. Keep saying the things that make you happy and have bliss consciousness. Thank you pat and we're sending you lots of love and light your way as well. Thank you for that prayer and have a good to hate you know April. Originally I had title eldest episode. A life lived in fashion but after interviewing pat I changed immediately to the joy of fashion isn't her joy infectious. Yes and she is one strong super. Inspiring woman cast as black fashion awards was one of her very first public appearances this year after being diagnosed knows with cancer this year but at the awards she revealed that she feels like a Phoenix rising from the ashes in large part and thanks to the fashion communities communities outpouring of support so pat you are so loved and we are sending you loads and loads of even more love on your road to recovery. Yes yes absolutely and again thank you to Pat Cleveland for taking the time to talk to us and to mark and her husband Paul Setting up well that does it for us today. Dress listeners may you consider paths legacy and the joy of fashion next time you get dressed just a reminder minder that cast and I will be at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City this coming Thursday which is September nineteenth so please join us if you'd like to tune in to our lecture series that's part of the fashion anxiety and society series we will be talking about gender right and you can head on over to the Bard Graduate Center Events Page and get your tickets now and if you have a moment to please take the time to rate and review us on Itunes and we also have love hearing from you so please write to us at dressed I heart media dot com and as always be sure to follow along on Instagram at just underscore podcast is also our twitter handle and you can follow us on facebook at dressed podcast is without the underscore last but not least thank you producers Holly Fry Casey Pilgrim and everyone else that I hurt media that makes this show possible. Each week catches soon and just the history of fashion a production of iheartradio from our podcast for my iheartradio. Is that the iheartradio APP apple podcasts or wherever else you listen to your favorite shows. My Name is Danny Shapiro and I'm the host of family secrets a podcast hot cast about the secrets kept from US secrets. We keep from others and the secrets we keep from ourselves. Finley secrets is a show where you can hear powerful stories as a part Greek healing and hope wasn't a season to a family secrets on apple podcasts the iheartradio APP or ever you get your podcasts

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