Vintage Fashion at Modernism Week

Modernism Week in Palm Springs has stretched to 10 days in February, and there are so many tours, lectures, parties and films that it’s not possible to attend them all. Reise and Allison chose to spend last Sunday at the “Step Into the Past Modernism Fashion Show,” which turned out to be a brilliant choice.


Organized by Mitchel Karp (below left), owner of Mitchells, an extraordinary vintage store in Palm Springs, the show was a benefit for Temple Isaiah Jewish Community Center’s outreach programs. It was the second year Karp has put on a show during Modernism Week, and his choices leaned heavily on the 60s and 70s, with a smattering of items from the 90s and 2000s.


We saw some astonishing clothes:  an orange Courreges dress from the 1990s, a Halston green gown from the 1970s, a Dior paisley caftan from the 1960s, a men’s Issey Miyaki jacket and Versace leather jeans, both from the 1990s, and jumpsuits from the 1960s through current years.




You had to love his categories: caftans, jumpsuits, swimwear, iconic designers, formal wear and a grand all-Pucci finale. Nine models of various ages and genders walked the runway in each category.  The program include an interesting written history of the jumpsuit, which was invented in 1919, we learned, by Ernesto Michahelles, an Italian painter of the Futurist movement. It was known then as the “Tuta,” because of its “T” shape and was worn by parachutists and skydivers — which gave rise to the name “jumpsuit.”


runway 7



Pucci group crop

Models gathered afterwards with audience members, many dressed in vintage:

model and lots of friends

model and friendMitchells had a pop-up store in the room, where garments from the show and others from the shop were for sale.

Thank you, Mitchel Karp and Mitchells! The store is at 106 W. Indian Canyon Dr. in Palm Springs, and is well worth a stop.




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