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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Design for Dying

The death of Manhattan fashion designer Michele Savoia made a big splash this week. Truly the biggest designer death, I believe, since Versace was murdered. Foul play has virtually been ruled out at this point. The 55-year-old Mr Savoia pulled a Natalie Wood and slipped into the icy Hudson River from a gangplank en route to his yacht, weighed down by his vintage raccoon coat. Another excellent reason not to wear fur. And rather ironic to have fashion contribute to the designer's demise.

The East Village fashion figure's work was described by The New York Times thusly:  

Mr. Savoia designed costumes for Broadway shows like “Swing,” “Promises, Promises” and “Evita,” starring Ricky Martin. Though not widely known in the fashion world, he was something of a celebrity among vintage-clothing aficionados who, like him, thought of modern designs as lacking a certain swagger. 

He also designed for celebrities like Robert De Niro, Chris Noth and Tom Hanks.

His designs embodied the flair and panache of New York in the 1930s and 1940s: rakish fedoras, wide lapels and billowy pinstripe trousers meant to be worn well north of the navel, added the Times

The Daily News, however, crudely described Mr Savoia as being "fished out" from the river early Saturday morning. Holy mackerel!

"Savoia was last seen about 4 a.m. Thursday leaving the Marquee nightclub on 10th Ave. in Chelsea, where he capped off New York City Fashion Week with friends," the News wrote. “'I don’t want to say I’m not surprised, but he lived on the edge,' said Christina Logothetis, a student of Savoia’s at the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2009." And apparently he toppled off that edge as well.

Juli Berg, Savoia's  47-year-old girlfriend, told The Daily News: “I messaged him Thursday to check on him, (writing) ‘Are you OK in the storm?’” said Berg sobbing. “I didn’t hear from him.”
She said she knew something was wrong when he stood her up on Valentine’s Day.

Death can be so cold. RIP, Michele Savoia. We will miss your unique sense of style.

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