February 26, 2001
"Jimenez may have stolen the show with her "not-of-this-world" clothes," says Fashion Wire Daily.
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Rather than show her clothes on a conventional runway, Ms. Jimenez frequently stages orgiastic fashion happenings at old churches, galleries and warehouses. She is one the few designers represented by an art gallery; Holly Solomon Gallery added Ms. Jimenez to their roster three years ago. They do not exhibit her work on the walls. Instead, they arrange private fittings for clients and occasionally house her 20-minute-long, mythically titled spectacles. In ''Claiming the Sacred Harlot'' and ''In the Woods . . . Well-Come-Bliss-Dawn,'' Ms. Jimenez is joined by dozens of women wearing her sexy wood-nymph outfits undulating to a live opera singer or drums. Somehow, the clothes always manage to slip below the bust or waistline.
At Ether on Prince Street next weekend, you will be able to watch Elisa Jimenez, a New York designer represented by the Holly Solomon Gallery (a new trend: the gallery-owner-as-fashion rep), hand-sew her one-of-a-kind dresses (about $1,200) and G-strings (about $150) for her coming fashion show.
They set up shop at Suite 303, the jewel-box hair salon in the Chelsea Hotel, and invited friends and friends of friends to ''come play,'' as Ms. Jimenez said. Fifty women sipped homemade honey wine and chatted while trying on dresses in one corner, accessories in another and buying lip balm in a third. Some had their hair cut and blown out. Shopping never seemed so practical.
The others represented a mix of rising stars and promising newcomers: Rebecca Taylor, Christine Gano, Pierre Carrilero of Pierrot, Peter Som, Elisa Jimenez, Benjamin Cho, Maria Cornejo, Michael Soheil plus Bryan Bradley and Josh Patner of Tuleh. Each showed between three and eight outfits on a cast of top models that included Maggie Rizer, Erin O’Connor, May Andersen and Karen Elson, who volunteered their services, as did the hair and makeup artists Tina Turnbow and Danilo and the production team.
The designer, who is 35 and lives in Hell's Kitchen, sews one-of-a-kind dresses directly on her customers, typically dousing the garments with oils for an aromatherapy effect. Last week, she introduced her first full ready-to-wear line at Kirna Zabete on Greene Street.
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The Women's Tennis Association, Photographs by Dewey Hicks