Friday, January 13, 2012

Meeting Vicky Tiel

Coffee and book talk with Vicky Tiel  at Cosi, Bethesda 
Last fall I got to interview fashion designer Vicky Tiel whose trendsetting designs caught the eye of Elizabeth Taylor and other Hollywood icons of the '60s including Ursula Andress and Kim Novak She also designed costumes for movies including "What's New Pussycat" and "Pretty Woman".

I was just a little daunted when she suggested a sit-down at Cosi in Bethesda. I soon discovered there was no need.

She couldn't have been more warm and ingratiating.  A sharp businesswoman, Tiel was driven to live her life exactly how she envisioned it. "I was born to make dresses," she told me. And she still does. Just yesterday I saw one of her gowns on a show on Bravo. I'm convinced that's why at 68, she still has a youthful twinkle in her eye, a big sense of fun and a terrific sense of style. She was influenced by photographer Irving Penn and during a time of frill and fuss, went for spare, clean lines in her designs.

I already felt like I knew her because I'd done my homework and read her recent book, It's All About the Dress, which reveals so much of her. We talked about men, friendship, sex, growing up in Chevy Chase in the '60s, being a cheerleader, sex, being a geisha, men (read the book). We tried on coats down the street at Snowimage.

Now she's happily married to a (younger) man (remember, "geisha") and creating gowns for the Home Shopping Network. She still has her shop, Vicky Tiel, in Paris. Needless to say, I took in every word, eager to absorb the atmosphere around a woman who manages to retain her youthful energy, power, sexuality and creativity at age 68. Rock stars do it. Vicky does, too. 
Read more from my interview with Vicky Tiel in the Shop Talk column in the January/February issue of Bethesda Magazine. 

Vicky drawing a sketch in my book 
Book signing