He’s a fashion director, author, store co-owner, reality TV star, fashion curator, collector, creative consultant, historian and stylist to the stars.
Cameron Silver has been all over the world, but he’s never been to Wichita. But he will be here Sept. 26 and 27 for events at Wichita State University’s Ulrich Museum of Art. I talked to him by phone to see what we can expect from this charming and well-known walking, talking encyclopedia of fashion.
“I love the Midwest and I’m really looking forward to coming to Wichita. It wasn’t easy to fit the trip into my schedule, but I love to get out of major metropolitan cities,” he said. He was in New York when I talked to him, but his couture vintage boutique, Decades, is on Melrose in Los Angeles.
He said he’s pleased the events he’s coming for are at a museum. “Fashion is an art. Fashion exhibitions in museums are very popular. I think fashion is an amazing barometer of what is happening and what has happened in the past. It is beyond just playing dress-up,” he said.
Since the center of his vast career is fashion, one of my first questions was: When was his interest sparked? “Young, very young. I think it started when I was about 3½ years old,” he said.
He said he grew up an only child in Beverly Hills but was quick to add, “I’m a non-brat because I had very sensible parents.” After the family went to the movie “Annie Hall,” Cameron decked himself out in a little straw hat, a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up and khaki pants. His parents took him into a store in Beverly Hills, where he got a lot of attention. “I liked what clothes did for me,” he said. “Gradually I grew to love expressing myself through clothes.”
He and his parents traveled a lot, and those travels included shopping. “I loved exploring cities and seeing what they had to sell. To this day I still travel with my parents,” he said. “And I talk to them every day.”
Squeezing in a daily conversation is surely a challenge considering Cameron’s schedule. He was named one of Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Names and Faces in Fashion,” which isn’t surprising after his book, “DECADES: A Century of Fashion,” was an international best-seller. He co-starred on Bravo’s “Dukes of Melrose,” which featured his store. He has probably styled your favorite star for the red carpet at the Golden Globes, Academy Awards and other major events on both coasts.
When I asked if he had a favorite designer, he said, “That’s a ‘Sophie’s Choice’ thing. You can’t pick a favorite child, but I would have to say Halston.”
Cameron says he loved Halston even in his childhood. “He was so famous, so I loved the power of his image and his fashion. One of the beauties of the brand is there is a timelessness to it,” he said.
Now as fashion director for H Halston and H by Halston, he calls the brand “his baby.” “Now I’m talking about Halston in front of a million people on QVC,” he said.
On Monday, Sept. 26, Cameron will be at the Ulrich Museum for a reception at 5:30 p.m. and program, “Cameron Silver: Decades: A Century of Fashion,” at the CAC Theater at 6:30. Admission is free.
On Tuesday, Sept. 27, he will host a trunk show at the Ulrich Museum from 5 to 7 p.m., where you’ll have an opportunity to own a piece of couture fashion. Appetizers and wine will be served. Tickets to this event are $100 each.
I asked for a few examples of what he’ll bring for the trunk show. “There will be some things from Chanel, probably accessories, and some rare and unusual Hermes and something from Yves Saint Laurent,” he said.
“It will be really wonderful, and I’m very interested in what the local fashionistas are interested in,” he said.
Tickets for the trunk show are available at Wichita.edu/decades or mail your check to Ulrich Museum of Art, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260-0046. Tickets will be available at the door.
A portion of the proceeds will support “Coded_Couture,” an exhibit that examines the emerging creative role of computer programming on today’s couture fashion. Another thing fans of fashion won’t want to miss.
Reach Bonnie Bing at firstname.lastname@example.org.