Although New York Fashion Week may be officially all wrapped up until next season, we have so many beautiful collections and lavish events to look back on. However this NYFW, we also are looking back on the long and lustrous life of socialite Zelda Kaplan who passed away yesterday at Lincoln Center in the midst of the Joanna Mastroianni Fall 2012 runway show. Pictured below at the tents right before the show begun, in her signature over-sized glasses, bold prints and ever-matching hat; Kaplan showed no visible signs of distress.
The 95 year old socialite is famously known for rubbing shoulders at the most posh nightclubs New York City has to offer including Bungalow 8, with party-goers a quarter of her age. When previously asked about her bedtime in a 2012 New York Magazine interview, the ageless Kaplan replied casually, “anywhere between midnight and 7am“. What a legend!
Yesterday’s Joanna Mastroianni drew upon a crowd of the who’s-who in fashion, including another elderly icon, Iris Apfel, who was the muse and focal point for the entire Fall 2012. Although the show did go on, witnesses say once the runway lights turned on is about when Zelda Kaplan turned off, falling forward in her front row chair. Fashion industry ambassador and writer Ruth Finley reported, ‘I was sitting right next to her…She flopped over in my lap. The show was just starting. I thought she fainted.’
Kaplan was taken out of the Lincoln Center venue and immediately rushed to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, where she was pronounced dead and the cause of death has not yet been released. ‘Zelda Kaplan is a true original and a cultural icon, particularly to seniors as persons who are vivacious unpredictable and great fun to be around,’ society photographer Patrick McMullen sadly confessed to The New York Daily News. He continued on stating, ‘I will truly miss her. But look forward to seeing her again in the great night-club she will be hosting called after-life.’
Looking back on the travelling fashion legend, she would travel to various spots all over the world in search of fabrics. The worldly fabrics would then make it’s way on back to the States where Kaplan would have her garments custom made along with matching hats to give her a truly unique sense of style. Another New York icon to be missed but not forgotten!