Stay, Little Valentine, Stay

Today is World AIDS Day and, to quote the character of Addison De Witt from  All About Eve, I don’t want to be “maudlin and full of self-pity.” On the other hand, when I saw the image of the White House today with its giant commemorative red ribbon, it got me thinking how very far we’ve come from those dark days of the early 80s when the Reagan White House wouldn’t even acknowledge the disease. It’s symbolism, I know, but it’s beautiful symbolism – especially when you consider the intentions of the Visual AIDS Artists Caucus, the New York-based creators of the Red Ribbon Project in 1991. They stipulated that the anonymously credited red ribbon be made freely available, without copyright, to raise awareness and mark the devastation of the epidemic, but also, according to Wikipedia, settled on the scarlet moniker  because of its “connection to blood and the idea of passion — not only anger, but love, like a valentine.” So with some sadness that will never go away, but also with a smile, I’m sending a valentine of my own today to all my friends in the fashion industry – lost so long ago – to Timothy, Jim, Claude, Robert, Roger, Brian, the two Doug’s, Terry, Bill, Kip, John from Lincoln, my assistant David, John from NYC, Daniel, Dennis, Jay, another Jay and his roommate JR, Yvon, Jeffrey and Timothy the models, Richard, Barry, Herb, David ….

“Sky”               Ross Bleckner 1999


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