Yesterday, Dennis Basso debuted his Spring/Summer ’24 collection at the swanky 583 Park Avenue venue on the Upper East Side. Featured looks including men-tailored jackets with a feminine twist, fit and flare cocktail dresses, floaty shimmering gowns, and polka-dot and floral prints galore—all inspired by the style, strength, and grace of great American families across the generations. So it was only fitting for the legendary designer to enlist none other than Cornelia Guest to close the show.
Cornelia—who was best known as the “Debutante of Decade” during the ’80s and is the daughter of the late iconic socialite (and Truman Capote swan!) CZ Guest—looked effortless walking down the runway in a strapless, form-fitting gown accented with hand-embellished lace lined in pale blue satin faced organza with a train of organza paired with black opera gloves and dramatic earrings.
Speaking to Town & Country, Basso says the finale look was ‘chic, elegant, and sophisticated with just ‘enough sexy.’ “I kept in mind CZ will be watching from above,” Basso continues. “Like Mom, they both know how to wear clothes… the clothes never wear them.”
When Basso asked Cornelia to be apart of the show, she didn’t skip a beat at saying yes. “Dennis called me a while a back and said, ‘I’m going to do this show about generational women.’ And I said, that’s a great idea because more and more, you see mother’s shopping with daughters and granddaughters and one and on,” recalls Cornelia. “I said to Dennis, ‘I think that’s great that you can dress everyone in your clothes. They’re wearable for everyone.'”
At the time, Cornelia didn’t think much of the conversation, but then Basso called again. “He said, ‘I need you to close the show,'” she recounts with a giggle. “I said I would love it! I never met a runway I didn’t love and here I am!”
According to Basso, it was a no-brainer to ask Cornelia to close his show. “Having known Mrs. Guest (CZ) for over 40 years and dressed her on numerous occasions along with Cornelia, it seemed so natural to call Corny up,” he says, noting that CZ had actually brought Cornelia to his very first show in 1983 where they first met. “We have such an amazing history,” Basso continues. “That conversation brought back so many great memories of years ago from Studio 54, Regines, Club A, Andy, Halston, the old Le Cirque on 65th Street, and the parties and dinners at her apartment or my apartment! We’ve always entertained one another here in NYC, The Hamptons, or Dallas. There’s nothing like friends with history.”
“I just remember all the women were excited,” Cornelia says of Basso’s show 40 years ago. “Everyone loves Dennis, and he’s a lovely man and I think everyone was excited for him. I was young and I got to go with mother and I was happy.”
While CZ, who passed away in 2003, unfortunately couldn’t be there to see her daughter be a part of this memorable moment, Cornelia knows she would have been proud: “I think she would have loved it.”