Thursday, August 25, 2011

Eye's on the Stars, while Tom Lyle slips away.

1976 was America's Bi-Centennial year, and to celebrate it's 200th Birthday I decide to produce a multi-media Fashion Show for Lawyer's Wives at the Disneyland Hotel, for 500 people.

My dad bought a designer dress store in posh, Fashion Island, Newport Beach California, called ann Folger, and being the most eligible bachelor on Lido Isle, he had his choice of models.  He chose Gloria Rosan, shown with him in front of the store in 1976.

I too had the benefit of ann Folgers and the model's when I produced a fashion show, using several of the crew from Goodbye Norma Jean to help with sound and lighting.  Here is a picture of the girls getting ready to walk the runway, as Mistress of ceremony, I put on Vogue 76, for a sold out audience. 

Dressed like a model myself I had 5 dress changes and hired over 50 people, including dancers, actors,  male models, hairdressers, a costume designer, stage manager, music and lighting men, a camera man, a script writer and even my husband as personal Attorney.   I called the Maybelline Co. and told them I was Tom Lyle Williams great niece, and was producing an Orange County fashion show
 for 500 people and they were happy to ship me
 cases of “Blooming Colors” products, with Maybelline's new packaging, logo, and pink and purple colors.               

When I called Unk lie and told him what I’d done, he laughed and was flattered the new company knocked themselves out for me just by using his name.  I invited him to the show, but his health was very bad and he was so weak he could hardly get out of bed.  But he said he'd be there in spirit, and I was grateful - not knowing it was  the last time I'd ever hear his voice.

I had been so distracted with my friend, David Van Houten and his connection with Barry Diller of Paramount Studios and Diane von Furstenberg, a young designer with her own line clothes, that  time sped by, as my beloved Unk Ile had only months to live.  All  I thought about was designing my one line of clothes for Ann Folgers, and taking David's advice on how to produce the Fashion Show.  He believed my multi-media production would make a great Broadway production and invited me to New York to meet his friends Paramount Studios where he was a young executive. 

Did I go?  Pick up a copy of The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind it at Barnes and Nobel, Amazon or get a signed copy from me at   

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