When cine apparel artist Ellen Mirojnick bare a apparel that agilely bespoke power, breeding and airs for Bank Street—something aloof appropriate for accumulated brigand Gordon Gekko as played by Michael Douglas—she went attractive for Manhattan menswear ability Alan Flusser. Not because Flusser had blur acquaintance (he dressed Brooke Shields in 1984’s forgettable Sahara), but because the Coty award-winning artist had fabricated his acceptability as the backer of the ability look, a adept of categorical tailoring. If acquisitiveness is good, as Gekko proclaims, again owning a appropriate Flusser clothing is better.
Flusser, however, begin the offscreen Douglas beneath accustomed to chichi New Yorker gray flannel than to California casual. At their aboriginal affair aftermost March at Douglas’ New York apartment, Flusser says he accustomed cutting “pretty abundant what I consistently do: double-ed clothing with cuffs on the anorak sleeves, wing-tip suede shoes and a horizontal-stripe shirt with a white collar.” Douglas was beneath academic in a white broadcloth shirt and aphotic pants.
Though they hardly shaped up as sartorial soulmates, Douglas accepted a quick study. “He admired my shirt,” recalls Flusser, 42. Douglas was alike added afflicted with the designer’s white suspenders, imprinted with Sylvesters (as in the cat) and chicken Tweety Birds (as in the cat’s nemesis), and said he capital a brace for his associate Jack Nicholson. (Nicholson, however, will accept to do without; the suspenders aren’t actuality fabricated anymore.) For the aing three weeks Douglas was a accoutrement in Flusser’s two-year-old midtown boutique, area the attending is Old Money English, from the aged affectation cases abounding with $350 cashmere sweaters to the art nouveau assumption racks on which the $550 paisley smoker jackets are hung. In the end the aggregate of Douglas’ $28,000 blur apparel consisted of 11 apparel ($975 to $1,500 each, fabricated of English and Italian worsteds), 24 Swiss and English affection shirts ($250 each) and different handmade cottony ties, all of which now abide in the actor’s closet. Mirojnick says the money spent on Douglas—about 17 percent of the movie’s $165,000 apparel budget—was account it: “Michael comes beyond as addition abundantly able and awesome.”
To brighten that image, Flusser acclimated some tricks of his barter to beef up Douglas’ 5’10”, 150-lb. frame. Wider cuffs and acutely acicular collars gave Douglas “more able proportions,” he says, and little accept pads were sewn into the star’s shirts. His ability suspenders were both beautiful and functional. “Douglas is actual attenuate through the hips,” says Flusser. “If he hadn’t beat suspenders, I agnosticism his pants would’ve backward up.”
With his bright atramentous beard beggared aerial on the side, the flash of his manicured nails allusive that of his gold ball-and-tee belt links, Flusser is the apotheosis of apparent nattiness. His backward father, a New Jersey absolute acreage man, had “wonderful taste,” says Flusser, and his mother, who endemic a dress shop, additionally had a able faculty of style. “I was crazy about clothes,” he says. “I never wore dungarees or jeans. I consistently capital to dress up.”
As a jailbait in West Orange, N.J., Flusser approved his allowance of apparel aboriginal on. He would acquaint earlier accompany and ancestors what to wear, and at 15, he accompanied his girlfriend’s millionaire ancestor to a clothier to advice him aces out fabrics for his suits. Two years later, while at the University of Pennsylvania, Flusser showed his ambitious angled back he bought acclimated motorcycles and busy them out to adolescent students. The money financed a cruise to London, area his aboriginal stop was a men’s boutique a Savile Row to accept two apparel fabricated for $350 each.
Flusser transferred to Temple University in 1964, accelerating in 1968 in advanced arts and went to assignment designing shirts for Van Heusen and men’s accouterment for Pierre Cardin, afore activity into business for himself in 1979. His line, the Alan Flusser Collection, was actuality awash in such chic administration food as Saks, Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf Goodman. In 1985, annoyed of seeing barter break adapted in his off-the-rack suits, he chock-full affairs ready-to-wear and went into custom tailoring. For added bashful tastes—and pocketbooks—he still produces a accouterment band for J.C. Penney, and he has nine licensees in Japan accomplishment such items as home accoutrement (including bedding and towels) and eyeglasses. Aftermost year his mini-empire pulled in $22 million.
Home in Manhattan for Flusser, his wife, Marilise, 43, a appearance consultant, and their two daughters, Morgan Skye, 7, and Kaitlin Piper, 4, is an all-embracing 10-room Upper West Ancillary apartment. On weekends they escape to their three-story log abode in upstate New York. Although Marilise, whose tastes are as aberrant as her husband’s are classic, was aloft as a Catholic, she has been a affiliate of Nichiren Sho-shu, a Japanese Buddhist sect, for the accomplished 15 years. Flusser, aloft as a Jew, aing anon after, and one bank of their dining allowance has an chantry area the two of them carol 90 account daily. “We were actual advanced Jews, so my ancestors was not afraid back I took it up,” he explains. “They said if it did me some good, again fine.” That it did. “Chanting calms me,” he says. “It helps me accord bigger with problems of accustomed life. It’s a conditioning action area you achievement to attain apple accord through alone happiness.”
Another aspect of his acceptance is his acceptance that blast or no crash, there will consistently be Gordon Gekkos to clothe. Since the absolution of Bank Street bout weeks ago, barter accept been clamoring for the bespatter suspenders and horizontal-stripe shirts beat by Douglas. If the banal bazaar has struggled, Flusser’s business has not; he affairs to accessible a annex on Bank Street afterwards this year. “In November of 1986 in this one abundance we did about $70,000,” he says. “Last November we did $195,000. For the year we’ll do maybe $2 million. It’s a life-style for these guys, and they aren’t activity to change it.”
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