This Susan Cianciolo Run Public sale Is ’90s Pristine York Historical past
At the type web, gatekeeping is regarded as a significant crime. Family don’t need to utility Google to determine the place you were given the antique skirt you’re dressed in on TikTok. They would like you to inform them the place you discovered it, at this time—or else. But if scribbler and filmmaker Liz Goldwyn used to be getting into her personal in Pristine York within the ‘90s, information about fashion wasn’t so easy to come by. “Things were happening, and you were either there or you weren’t. There wasn’t the kind of documentation we have now, and trends weren’t over before they began,” she tells me over the phone from Hawaii.
Goldwyn’s own vintage clothing collection spans the 1860s to now and features plenty of archival Yves Saint Laurent. It’s also heavy on pieces by Susan Cianciolo, the deconstructionist designer whose brand Run had a cult-like following in New York in the ‘90s. Cianciolo’s work is essentially gatekept by time: you can’t find her pieces anywhere, or even read much about the brand online.
Cianciolo founded Run in 1995 and made 11 collections through 2001. She’s known for pieces handcrafted from found or recycled garments and textiles. Goldwyn served as her muse, and many of the items in her wardrobe are one-of-a-kind collaborations between her and the designer. Now, instead of keeping this slice of ‘90s New York fashion to herself, Goldwyn has decided to share it with the world, through an online auction with the art gallery Bridget Donahue and multi-media company Special Offer, Inc.
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The web page constructed for the public sale, which started the day past and can journey on for 2 extra weeks, used to be envisioned as a virtual artwork museum for Cianciolo’s paintings. “There are all these girls in their 20s that are working on the website, and they’re obsessed with Susan, and I’m like, How do you know who she is?” says Goldwyn. Cianciolo’s Run isn’t just about as smartly documented because the paintings of designers like Ann Demeulemeester or Martin Margiela, who have been additionally a part of the deconstructionism motion of the month. However her paintings represents one thing extra ephemeral than the fat names: the subversive bygone generation of Pristine York’s Nineteen Nineties ingenious scene, prior to type used to be hyper-commercialized. After I reached out to Cianciolo for remark, she admits that community’s obsession with this month nonetheless mystifies her however “since it was a time of invention and freedom,” the clothes from the public sale can “do business in a hope for one thing all of us need to reach within the sense of ascension.”
“Her world was kind of like a cult back then! I was definitely part of it but I was also never the kind of person who was in just one cliche. It was fun because I could have the distance to go uptown and work at Sotheby’s and bring things from that whole world to Susan and then vice versa—bring her stuff into that world,” Goldwyn tells me. “When I was at Sotheby’s the guards would always say to me, I think you got your dress stuck in an escalator! Or all my family friends would be like, I just want to snip the loose ends!”
At 46, Goldwyn admits her style hasn’t changed much since then, “I still rock that deconstructionist academic look that Susan really exemplified,” she says. But still, she feels ready to part with her pieces from that time. “There’s some pieces I’ve held on to, but I really felt that as a collector, I appreciate provenance and hearing the stories that come with a piece. I thought it was time to pass on this piece of fashion history to someone else.”
On Liz.Run, you’ll find over 40 one-of-a-kind Cianciolo Run pieces, some Barbie dolls, a perfume named Lucky Pants, and a watercolor painting of Goldwyn wearing Run collection 8. You’ll also get the stories behind everything, as told by Goldwyn herself. Rather than type out captions, she recorded conversations between Cianciolo and herself, which begin to play as you click on every lot. The items aren’t photographed but videotaped on models, who spin slowly on lazy Susans surrounded by blue masking tape, often talking and laughing, sometimes interacting with the production team. Images and Polaroids of the original piece from Goldwyn’s archive are collaged on top. It feels like a homemade documentary from the ’90s you stumbled across on VHS.
For an off-white v-neck dress with a crochet sash from Run collection 7, Goldwyn’s voice can be heard explaining why it is heavily seamed and darted along the front and back: “I always wanted my pieces with Susan to be tight, tight, tight!” For a mixed-denim distressed wrap skirt with Laura Ashley-like floral ruffle fabric coming out the bottom, fitted with a crochet wrap-around belt, Goldwyn exclaims, “I used to wear the shit out of this skirt! God, I wore it everywhere.” She recalls wearing one yellow maxi t-shirt dress with a red “RUN” stencil-painted on the front to a pre-Oscars brunch Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenburg used to host. “It was very funny and out of place. But this was also Oscars weekend before people had stylists.”
Goldwyn wearing a custom tiered dress rom Run’s last season, custom made using her own archival fabrics. The turquoise fabric is from a 1912 tea dress Goldwyn had. She was photographed for Harper’s Bazaar in this piece, which was available at the auction but has since been acquired.
As for her favorite piece in the auction, Goldwyn tells me it’s a custom birthday present that came around the time she made her first work around sex, a burlesque documentary and book called Pretty Things: The Last Generation of American Burlesque Queens. “Susan made me a burlesque costume that is in the auction with a certificate of authenticity. It feels like a time in my life where the stories and the memories I have are really internal, and I’m ready to let go of some of the objects.” The costume features a sheer tank top with a cluster of pastel fabrics tacked on at the waist like a torn-apart tutu, worn over blue lace underwear embellished with beads. Liz’s voice can be heard as the model spins: “Oh! I’m shocked to see someone else wearing this.”
For Goldwyn, what makes auctioning clothes different from art is how intimate it is. “You learn so much about people’s personal lives from their clothes,” she tells me. “The interior of your clothes will tell your story. And you just realize what an incredible anthropological object clothing is and what it tells about a certain place and time. This is very New York, late ’90s, pre 9/11 when everything changed. It’s a love letter to the ’90s.”
And while it is strange to see her clothing—mostly custom—styled in a way she wouldn’t wear, on someone who isn’t her, Goldwyn is still excited to see the pieces take on a new life, hopefully in the hands of a new generation enamored with the fashion of a pre-social-media world. They may never get to truly live in Cianciolo’s universe, but it’ll surely become a special, newly discovered piece of fashion history—the kind you can’t help but want to try and gatekeep, at least a little.
Tara Gonzalez is the Senior Model Writer at Harper’s Bazaar. Up to now, she used to be the way scribbler at InStyle, starting trade essayist at Glamour, and type essayist at Coveteur.