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Women of Style/Rose Hartman Photography Exhibition Opening Reception - Sunday, 11/20/2011 8:43 PM

The much anticipated Women of Style event took place on the 5th floor of the museum at F.I.T. on Thursday night, November 3rd. The black and white photographic retrospective, that had tongues wagging for weeks, was a indisputable success.

Rose Hartman

A mix of admirers, colleagues, fans, supporters and former subjects of Hartman's work were all present to view iconic moments from New York City nightlife, fashion shows, parties, clubs and openings, from Studio 54 to Mudd Club, to the art galleries of Chelsea today. Hartman's career has yielded a treasure trove of material that portrays incomparable women in high fashion, street style and New York City society through the eye of a social documentarian.

Georgianna Robertson

Excitement was in the air from the moment guests arrived and the cameras flashed early-on for the likes of socialites Jean Shafiroff, Michele Gerber Klein, Chiu-Ti Jansen, Lucia Hwong Gordon and Liliana Cavendish, fashion models Georgianna Robertson and Alva Chin, and colleagues Rosemary Ponzo, Colette and Katherine Cron. Other notables included Anthony Haden-Guest, Phillip Bloch, Gemma Kahng, Gregory Speck, Roy Kean, Ed Callaghan, John Wegorzewski, Berry Brown and Ivy Brown.

At one point, Hartman could scarcely be reached, as clicking flashbulbs became the norm for 20 minutes straight. Patrick McMullan, himself, led the stampede, capturing every bit of expression and excitement that Hartman could muster. Quick sound bytes of interviews were done in spurts as Hartman tried her best to acknowledge each expression of congratulations and every question regarding various photos.

Gemma Kahng, Colette, Sandy Long, Rose Hartman, Jean and Valerie

It should be noted that Hartman's selected works were not only beautiful but stirring. They evoked a sense of pride for many who lived during the Studio 54 era, in particular. Best story of the night? Supermodel Alva Chin, whose bum was shot by Hartman while changing backstage at a fashion show many, many years ago. That image made it into "WWD" and, yes, Chin was outraged at the time. Second best story of the night? Liliana Cavendish, after viewing a Hartman photo of the now legendary designer Stephen Burrows, reminisced about how she once longed to walk for him, but lacked the strut of a Grace Jones or Pat Cleveland. Third best story of the night? Society Publicist Edward Callaghan overheard saying how Hartman attended everything worth anything in their day. Her photos caused his voice to well as he remembered.

In the back room, over savory bites of sandwiches on plumped Focaccia, antipasto salad and sips of wine with cheese, guests took in the rich wonderful evening. Though set to end at 9:00 pm, the event held on for another 30-45 minutes, with guests making their way to the newly opened DUO on 28th st. and Madison for a swank after-party.