Frank O’Hara and Fashion (at the Wedding of Eugenia Kim and Christopher Lee)


Frank O’Hara has recently been popping up in the world of high fashion and celebrity culture — for instance, he was named as one of the late designer Kate Spade’s muses and his work has inspired a luxury Lunch Poems handbag flaunted by Jennifer Lawrence.  The trend continues with a report in Vogue about the wedding of “Eugenia Kim, the CEO and creative director of her eponymous women’s accessories line—which creates hats worn by celebrities like Beyoncé—and designer Christopher Lee.”

The article traces the “meet-cute” of this high-profile couple (which had all “the makings of a Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks rom-com”) before describing the details of their carefully-planned wedding, which included a reading of Frank O’Hara’s beloved poem “Having a Coke With You.”

O’Hara’s 1960 poem — an ode to his lover Vincent Warren — has recently taken on a vibrant life of its own as a highly “relatable” social media favorite and, yes, poem read at weddings, both straight and same-sex.  For more on the poem’s complicated “relatability,” keep your eyes out for a terrific forthcoming essay in PMLA on this topic by poetry scholar Brian Glavey, titled “Having a Coke With You Is Even More Fun than Ideology Critique.” (And for more on this poem’s afterlife, see here, here, here, and here).

Here’s a bit more about the details of the wedding and the readings the couple included in their ceremony:

“The new weather development created a slightly dark mood that added to the setting and our aesthetic,” Eugenia says. “We both dislike traditional wedding music—if I have to hear ‘Pachelbel’s Canon in D’ at one more wedding!—however, we’re both very specific about our music. We were lucky to find the Joyce Hammann String Quartet, which specializes in nontraditional string music, and they wore all black including matching black leather Eugenia Kim ‘Carter’ berets—the same one I originally designed for Beyoncé to wear to the Grammys.” The bridal party processional was “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, and the bride walked down the aisle to “George’s Waltz II,” composed by Shigeru Umebayashi from Tom Ford’s A Single Man, a song that Christopher believes embodies his love for Eugenia. There was a reading from a love letter Zelda Fitzgerald wrote to F. Scott Fitzgerald, an excerpt from a letter written from him to her on the eve of their wedding, and a passage from The Beautiful and Damned, as well as Frank O’Hara’s “Having a Coke with You.”

I have to think O’Hara would’ve been amused and pleased to have a poem of his read at the wedding of a woman known as “the milliner to the stars.”  At this point, maybe the real question is are there any fashion designers out there who don’t love Frank O’Hara?






This entry was posted in Brian Glavey, fashion, Frank O'Hara, Vincent Warren. Bookmark the permalink.

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