The untimely death of a woman so filled with life, left everyone who knew Abbijane in shock. Abbijane passed away last week from a ruptured aneurysm. Abbi was a clothing designer, but foremost a force of life. She was unofficially know as the mayor of her block on East 19th St. She lived in a wonderful townhouse, where she staged her fashion shows. (Her prior apartment was a lovely space with high ceilings and bright bubblegum pink walls.) Her designs were beautiful and understated. I have a few. They are timeless pieces, made of the best fabrics. Judging from the people who wore her clothes at the memorial, they still hold up and look better than ever.
Abbijane designed my wedding dress. She was so excited about it as she had the best cream colored crushed velvet that would be perfect to accommodate my need of being able to dance in it. She always overestimated my size. Even after taking my measurements, my first fitting was falling off me. She kept saying I forgot how small you are. Abbi was used to designing clothes for people like her: tall, thin and beautiful. She also made a point to say, you can cut the dress down after the wedding and wear it again. I still have the dress, but haven't altered it.
Abbijane had great stories. She told our friend Rosemary that she would never write a book. Too bad, it would have been entertaining. She was a mainstay at the Mudd Club in the 80's and a true supporter of her friends who all seemed to be musicians, artists or producers. Bob Gruen, the photographer was always at her shows. Lenny Kaye was a good friend. Being a David Johnsen fan, Abbi used to humor me by telling David stories. Abbijane never changed, she was ageless as I told her the last time I saw her last year. Her big smile will be greatly missed.