Skip to main content

Charles Gerli fashion runway slides

Identifier: KA-0109-01


Collection consists of photographic slides depicting fashion runway shows compiled by freelance photographer Charles Gerli. Photographs were taken by Gerli, Dan Lecca and Corina Lecca for various magazines. Designers and fashion houses represented include Bill Blass, Chanel, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Lacroix, Lanvin, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Valentino, Adrienne Vittadini and many others.


  • 1991-1992



6.5 Cubic Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 35 mm color slides compiled by fashion photographer Charles Gerli, documenting fashion runway shows for 1991-1992. According to the donor, Charles Gerli, images constituting the collection were taken for publishing in various fashion magazines and newspapers. Most of the photographs were taken by Charles Gerli, with a smaller amount by the couple Dan Lecca and Corina Lecca.

Designers and fashion houses represented in the collection include Bill Blass, Chanel, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Lacroix, Lanvin, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Valentino, Adrienne Vittadini and many others. Former Parsons School of Design students include but are not limited to Donna Karan, Badgley Mischka, Isaac Mizrahi, and Charlotte Neuville.

Slide mounts are usually labeled with the name of the designer or fashion house, year, and season. It is unknown who labeled the slides. The labels are in English. Explicitly labeled haute couture collections have been separated from general seasonal collections.

It is unclear where the depicted runway shows took place. There is no known connection to Parsons School of Design other than Gerli's contributions to the school's annual fashion show in the late 1970s; the school did not host the runway shows depicted in the images. Although various periodicals published Gerli's photographs, New School Archives staff do not know which entity commissioned the photographs, if any.

The photographer is identified on the majority of the slides. When the photographer is by someone other than Charles Gerli, it is noted within the collection inventory.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use. Please contact for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives. Please contact:

According to the donation agreement, Charles Gerli stated that he worked as a freelance photographer, and that he never signed a "work-for-hire" contract with a magazine for the photographs contained in this collection. Thus, he owned the rights to photographs he took and he subsequently assigned those rights to the Kellen Design Archives. The rights in the Dan Lecca and Corina Lecca images are unknown.


It is unconfirmed, but probable that Charles Gerli is a member of the Italian-American Gerli family that has been involved in the silk and fabrics industry for many decades. His first photographs of social events and fashion runway shows probably appeared in the 1980s, and were published in The New York Times, and probably in Women’s Wear Daily, New York Magazine, and Harper’s Bazaar, and in at least one book about fashion.


Gross, Michael. Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women. It Books, 2011.

Ruth, La F. "Report from Milan." New York Times (1923-) Nov 15 1987: 2. ProQuest. 13 Apr. 2023.


Slides are arranged in their seasonal order. The series titles within the collection follow the season names as inscribed on the slides. Series are arranged chronologically by year and by season, and alphabetically by designer name within the season.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Kellen Design Archives by Charles Gerli in 2000.

Processing Information

Researchers will encounter repeating file titles in the collection inventory. The reason is as follows:

When the Archives acquired this collection, it included slides sleeved in archival enclosures, as well as slides held in plastic slide boxes. Oftentimes slides from the same runway show were found both sleeved and in boxes. During processing, slides in boxes were transferred into archival sleeves and foldered, and the boxes were discarded. When slides from the same runway show had been originally held both in sleeves and in boxes, they have been entered into the inventory in this finding aid as separate file titles, and they have been foldered separately. In a few cases, slides from a runway show were also found in mailing envelopes. These slides have also been entered in this inventory as separate titles and have been foldered separately from the sleeved and boxed slides.

Comments on labeling:

The abbreviation "A/W" (Autumn/Winter) inscribed on some slide enclosures has been standardized in this inventory as "Fall and Winter" and "S/S" as "Spring and Summer."

In a few cases, some slides from a runway show are labeled "S/S 1992" while others from the same show are labeled "Spring 1992." The processing archivist retained these distinctions and entered them separately in this inventory.

For several runway shows, all slides are labeled "Spring" The processing archivist retained this season designation in this inventory.

In some cases, slide boxes had an inscription "P.B." after the designer's name. This might be a misspelling for "P.R.," which also appeared on several slide boxes. It has not been determined what P.B. or P.R are meant to designate.

The inscription "W" likely refers to "Winter" and "H" or "H.C." to "Haute Couture."

While there are several variations of designers' names written on boxes and slides, the processing archivist standardized names in this inventory using the fullest version of the designer's name.

If a slide box had an inscription that included more information or a different name than the name of the designer, the inscription has been noted in this inventory.

Guide to the Charles Gerli fashion runway slides
Agnes Szanyi
April 14, 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • April 29, 2024: Jenny Swadosh corrected dates in Series 3.