Published: August 9, 2023
Submitted by her family
BRONXVILLE, N.Y. — Lydia Gordon passed away on May 28 at the age of 94.
Lydia Altoriso was born into a hardworking Italian family in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. She was the youngest of four children, preceded in death by her siblings Rose, Gaetano and Anne. Growing up in an artistic household, with her father Salvatore, a renowned painter, Lydia developed a deep appreciation and talent for the arts.
During her teenage years, Lydia’s captivating singing voice brought joy, not only to herself but also to the countless others who had the privilege of hearing her sing. She pursued her passion professionally, joining the ranks of the big band Criss Cross and collecting treasured stories along the way.
In the early 1950s, Lydia embarked on a transformative journey as she toured and performed in the chorus of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a beloved production featuring the iconic Carol Channing. This experience held a special place in her heart, shaping her career as a singer and dancer. She fondly recalled the show and cherished memories of her travels across the United States.
Lydia met, and eventually wed, Herbert Gordon, a Manhattan restaurateur, in 1957. After his passing in 1969, she found solace and purpose in her love for vintage clothing and jewelry.
She channeled her passion into a successful boutique on Madison Avenue, gaining recognition for her exquisite collection of vintage clothing and wedding gowns. Her exceptional taste attracted esteemed personalities such as Carrie Fisher, Rachel Ward and Cheryl Tiegs, establishing her reputation as a purveyor of elegance. In 1977, People Magazine honored her accomplishments with a feature article.
Later, Lydia relocated her business to a loft space on East 25th Street in Manhattan, where she became a trusted resource and a muse for renowned designers, including Ralph Lauren, John Galliano and Calvin Klein. After more than four decades of dedication, she decided to pass on her cherished collection to a museum in China in 2014, leaving a lasting legacy.
Lydia is survived by her three children, John, Greg and Lisa, as well as her grandchildren, John Stephen, Casey and Jessica.
A Celebration of Life ceremony for Lydia took place on Friday, June 2, at the Fred H. McGrath & Sons funeral home. As we gathered to honor her remarkable journey, we celebrated a life well-lived and a spirit that will forever resonate within us.
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