Alfred E. Bosand, Celebrated Designer

Alfred E. Bosand, Celebrated Designer

       Alfred E. Bosand, a renowned designer of couture clothing whose gowns were worn by such notables as Patricia Nixon, Dionne Warwick, and June Carter Cash, died on Nov. 15 in Delray Beach, Fla., after an extended illness. He was 89.

       For many years Mr. Bosand and his life partner, Jerry Yarnall, had a house in Water Mill.

       He was born in Woodhaven, Queens, on Oct. 5, 1924, to Adam Bosand and the former Elizabeth Stauf, and grew up there and in Seaford before attending Pratt Institute on a scholarship.

       Mr. Bosand’s studies were put on hold when he enlisted in the Navy during World War II. He was wounded in battle in the South Pacific and later received a Purple Heart medal. After the war he returned to college, studying at the Fashion Academy in New York City.

       His early career was in the studios of several fashion designers, before he opened his own showroom and workplace on West 57th Street in Manhattan.

       Mr. Yarnall described Mr. Bosand’s designs as timeless and superbly constructed. They were sold at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, as well as many smaller, upscale women’s stores around the country, including Martha’s and Sara Frederick’s of Palm Beach.

       Among other celebrities to wear his creations were Judy Collins, Mae West, and Ann Landers, who became a close friend. Through the 1960s, he provided wardrobes for 10 consecutive winners of the Miss America pageant. His last big one-man show was given by Saks at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla.

       Interest in his gowns remains consistent, with many being bought and sold online by collectors and fans of vintage couture.

       After more than 40 years in the business, Mr. Bosand retired in 1986, dividing his time between the city and Water Mill, where he loved to entertain. He decorated the house with floral arangements made from the flowers he grew in his extensive garden.

       Mr. Yarnall said Mr. Bosand had a “wonderful life and lived it to its fullest.”

       In addition to his partner, two nephews and a niece survive.

       Donations have been suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org, the Humane Society at humanesociety.org, or the Volen Center, 850 North Congress Avenue, Delray Beach, Fla., 33445.


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