WASHINGTON — “Who do I know who looks a little haggard?” quipped luncheon hostess Ali Wentworth, offering her own comedic take on the new Washington protocol for planning that perfect ladies luncheon. Cohosted with Shiseido to promote its new Future Solution LX line, show off a Japanese fashion retrospective and raise money for Baby Love D.C., Wentworth’s favorite cause, the party got a boost from a new, spirited social set, unafraid to tweak the old formulas for success.
The actress and comedienne, married to ABC News’ chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos, gave 30 friends a chuckle when she elaborated on her guest list strategy. “I will pull together some women who need some help,” she said, as her friends jumped at the bait. “Is Michelle Obama coming?” called out her pal Elizabeth Thorp, who runs her own public relations firm.
“Definitely yes,” said Wentworth, noting the helicopter was due to land any minute on the lush grounds of the museum as guests dined on pumpkin bisque, risotto, sole and green tea ice cream, in a heated, clear tent.
In addition to cosponsoring the luncheon, Shiseido also invited guests to tour The Textile Museum’s Japanese fashion retrospective, featuring the designs of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo.
“Back in the Seventies, Issey Miyake designed the outfits for our beauty consultants,” said Heidi Manheimer, chief executive officer of Shiseido Cosmetics America, who added that service is one rationale for Shiseido’s Internet strategy in the face of competition from hot Web sites like Gilt Groupe.
“Everyone here shops on Gilt,” said Thorp, naming Willow Bay, Disney chairman Bob Iger’s wife, as the one who got her hooked on the invitation-only luxury Web site that launched in Japan at the end of August.
Manheimer, who back in 2000 advised Bluemercury.com, a Washington-based cosmetics retailer before joining Shiseido, explained, “We are limited online to our bricks-and-mortar stores like Macy’s, Neiman’s and Saks. We do it as a service for our customers, where we can also offer full in-store product information with live sales consultants.”
That said, she conceded that Gilt’s marketing plan of invitation-only membership has appeal. “The success of the whole online business isn’t a surprise. The way in which the Web site is marketed is what catches on.”
As for the D.C. fashion scene, guests favored Prada and Chanel with a dash of H&M
. Leading the mix-and-match pack, Wentworth donned four-inch high-heeled Prada boots, with black leggings under a Narciso Rodriguez black wool pencil skirt with a full-length silver-metal back zipper, a Vera Wang top and a Proenza Schouler jacket.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia