VERONIQUE’S TALE: Veronique Branquinho is normally not one to stroll down memory lane, but as she celebrates her label’s 10th anniversary and readies a retrospective at the Antwerp, Belgium, fashion museum MoMu for March, the Belgian designer has been obliged to reflect on the past. Branquinho launched her label in 1997 and quickly became known for an elegantly somber take on femininity. That’s the mood she hopes to infuse in Belgium’s A Magazine, which she guest edited for the October issue, joining designer-cum-editor predecessors Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, Haider Ackermann, Undercover designer Jun Takahashi and Martine Sitbon.

“I wanted to do something very personal and very warm; something that is essential in my life and in my work,” she said of her stint with the magazine, which will be distributed at her runway show Tuesday.

For the issue, Branquinho adopted a nocturnal theme, with one shoot by Alex Salinas featuring models in a somber midnight forest and another by Serge Lebon with models posing in owl masks. To balance those moody shots, Branquinho added pictures taken in the house where she was raised. “It’s a fairy tale about the place where I grew up and about my family and friends,” said Branquinho, adding she was inspired by the surrealistic images of film directors Tim Burton and David Lynch.

For her retrospective at MoMu, Branquinho said she wanted give visitors a “clear” image of her work. “I didn’t want the only focus to be on fashion,” said Branquinho, noting she planned to include paintings and music in the show. “Whereas the magazine focused on small things that are essential to my life, the exhibition will offer a clearer picture.” — Emilie Marsh

CHEAPER THAN A DECORATOR: For around four bucks, a person can buy a copy of a home magazine to pick up a few decorating tips for their apartment. Then again, for $1.6 million to $1.75 million, readers of Hearst Magazines’ Country Living, House Beautiful, O at Home or Veranda can skip a few steps ahead and buy an apartment inspired by their favorite magazine. Hearst Home Group, which focuses on increasing home advertising at select Hearst titles, has tapped designers, including Celerie Kemble for House Beautiful and Annie Selke for Country Living, to design apartments that reflect the aesthetic of each magazine at the new building 10 West End Avenue in New York. The new apartments will be featured in the November issues, except for O at Home, where it appears in the fall issue out now. The only caveat is that the O at Home apartment will not be available for purchase with the editor-selected items. Instead, these furnishings will be sold in an online auction, with proceeds benefitting Women In Need.

This story first appeared in the October 1, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The living-the-magazine project is in partnership with Apollo Real Estate Advisors, Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group and Cambridge Development & Construction and has generated $2 million in incremental advertising, and Hearst has plans to do a similar project next year, said Jeanne Noonan Eckholdt, Hearst Home Group director. And given the Manhattan property market, no doubt the apartments will cost even more then. — Amy Wicks

MTV CRIB: There was one VIP who was able to hold court at the $8.5 million Esquire North triplex apartment before it opened its doors Thursday. Jay-Z took over the space on Sept. 23 to film the video for his new song, “American Gangster.” The rapper shot scenes in the light-drenched Versace living room, on the apartment’s three terraces overlooking Central Park and on the custom glass spiral staircase that leads from the main floor up to the second floor. His girlfriend Beyoncé wasn’t part of the video, but did spend quality time napping in the apartment’s media room, outfitted by Hugo Boss. Does that add to the asking price? — Stephanie D. Smith

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