The women who work in Chanel’s atelier were all aflutter last week, sizing up Victoire de Castellane’s wedding coat and dress for Saturday’s nuptials. Uncle Gilles du Four, who was directing the try-on session, designed the fairy-tale ensemble with the bride. “She’s been impossible all week,” he said. “But today, ‘C’est magique!”‘
The dress, a sequined bustier and organza draped short skirt, will be worn under an ivory organza coat speckled with clear sequins for the ceremony at Les Invalides. Victoire will shed the coat for the party at the Ritz.
It looks like things are heating up in Milan between the designers and the city government. Gianni Versace, Gianfranco Ferre, Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana have already threatened to take their shows to Paris or New York because of poor support from the city.
Now Krizia’s Mariuccia Mandelli is in a dispute with Philippe Daverio, Milan’s councilman for art and culture, saying he has denied her a public space to host her 40th anniversary retrospective, scheduled for October. Mandelli was offended when Daverio said that public space isn’t assigned for “commercial” events, only for “cultural ones.”
“I wasn’t even given a chance to explain my projects and that I’m not going to be selling T-shirts,” complained Mandelli. “Italian designers are recognized worldwide — except in their own city.”
Daverio stirred things up further when he said that he had offered space for the designers to show at the Castello Sforzesco and at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The offers, Daverio said, were never accepted because the designers never agree between themselves.
Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Ferre and the Missonis have joined Mandelli’s camp and sent out a press release saying they never received an offer from Milan’s city hall.
Tatiana Von Furstenberg is following in her mother’s footsteps — she’s just launched a modest line of her own T-shirts.
“I’ve been wearing baby Ts for about two or three years — before they were ever in style,” said Von Furstenberg. Along with her boyfriend and business partner, Brad Worrell, she was hawking her Showgirl Undershirts line to buyers at last week’s International Fashion Boutique Show. “I used to pick them up at a local Hasidic distributor and give them by the dozens to friends. Then I realized that I have a good name and two good shirts. So why not go into business?”
But Von Furstenberg — the daughter of Diane Von Furstenberg — claims she has plenty to learn about business. “When we first got here at the show, I didn’t even know what a sales pitch or a line sheet was,” she said. “I’m just having fun, though I’m glad we’ve covered our startup costs.”