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FASHION’S CROWD: Monday’s 2005 CFDA Fashion Awards look set to become a star- and crystal-studded gala.
Among those said to be attending are Linda Evangelista with Lanvin, Rachel Weisz with Coach and Evan Rachel Wood with Prada. Behnaz Sarafpour is bringing Amanda Hearst and Claire Danes; Michael Kors‘ date for the night is Joan Allen, while Yigal Azrouel‘s is Eva Mendes. Theodora and Alexandra Richards are to be guests of Kellwood, and both are rumored to be wearing David Meister-designed dresses. Swarovski, which underwrites the awards again this year, has Karolina Kurkova at its table.
As for the night’s decor, the Austrian crystal company worked with Solange Azagury-Partridge and Dutch design team Studio Job on details for the New York Public Library. “We wanted to have their input into this event as product and jewelry designers, and the creative direction was totally up to them,” Nadja Swarovski, a vice president for the crystal firm, said.
Tickets for the event were sent out with a crystal grape cluster paperweight designed by Azagury-Partridge, who drew her inspiration from a chandelier she had designed for Swarovski’s Crystal Palace collection. The 50 tables will have a centerpiece crystal lamp resembling roses on a vine with yellow crystals and charms. The night’s piece de resistance arguably will be a 750-pound crystal “Magic Mirror” frame by Studio Job featuring more than 20,000 crystals, which will be placed in Astor Hall. It will transmit live coverage of the red-carpet arrivals.
For those who just love the decor, the table lamps and paperweights will be available to purchase at Moss next week.
JUST FRIENDS: Like any smart professionals, Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole have a talent for preserving their relationships with old friends and former colleagues. So it should come as no surprise they’re still speaking to Marco Franchini, the chairman and chief executive officer of Bally, and David Bonderman, a founding partner of Texas Pacific Group, which owns Bally. Before joining Bally, Franchini worked for the duo at Gucci Group, and still admires them. (Franchini’s wife, Karen Joyce, is also a Gucci veteran and is friendly with Ford and De Sole). Bonderman is an old buddy of De Sole’s from their days at Harvard. Lest anyone think Ford and De Sole are ready to grab the reins — creative or otherwise — at Bally, here’s what a spokeswoman for the two had to say: “Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole are not official consultants for Bally. They’re old friends with Bally’s managers. They talk with them frequently, but it’s always on an unofficial basis and in the spirit of friendship.” In April, De Sole and Ford announced the launch of the Tom Ford brand, starting with a Tom Ford for Estee Lauder collection, and an eyewear license with Marcolin.
SOMETHING DIOR?: As if John Galliano doesn’t have enough design projects, might he be dreaming up a wedding dress for Delphine Arnault? The house is mum, but Arnault, who works for Christian Dior’s leather goods department and sits on the board of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is expected to turn to Galliano for her rumored September nuptials to Vallarino Alessandro Gancia. Word has it the ceremony will take place at Chateau d’Yquem, the wine estate owned by her father, LVMH kingpin Bernard Arnault.
BRAVA BRAVO: Less than a year after Burberry opened its first Rome store on Via Condotti, its ceo, Rose Marie Bravo, ventured back to the Italian city this week to host an in-store cocktail party Tuesday to fete the premiere of a play that will raise funds for young immigrants. The company is sponsoring the play, a first-time production by Sophie of Hapsburg called “Scacco al Matto,” which is an Italian play on the words meaning checkmate. The psycho-thriller’s plot centers on a clinically depressed countess who is tormented by the thought that someone is trying to kill her for her riches. Proceeds from the play, which opens Tuesday at Rome’s Teatro Valle, will benefit Foundation Faro. Founded by Susanna Agnelli in 1997, the foundation provides vocational training for young immigrants from places such as war-torn Sudan and Nigeria. “I thought it was the perfect thing for Burberry. It’s a really good cause to help these young people find a place in life,” Bravo said.