By  on January 15, 2008

ROITFELD LINES UP: Any young designer would pretty much do whatever was necessary to get French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld to his or her runway show. Frank Kobitz is doing the next best thing — using her daughter Julia Reston Roitfeld's talents to help get guests to his Feb. 2 Frank Tell fashion show at New York's Tribeca Grand Hotel. The junior Roitfeld has designed invitations to the Tribeca Grand Hotel presentation and her work is credited in the fine print.

Kobitz, who had a Ross Bleckner-authorized print in last season's collection, is teaming up with artist Ben Copperwheat for one of this season's prints — one that derived from the geometrical gardens in the Alain Resnais classic film "Last Year at Marienbad."

OPEN FOR DISCUSSION: The embers are still burning regarding last season's controversy about designers using too many Caucasian models on the runways. To keep the topic top of mind, Bethann Hardison, the former model and agency owner who got people talking by moderating two town meeting-type discussions last year, is scouting locations for a third one to be held later this month. In the meantime, modeling agents have told Hardison there has been more interest in African-American models among designers for shows and brands for advertising. "There's motion in the ocean," said Hardison, adding she is hopeful that will lead to a wider assortment of ethnicities on the runways. She is still at work on a documentary called "Invisible Beauty" that will spotlight the industry and modeling, as well as celebrate African-American models.

WEDDING MARCH: Bridal designer Amsale designed the wedding gown Uma Thurman wears in the forthcoming movie "The Accidental Husband." It is expected to be featured in one of the posters promoting the March 7 release. Amsale also wasn't about to be left out of "27 Dresses," a new movie about the perils of always being a bridesmaid. She provided bridesmaid dresses and wedding gowns, and wound up dressing one of the co-stars, Malin Ackerman, for her real-life wedding in June. Amsale personally worked with Ackerman in her Madison Avenue boutique — a replica of which appears in "27 Dresses." But Katherine Heigl, the other leading lady, went with a different designer — Oscar de la Renta — for her Park City, Utah, nuptials to Josh Kelley last month.

POOL PARTIES: Some might think Lisa Curran is pulling a Shoshana by expanding her swimwear to include dresses, but the designer said she is just doing what retailers have requested. The 12-piece capsule collection ships to swimwear and specialty stores next month, as will a new group of swimwear and dresses for girls, another first. The designer unveils her latest effort Thursday at The Gramercy Park Hotel. Wholesale prices will range from $90 to $110, with a sheer V-neck dress and an above-the-knee tank dress expected to be bestsellers, she said. A recent test at Shopbop sold out within a week, Curran said.

ALL DRESSED UP: After joining Danny and Nicole last year, Robert Maslin has launched the Taylor label, a contemporary dress line, with designer Cynthia Howie. The collection consists of daytime dresses including strapless, short-sleeved, sheath and Empire-waist styles, wholesaling from $69 to $89. "Since Jan. 30 is our first delivery, the things we're running for spring include cotton piqué, silk and cotton blends, silk twill, matte jerseys and textured crepes," said Maslin.

Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor are among the stores that will carry the collection. First-year projected wholesale volume is $4.5 million, he said.

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