NEW YORK — The official gift shopping season doesn’t get under way until Thanksgiving, but the fashion industry, as always, works at least a month in advance.
Several designers stopped by Saks Fifth Avenue Thursday night to grab a copy of "Bill Blass: An American Designer," the coffee table book put out by Abrams to coincide with the opening of the Blass exhibit at Indiana University. Michael Vollbracht and Helen O’Hagan, two of its editors, signed copies for guests, including the socialites Casey Ribicoff, Duane Hampton and Annette de la Renta. Ribicoff confided she had already bought about 50 copies and plans to send them as holiday gifts.
"I also had greeting cards printed up of my pictures from the book," she said of a red, yellow and black sequined jacket that gets its own spread in the $65 book. "I love that it says ‘The Casey Ribicoff Collection.’"
Michael Kors also bought a copy, but the purchase was destined for his own collection, since he’s been a lifelong fan of Blass and Vollbracht.
"Michael has been one of my favorite illustrators and designers," Kors said. "And he did a portrait of me for my birthday this year that I just love."
Meanwhile, the mutual admiration society didn’t stop there. Betsey Johnson showed up at a surprise party for Nicole Miller at Butter Wednesday night to celebrate Miller’s 20 years in business. For the occasion, Johnson stitched up a T-shirt that said "Betsey loves Nicole." And Hermès toasted its clientele Monday night by staging a men’s runway show in Chelsea with designer Veronique Nichanian and New York personalities like Charlie Ruger, Jean-Marc Houmard, Vikram Chatwal and Sean McPherson as models.
Elsewhere, Anne Klein celebrated the opening of its Anne Klein New York shop on Bloomingdale’s third floor Thursday night, where designer Charles Nolan and model Bridget Hall hosted a benefit for the The Leary Firefighters Foundation, raising $10,000 for the fund, championed by comedian Denis Leary. Later that night, Donna Karan launched her Black Cashmere fragrance with Vanity Fair, with a tie-in party for the kickoff of the magazine’s (In Concert) Series that benefits the Step Up Foundation.Karan cleared out the main level of her Madison Avenue flagship and turned it into a black-lit disco, with mounds of caviar piled to heights not seen since the Eighties. A roster of heavy-hitting celebrities — Anjelica Huston, Natalie Portman, Brooke Shields and Bernadette Peters — were all packed so closely that, at one point, Karan was pressed to come up with a reason for what it was all about.
"It’s all about touching people," she said. "Black Cashmere can be put all over your body — you can surround yourself."
The party, planned to end at midnight, rattled on until 2 a.m., after Ron Perlman and Ellen Barkin turned up, and things only got tighter when Shields, Huston and her husband, artist Robert Graham, planted themselves on the store’s already precarious stairwell.
"The best thing about my dress is that it’s comfortable," said Huston of her chocolate cashmere Karan gown. "It’s a comfy, cashmerey thing, which is extremely meaningful to me these days."
Portman looked less content, snaking her way through the crowd, but that could have been because she was bundled up in a child’s coat.
"I bought it at a French children’s store," she said, and burst out laughing.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye