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.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
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Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews