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.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.