Hollywood has headed to the hills this summer — the hills of Tuscany. The other afternoon, the loggia of the Hotel Villa San Michele, outside Florence, resembled the Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Steve Martin was playing with his Powerbook, Lorne Michaels was hosting a lunch and Tony Bennett was just strolling through. The crooner was said to have spent most of the time in his $1,800-a-night suite with a paintbrush and easel, painting the view of the hills of Fiesole.
French Culture Minister Jacques Toubon, who just pushed through a law to suppress the use of English in France, was given a roasting by French couturiers last week in Paris. At a ceremony to award Le Figaro’s fashion editor Janet Samet the Legion d’Honneur, the glittering crowd that included Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro, Claude Montana, Pierre Cardin, Hubert de Givenchy and the British ambassador to France, Sir Christopher Mallaby, began singing “Happy Birthday” in English to the minister, who was celebrating his 53rd birthday. And, to add insult to injury, they ended with “Happy Birthday Mr. Allgood,” the Franglais version of Toubon. A by-then beet red Toubon gritted his teeth and responded: “Thank you for the welcome, which was so warm…and polyglot.”
Believe it or not, Giorgio Armani has something in common with Donald Duck: Their age. The designer turns 60 today, and the duck turned 60 in June. To celebrate, Oggi, an Italian social/gossip weekly, is planning a special spread, due shortly. For the occasion, Donald Duck won’t sport his traditional blue and white sailor’s outfit, but will be Armani-ized. The designer, in fact, called Disney’s Milan offices asking for naked color sketches of Donald Duck to which he added his slouch chic touch that included Moroccan-inspired boxy blouses, strap sandals, Bermuda shorts, baggy suits and sweaters.
Duds for Donald aren’t the only clothes Armani’s been thinking up lately. When the Union Square Cafe’s Danny Meyer opens his new Gramercy Tavern today, the staff will be dressed in navy blue six-button vests with matching trousers and white band collar shirts designed by Armani.