A PRINCELY GARDEN: The Prince of Wales already is a farmer, baker and butcher. Now, add furniture to the list of products made by his charitable foundation, the Duchy Collection, which focuses on sustainable farming, forestry and food production. The new line of chestnut pieces, which includes chairs, tables and benches, is made of wood harvested from the prince’s Aconbury Wood in Herefordshire. The furniture will be the centerpiece of the store windows at Burberry’s 57th Street flagship in New York and its Bond Street shop in London, which are today installing royal garden parties in hopes of beckoning an early spring. The visual displays also will include typical English-garden staples, such as lifelike renderings of maze hedges, a table set for tea and mannequins dressed, naturally, in Burberry garden-party attire. Now, all they need is the White Rabbit and Cheshire Cat.
STANDARD ISSUE: Even though war is on his doorstep, air-raid sirens have put him on edge and his sales are down 45 percent, Kuwaiti retailer Majed Al-Sabah of Villa Moda is keeping his sense of humor during a difficult period. Over the weekend, Al-Sabah had to smile when he learned that a major shipment of Prada destined for his Villa Moda retail complex — some 300 boxes of shoes, handbags and clothes — were mistakenly collected from the Kuwait City airport by the U.S. Army. The goods were taken to its warehouses north of the city in Camp Doha, which supplies troops with equipment, food and other necessities. Army officials identified the errant Prada shipment on Sunday and were rerouting it to Villa Moda on Monday. “I was so worried it was going to end up somewhere in Iraq,” Al-Sabah said. “And I didn’t want to see it on CNN.”
THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR: Designers bowing at Los Angeles Fashion Week, which gets under way full blast with the Imitation of Christ show this afternoon at the Avalon Hotel, are getting a little help from their famous friends, natch, many of whom are locals. Reese Witherspoon, Wes Anderson andMena Suvari are confirmed at best friend Tara Subkoff’s IOC show; across town, Marisa Tomei will be at Elisa Jimenez. At the Standard Wednesday, singer Vanessa Carlton is attending Cynthia Vincent’s Twelfth Street debut, while Nikki Costa and Darryl Hannah are supporting gal pal/Frankie B. designer Daniella Clarke, who is also incorporating the quasi-cabaret Pussycat Dolls in the show. Chili Pepper frontman Anthony Kiedis walks the runway Thursday night at the Standard for former girlfriend Yohanna Logan who designs under the Shawn label. Also walking that night are Christina Aguilera, Taryn Manning and Paris Hilton at Jeremy Scott’s performance show at the Palace in Hollywood (the “Dirty” pop diva will enter in a new Scott confection based on sponsor Gillette’s pink “Passion Venus” razor in exchange for a $50,000 donation to her favorite charity).
Thursday also will have Robert Downey Jr., Shakira and Lee Ann Rhimes on hand at the Ghost show at the Standard. Back at the Standard Friday night, Petro Zillia is seating Dominique Swain, Lisa Marie and Kirsty Hume. And, at Saturday’s Smashbox Studios run, which includes Rami Kashou and Eduardo Lucero, Kelly Osbourne, Macy Gray, Amy Smart and China Chow are expected to show.
NOT QUITE A TALKING HEAD: Is Britney Spears turning her pop diva headset in for a TV host mike? What started out as a quick video clip to screen during the debut this week in Los Angeles of Joey and T — the duo who dress Spears, Rachel Leigh Cook, the cast of “American Idol” and other youngsters — has become a full-fledged making-of-a-fashion-show-type documentary. Footage so far shows her playing the role of celebrity interviewer — which she may continue at Wednesday’s early afternoon show at the Downtown Standard — if she’s up to it. She’ll sit out the show as a spectator, but hitting the catwalk are Jamie Presley and the Hilton sisters — who are giving the local models a bit of competition this week with the many shows they’re doing. As for the film, which will presumably be finished with the stylists-cum-designers’ bow, Spears and her friends are said to be hoping to shop it to MTV, HBO or some other network. Any takers?
MENKES BUSINESS: As construction crews swirled about raising the tents at the Downtown Standard in Los Angeles, International Herald Tribune scribe Suzy Menkes was heavy in a tete a tete with Richard Tyler on the café patio. It’s been quite a visit for Menkes. She came to town to cover the Oscars (only to find herself shorted of some of the glitz, as she grumbled at the WWD Oscar fete March 19, with the advent of the war) and has since stayed on three weeks later, popping up at the Juicy Couture HQ in dusty Pacoima and about town with her silver-speckled camera.