ADULT EDUCATION: Los Angeles Fashion Week front rows have been home to everyone from ex-“Beverly Hills 90210″-ers to members of Mötley Crüe, but it still got the attention of more than a few showgoers that adult screen siren Jenna Jameson was a front-row fixture on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and nights. The petite porn star hit the Corey Lynn Calter, Jared Gold, Octavio Carlin and Eduardo Lucero shows with her boyfriend, Ultimate Fighting champ Tito Ortiz. Asked about her interest in fashion, Jameson said she is “researching” her own line of day and cocktail dresses: “Things I’d like to wear,” she said. Jameson hopes to show at New York Fashion Week in September, and has submitted her application to IMG for the as-of-yet unnamed line.
DRESSING HILLARY: Political pundit Arianna Huffington speaks her mind on programs such as HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” and her blog, “The Huffington Post.” So it’s no surprise that she volunteered fashion makeover advice to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as the New York Democrat runs for president.
“Stop wearing the brooches,” Huffington said Sunday night at a party feting Rozae Nichols‘ fall collection at the designer’s luxe log cabin-like home in the Hollywood Hills. “It’s so Madeleine Albright.” Surrounded by Tinseltown stylists, Huffington, who owns 30 of Nichols’ pieces as well as designs from Ports 1961 and Yves Saint Laurent, scanned the designer’s silk tuxedo shirts, alpaca wool cardigans and other items for her imaginary client. “[Clinton] can wear this with narrow pants and a big belt,” she said of a short charcoal gray knit dress with lantern sleeves. Holding up a pair of chintz wool pants in black, she suggested, “You wear it with a classic white shirt and it’s gorgeous….Women would love to see a woman president. We’re longing for an authentic leader, someone who speaks from the heart….That’s why a lot of women want Hillary to speak from the heart and not be so calculating.”
KIMORA LEE IN L.A.: Kimora Lee Simmons has been in Los Angeles for a month planning an exclusive fashion week event, which is scheduled for Friday at the club Social Hollywood. The designer is working with event planner Ed Libby to host a lavish private cocktail reception and dinner for 75 guests, including Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, Lindsay Lohan and Harvey Weinstein to celebrate the fall launch of her new contemporary line, KLS Collection. Post-dinner, 100 more guests will be invited into the venue for a 10 p.m. runway show.
NEXT STOP, VERSACE: Alexandre Plokhov, who closed his six-year-old business, Cloak Designs LLC, in December, is headed to Versace SpA. He has been named a consultant “to strengthen the existing men’s wear design team,” a Versace spokeswoman said. He is expected to work on both the men’s wear and accessories collections. The Russian-born designer was nominated for the 2006 CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award, and received the 2005 CFDA Swarovski Perry Ellis Award for Menswear. In 2004, Plokhov tied for second place for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Foundation Fund Award. Known for his elegant hand-tailoring, dark colors and military-style detailing, Plokhov continues to design a capsule men’s wear collection for Uniqlo.
SNOW DAY DELAY: The Northeast snow and ice storm Friday forced Argentina-based line Charlotte Solnicki to move the date of its first Los Angeles show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week from Monday at 2 p.m. to Thursday at 3 p.m. in the Lightbox at Smashbox Studios Los Angeles. The clothes, which were on a flight from New York, never made it on Sunday, along with a handful of Gotham-based buyers and editors, including In Style’s Sydne Bolden.
BOOSTER SHOT: BOXeight, the indie fashion show that found a last-minute home in the Los Angeles Theatre’s basement, got a big boost when Morphine Generation designer Erik Hart and stylist Jessica Paster cheered on their friends who participated in Friday night’s show. Hart, who last month showed his fall collection in New York, is buddies with young designer Kristen Coates, and Paster glowed at former assistant Melis, who styled the 17 outfits, and Mary Louise Pels, who codesigned the metallic spats that accessorized some of the show’s Goth looks. “It’s so refreshing to support young talent from Los Angeles,” Paster said, adding, as always, “I’m looking for clothes for my girls” (clients Avril Lavigne, Hilary Duff, Isla Fisher, Marley Shelton and Cindy Crawford). While Lavigne and Duff are both working on new albums, Fisher and Shelton are starring in the films “The Lookout” and “Grindhouse,” respectively. Paster already discovered one new designer at BOXeight: Claire la Faye, whose ruffled minidresses befit Alice in an urban Wonderland.
FRONT-ROW COUPLE: The couple that plays together stays together. New Bebe spokesmodel Rebecca Romijn was front and center at the Collection Bebe show Sunday night at Smashbox Studios, with fiancé, actor Jerry O’Connell by her side. “Neither of us go to very many fashion shows,” Romijn said. “But now I have a different perspective watching all the clothes come out. I am thinking about the things I would most like to wear, like that long red dress with a little bit of leather. You gotta love a little leather.” The model-actress, who just shot the fall campaign in Los Angeles, added that O’Connell also gave her a few nudges when his favorite looks came down the runway. “But really, my favorite thing about fashion shows is the pictures they take of us in the front row,” the actor said. Joining the couple in the front row were Eva Longoria, Devon Aoki, Lydia Hearst and Virginia Madsen, whose personal picks were a printed peace sign top and a green duster coat.
BACK IN THE SADDLE: Eisbar co-founder Bobby Benveniste didn’t rest much after last spring’s final shipment of his Los Angeles-based graphics-inspired line. Kritik, his latest apparel creation formed with a team including Lizzie Grubman‘s former partner, Jonathan Cheban, hits Lisa Kline in Los Angeles, Sharon Segal in Santa Monica and Intermix in New York in less than two weeks. “It’s all about California casual-meets-East Coast prep,” Benveniste said in between fashion shows at The Standard Downtown during Kitten Fashion Week. “This time our inspiration is more Ralph Lauren than rock ‘n’ roll.” That means a knitwear collection of dresses, shorts, tops and hoodies in bright solid colors. Could a fashion show follow for Kritik? “In L.A., I think the money for a fashion show could be better spent on a party to promote the line,” he said, no doubt betting on Cheban’s insights learned from Grubman.
BLONDE AMBITION: Do supermodels, like fine wines, get better with age?
Absolutely, said Karl Lagerfeld, who just photographed Claudia Schiffer for the Dom Pérignon campaign, his third for the Champagne brand. “She was genius,” Lagerfeld relates. “Younger, fresher and more professional than ever. She was a dream to work with.”
ALL DOLLED UP: Human-sized fashion is not everybody’s cup of tea. That’s the concept of London-based designers Desmond Lingard and Charles Fegen, who were hosts for an exhibition of their hand-made Sybarite fashion dolls in Paris over the weekend. “We’re here as part of Paris’ fashion doll festival, but we like to consider ourselves off schedule as it’s a bit naf,” said Fegen, who with his partner unveiled 10 collector Chalk White dolls at the AntigAlerie in the Marais, made from articulated resin components. The 17-inch dolls, which feature plays on fashion’s fixations with perfection, such as a neck brace to keep the head held just so, take 200 hours to make and retail at $4,000 to $8,000.
TALKING FOR TOM: With the Tom Ford men’s wear launch less than a month away, the designer is beefing up his communications team and has turned once again to former colleagues. In London, Whitney Bromberg, former director of creative services at Gucci Group and Tom Ford, has been appointed European communications director for Tom Ford International, the fashion division of the brand. Her New York counterpoint, former Yves Saint Laurent U.S. public relations director, Shirin von Wulffen, is U.S. communications director for the brand. (Katherine Holmes is international p.r. director for Tom Ford beauty). Both women report to Lisa Schiek, worldwide director of Tom Ford International. As reported, Ford is set to simultaneously unveil his eponymous luxury men’s collection and open his Manhattan flagship on April 12.