BIRDS OF A FEATHER: How hard is it to hand out an award? There’s been a few notable celebrity dropouts for the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards on Monday night, leaving organizers scrambling for some last-minute replacements. First, Josh Hartnett, who was reportedly set to give the men’s wear award, bailed out. Then Thora Birch, who was said to be handing out the Perry Ellis Award, issued her regrets. And Marisa Tomei, who’s listed among the attendees in the CFDA’s original press advisory, is apparently not coming, either.
This story first appeared in the May 31, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The CFDA appears to be having more success with its efforts to celebrate its 40th anniversary at the event, considering James Galanos, one of America’s most important designers and one who has kept a low profile since his 1998 retirement, is said to be presenting the women’s designer of the year award. According to insiders, Hilary Swank, a guest of Marc Jacobs, has stepped in to present the Perry Ellis Award.
Meanwhile, the Harper’s Bazaar fashion flock is clearly sticking together. Glenda Bailey, editor in chief of the magazine, will present Stephen Gan, its creative director, with the Creative Visionary Award. At their table will be David Bowie and Iman, who were responsible for introducing Gan to Bailey at a dinner party last summer. Bowie is also said to have accepted presenting duties for the International Award to Dior Homme designer Hedi Slimane, who’s close pals with Gan, who, naturally, will be wearing one of Slimane’s tuxedos.
Valery Prince, the 18-year-old black model who just shot the Ralph Lauren campaign with Bruce Weber, will close Monday night’s CFDA show representing the “future of fashion” with the winning Parsons design team, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough.
MIUCCIA ON THE MOVE: The shy and retiring Miuccia Prada plans to take part in her company’s upcoming road show, which, as reported, will likely start on June 17. A spokeswoman confirmed that Prada will “do her best” to be at all of the important road show locations, despite the fact that she’s staging two men’s shows — for Prada and Miu Miu — around the same time. It will be fascinating to see how the brainy Prada, who is known for her intellectual musings on fashion, art and design, fields questions from bankers and financial analysts who, more often than not, think in numbers rather than words.
FIRE SALE: Elsewhere at Prada, execs are fuming over a major sale of old stock that’s drawing shoppers by the thousands to the Earl’s Court Conference Center in London. The sale, which began last week and is due to run for another four weeks, has been organized by Stockpile Ltd., which claims to be selling the Prada merch at up to a 70 percent discount. The 25,000 pieces that went on sale last week include clothing and accessories from the 1997-2000 collections — which in fashion terms might as well be the Iron Age. But Prada is peeved nonetheless, and it has mounted a campaign in the British press to say it’s in no way associated with the sale. Prada’s ads, which are running in The Evening Standard, The Times and The Telegraph, say the items are “end-of-the-line stock,: and that the 70 percent claim is “not based upon original Prada” prices.
“We owe it to our customers who respect our quality and craftsmanship to tell them the truth about this sale,” said a Prada spokeswoman. A spokesman for Stockpile, meanwhile, said it bought the Prada stock about two months ago, and can back up its offer of a 70 percent discount. He said his only contractual obligation was not to sell the clothes in Italy.
GET READY TO RUMBLE: It’s been over a year since Oleg Cassini and Hamish Bowles butted heads over the designer’s representation in “Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years,” the exhibition that Bowles curated at the Costume Institute, but the feud still roars on. In response to the “Fight Club” story in Tuesday’s CFDA supplement “The Americans,” Cassini contacted WWD to set the record straight about the night of the gala.
“It is true that I did not want to go to the show,” writes Cassini. “However, you are correct when you say I put my tuxedo on and went to the party. The reasons were a letter and a telephone call from Caroline Kennedy urging me to attend in honor of the work I had done for her mother. Also, I accepted the invitation of Philippe de Montebello to sit at his table.”
And just to show that he still bears a grudge: “Although 90 percent of the dresses shown were designed by me, some of the most memorable outfits were not included.”
Paris will be the next stop for the Kennedy fashion exhibit, opening Nov. 14 at the Museum of Decorative Arts at the Louvre, with a splashy launch party the night before. It is currently on display in Washington. Paris is the only European stopover for the popular show. When it closes next March 16, it goes back to Chicago for storage.
BEYOND BESPOKE: Could men represent the next frontier for couture? The house of Scherrer thinks so and will unveil about 20 men’s looks when it stages its winter collection on July 10 in Paris. Mounir Moufarrige, ceo of upstart fashion conglomerate France Luxury Group, which owns Scherrer, says the house recently began fielding requests from the husbands and boyfriends of its couture clients — and other men willing to shell out more than $10,000 for one-of-a-kind ensembles. Scherrer couture, designed by Stephane Rolland, boasts annual sales of about $3.5 million. Other couturiers who have shown men’s wear on the runway include Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano for Christian Dior.
KORS’ SCREEN TEST: Who needs the red carpet? Michael Kors is suiting up two stars in their element. Madonna has taken to the London stage in Celine, and Gwyneth Paltrow will “definitely be cashmered up” in Celine in “Possession,” a romantic thriller that hits theaters at the end of August. Madonna wears her new Celine double-breasted camel coat in the play, as well as a Celine shirt and scarf, a Kors spokeswoman said.
Kors, chatting after a screening Tuesday in Chelsea of “Downhill Racer,” the 1969 film starring Robert Redford that he said most influenced him as a designer, was hard-pressed to name a few more recent films that make fashion statements.
“I think Gwyneth in ‘Possession’ will — and not just because she’s wearing some of our things,” he said. “The film’s director, Neil LaBute, also has great taste. He’s got an eye.””