DARE TO WEAR: Has photographing all that flesh for Abercrombie & Fitch given Bruce Weber a new appreciation for, ahem, clothing? Sources in Europe said Weber has designed a men’s collection, including swim trunks and cowboy shirts, and labeled it “Weber Built.” The casual line is expected to be available exclusively at the forthcoming Dover Street Market in London, a Comme des Garçons emporium featuring Rei Kawakubo’s various lines amid concessions by everyone from Lanvin and Raf Simons to Azzedine Alaïa.
HORN OF PLENTY: Before exiting Paris on Friday night to attend Charlotte Casiraghi’s 18th birthday party in Monaco over the weekend, Karl Lagerfeld had time to whip up a Chanel couture dress for Princess Caroline of Hanover’s daughter – and crank out yet another fashion collaboration. This time, he’s teamed up with shoe guru Walter Steiger for a range of footwear reminiscent of a rhino’s horn. The pointy, multistrapped styles, under the Lagerfeld Gallery label, are slated for January delivery.
PROFESSOR RUCCI: Ralph Rucci recently found himself around a kitchen table in the Virginia suburbs chatting with fledgling designers — new graduates from Marymount University, a small Catholic school with big fashion aspirations.
“Do you think men will ever wear skirts?” asked Rucci, critiquing a student’s portfolio of bridal gowns, including one for the groom. “You put a skirt on him like [Jean Paul] Gaultier. Poetic.”
Rucci was keeping a promise. This spring, flu sidelined his plans to accept Marymount’s Designer of the Year Award, previous recipients of which have included Oscar de la Renta, Rose Marie Bravo and Mark Badgley and James Mischka. Rucci rescheduled for lunch late last month at a school benefactor’s home, where he delighted in the young designers’ creativity, like the junior prom dress with a collar stretching into a glove, a collection inspired by chocolate and separates made from recycled fabric.
Rucci also offered tips: cut organza on the bias to achieve a blouson effect and avoid bodice-crossing princess seams. “They always look commercial,” said Rucci, while warning how “most buyers can only digest one design concept in one garment. That’s why I say, ‘Simplify, simplify.’”
Rucci, who dressed his sister as a child growing up in Philadelphia, got his start in New York 25 years ago at Halston. After that he was fired from a series of jobs. “I thought I could do it differently and I couldn’t. If you’re hired to do a specific job, you do it,” he said.