DEJA SHOE: It was mayhem all over again at Christian Dior’s Rodeo Drive boutique on Tuesday, when Dior and Vogue cohosted the same event they hosted in New York two weeks earlier — inviting the chicest girls in town to “slip into the hottest Dior shoe of your choice.”
“I’m going to go down and look right now,” announced Debra Messing at the luncheon before the dessert even hit the table. Although most ladies, including Shiva Rose McDermott, Rosanna Arquette and Ione Skye, waited until after the lobster salad and crème brulée were served, some, like Messing, couldn’t wait to get first crack at the selection. Most ladies, including Jacqui Getty and Rose McGowan chose boots over heels, and some even left wearing them. “What a rush!” exclaimed Anna Getty. Especially, however, for China Chow. She attended both the East Coast and West Coast events.
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DESIGNER OLYMPICS: The London-based Sophia Kokosalaki is returning to her Athenian roots. She’s been asked to design the costumes for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. She’s just begun to map out what she wants — and there won’t be a toga or black tassle in sight. “It’s definitely not going to be folksy or tacky, and it’s not going to be some big, American Hollywood-scale thing,” she said. “It’s going to be as tasteful and as intellectual as possible.” Kokosalaki, who turns 30 next month, will oversee an entire creative team — from make-up artists to set designers — on the project. “I have a lot of work ahead of me, but at least I get to see my family, too,” she said.
HOARDING ATTENTION: The larger-than-life photo of Iman wearing a diamond-studded leather collar for De Beers LV was hidden from view on Piccadilly in London Wednesday when antidiamond-mining protesters covered it with a photo of an African Bushwoman. De Beers LV is the joint venture between the diamond trading company and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. It will open its first flagship on Piccadilly next month. Survival International, a private, London-based organization that campaigns for the rights of tribal peoples, posted the photo and the slogan “The Bushmen aren’t forever,” to protest against De Beers’ diamond mines in Botswana. “When diamonds were discovered there, the bushmen were evicted from their lands,” said Jonathan Mazower, campaigns coordinator for the group. But Alain Lorenzo, ceo of De Beers LV, countered, “We have two very small diamond mines in Botswana, and there is no evidence…that diamond mining causes relocation of local Bushmen.” Survival International’s next move will come when the Iman billboard finally comes down to reveal the flagship on Nov. 21.
MENDES MAKES A MOVE: After a decade as artistic director of London’s Donmar Warehouse, Sam Mendes is leaving to join the Donmar’s executive producer Carol Newling in forming a London-based film and theater production company. “The project is still in its very early stages of development, but it’s definitely happening,” said a Mendes spokeswoman. Mendes is currently directing twinned productions of Chekov’s “Uncle Vanya” and Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” — both of which have the same cast featuring Emily Watson, Simon Russell Beale and Mark Strong — as his farewell effort at the theatre. Meanwhile, Michael Grandage and Nick Frankfort — both of whom have worked at the Donmar in the past — will replace Mendes and Newling, respectively.
KEYS TO THEIR HEARTS: “She has a voice from God and we wanted to give her this,” said Stefano Gabbana, who with Domenico Dolce threw a rowdy party at Club Casablanca for Alicia Keys after her recent concert in Milan. The duo, who created Keys’ sexy concert wardrobe, were referring to the majestic decor: thousands of roses cascading from the walls and candlelit chandeliers, sprinklings of oranges and pomegranates throughout the club, and bikini-clad women doling out cigarettes and bananas from wicker baskets to the 300-plus crowd. “It’s too much — I love it,” said Keys, who reportedly grooved with Naomi Campbell’s former boyfriend Joaquin Cortes. “And I love these Italians — they could talk to me all night in that language.”