DIOR AT DONNA: So what does Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton wear to a Donna Karan fashion show? "It’s Dior," he said. "I’m wearing a suit by Hedi Slimane."
While LVMH is clearly putting its weight behind its investment in Donna Karan, Arnault still had the weight of the world on his mind, considering the potential of a war with Iraq and the recent calls for an American boycott of French goods in response to France’s position on American aggression.
"We don’t know what’s going to happen," Arnault said. "Obviously, if there is a war, we should hope that it will be a short one." As for the calls for a boycott, he wasn’t impressed. "I don’t think it will have a real impact," he said. "Our products are very desirable. It has nothing to do with the diplomatic situation. I don’t think it will affect the sale of French champagne. It’s just a political issue. Obviously we’re worried about a war, but if it’s over and it’s a short one, we’ll be able to manage."
ALL ABOUT YVONNE: The intrigue at the house of Bill Blass just keeps coming. On top of the rumors that Michael Vollbracht is being talked about as the potential replacement designer to Lars Nilsson, who was fired last week, several retailers have been told that an alternate fall collection was secretly being whipped up in-house all along. Adding to the mystery, some fabric suppliers at Première Vision this weekend said they had been shipping "special deliveries" to the fifth-floor executive offices at Blass under tight secrecy, which had nothing to do with the collection Nilsson was working on.
So which tiny elves have been hard at work behind the seams? Sources said Yvonne Miller, who handles public relations for the house and was once the late designer’s muse, has picked up needle and thread to design her own fall collection for the house of Blass. It wouldn’t be the first time, mind you, as Miller was also responsible for much of the house’s fall 2000 season, back when the company was still searching for its first replacement to Blass. For her part, however, Miller said she has no plans to design the Blass collection.FASHION LIGHT: Harvey Keitel is not among the throng of celebrities willing to wax on about the merits of a designer’s collection he is about to view. Even though he’s become a pal of Imitation of Christ designer Tara Subkoff — they were spotted dining together at Bar Pitti a week ago — he was less than graceful at her show on Friday.
"I’m just here," he spat. But does Keitel at least follow the fashion trends? Not unless they’re of the ruby slippers variety. "I follow the yellow brick road," he said.
PHAT FUR: While the limited-edition Baby Phat cell phones were the must-have accessory for VIPs on the way out, fur coats were the status symbol of the evening on the way in to Kimora Lee Simmons’ show Thursday night. Noteworthies such as Eve (in white mink J. Mendel), Alicia Keys (in leather-trimmed rabbit Baby Phat) and Janice Combs (full-length champagne mink — no label — a gift from Puffy) strutted in wearing their furry finest. But front-row or not, there was plenty of chinchilla, mink, sable and coyote trim to keep it hot. Other fur fans included André Leon Talley in a Phat Farm shearling and Fendi sable scarf, matching hat and Dior skunk-trimmed bag; stylist June Ambrose in Birger Christensen brown sable; recording artist Cam’ron in a pastel pink mink jacket and matching headband from Dipset Furs; Iceberg stylist Ternell Jones in black-and-white chinchilla from Fantastic Furs and BET personality Egypt sporting a bright orange mink from Kroskey.
NARCISO’S NOTICE: First daughter Barbara Bush makes it a point to answer any and all press inquiries with a polite, "I don’t talk to the press. But thanks for asking." Yet while waiting for the Zac Posen show, she started looking at photos of Narciso Rodriguez’s collection in the day’s papers and couldn’t hold back. "It’s so pretty, and it’s not at all weirdly trendy," Bush boisterously told a friend who accompanied her to the show. "We should go to that next season."
WALK AND TALK: London Fashion Week kicked off with a roar as protesters from Katharine Hamnett to Ms. Dynamite to Minnie Driver took to the city’s streets on Saturday in an anti-war demonstration and the biggest public protest that London has seen in the past two centuries. They joined Bella Freud, Jesse Jackson, Bianca Jagger, Blur’s Damon Albarn, Tim Robbins and Vanessa Redgrave in a crowd estimated at two million marchers chanting anti-war slogans like Make Tea Not War and Don’t Attack Iraq. Katharine Hamnett told WWD: "I can only repeat Benjamin Franklin’s words: There was never a good war or a bad peace." However, there was minimal disruption to the first day of fashion shows, most of which took place at the London tents — the Duke of York’s Headquarters on the King’s Road in Chelsea. For Saturday’s one off-site show — that of Russell Sage — the British Fashion Council bussed guests into the center of town, as streets were overflowing with marchers and public transportation was limited. Despite the chaos, however, shows ran only about 40 minutes late. London Fashion Week ends Thursday.GUERILLA TACTICS: A bit of subterfuge was the name of the day at Ralph Lauren’s show Friday afternoon, in more ways than one. To publicize Michael Gross’ unauthorized biography of the designer, "Genuine Authentic: The Real Life of Ralph Lauren," publisher HarperCollins dispatched two young p.r. women to hand out 100 copies of the book in nondescript blue plastic bags to the press and buyers as they filed out of the show, which was held in a warehouse on the West Side. Even though the two flacks were standing well away from the show’s entrance, witnesses said they managed to hand out only four copies before a group of well-clad heavies came rushing down the street and ushered them out of the neighborhood.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews