DRIVE-THRU: For the Barneys New York event tonight honoring Narciso Rodriguez as an Audi Innovator, creative director Simon Doonan and his crew tried to go the distance to stage the dinner in the multilevel parking garage under the Beverly Hills flagship, which hosts Rene Russo and ceo Howard Socol — along with guests such as Lucy Liu, Amber Valetta, Jacqui Getty and Jada Pinkett Smith — would enter in the new Audi A8. Alas, even Doonan couldn’t solve the little issue of fumes that would inevitably spoil dinner. So it was back up to the fifth floor and the stunning skyline view at Barneys Greengrass.

This story first appeared in the August 7, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

SHOP ’TIL SHE DROPS: Evidently, for Britney Spears, there’s nothing like being chased by the paparazzi to get the shopping juices going. Following a mad dash Monday down Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood, the pop star rushed into the month-old Nanette Lepore boutique. The store manager quickly slammed and locked the door behind her repeat client, but could do little to shield her from the more than two dozen photographers and lookie-loos pressing their mugs against the front window. No matter. Spears swiftly dropped more than $700 on a pretty strapless orange floral-printed gray chiffon dress and two black tops (one lace, the other sheer) then escaped to her getaway car across the street. And the store got the Windex out to wipe down the window.