FOOTLOOSE: Look who’s back in the fashion melee: Josephus Thimister. WWD has learned that Charles Jourdan will today announce that Thimister is its new creative director. He will succeed Patrick Cox, who left the French luxury footwear and accessories firm in December after a two-year stint. The Dutchman’s first full collection for the house will be for summer 2006. The former Balenciaga and Genny designer had laid low in recent seasons as he traveled and collaborated with various interior design magazines. He also was known for his own Thimister brand, which he founded in 1997 to favorable reviews, but closed a few years later as the environment soured for smaller, independent designers.
FASHION-WARD?: Melanie Ward, Harper’s Bazaar’s senior fashion editor and longtime Helmut Lang consultant, may launch her own fashion collection. Rumors are ripe that Ward is toying with the idea of becoming a designer now that Helmut Lang has left his namesake house. Ward was brought to Bazaar by the late Liz Tilberis in the early Nineties and has been a stylist there since. She has also been an instrumental figure at Helmut Lang, where she styled the shows and even starred in the designer’s advertising campaigns. Through her assistant, Ward would only say that she is is exploring all options and nothing is definite yet — including her future at Helmut Lang.
POWER OF 10: How time flies: Two European designers strongly associated with all things young and edgy are already celebrating their 10-year anniversaries with career retrospectives. Hussein Chalayan’s conceptual works — including dresses that can be trimmed like hedges or convert into a coffee table — will be showcased at the Groningen Museum in northern Holland from April 17 to Sept. 4. Meanwhile, Raf Simons was selected for a retrospective that will bow in June during the Pitti Uomo men’s wear fair.
SARAH JESSICA’S SPRING?: Sarah Jessica Parker may have given a hint of what she’ll be donning come warmer weather with her purchases last week at Olive & Bette’s on Bleecker Street — cashmere sweaters. The former “Sex and the City” star bought up a slew of henleys by Maya along with V-neck sweaters in the luxe knit that had just hit the floor.TO THE LOO: Fashion editors are known to be extra-finicky about the smallest design detail, so the prospect of using the restrooms during fashion week must be particularly painful to them. Typically, the cubicles are so tight even a waif would have to suck it in, the locks don’t always work, and the faucets for washing hands merely trickle. But relief is in sight this Olympus Fashion Week. Kohler, the kitchen and bath design firm, is a first-time fashion week sponsor, and it is marking the occasion by presenting its newest product in the tents. The minimally designed, tankless and electric Purist Hatbox toilet will be showcased in the main lobby of the tents, and in addition, Kohler also updated the restroom facilities. Now worthy of a VIP, they come with a temperature controller, full-length mirrors, music and art work. Kohler is also teaming up with entrepreneur Amy Sacco and will be displaying the new toilet at her restaurant Bette, to be opened this month at 461 West 23rd Street in New York.
BLUE HAND GROUP: Well, at least it’s not another blog. Bart Sights of Sights Denim, art director Daniele Kim and the owners of Nabe press, Julia Kim and Wilfried Dickhoff, are gearing up for the launch of their new denim lifestyle Web site. Handsblue.com, a fashion news, streaming video and denim auction destination, goes live on Feb. 7 and will feature the sort of rotating talent roster that hasn’t been seen online since the late Nineties Internet boom. In mid-February, videos by fashion photographers Carter Smith and Craig McDean will be posted on Handsblue. For his part, Smith will create a live-action yearbook at a high school in the Midwest, while McDean will film Alexander McQueen designing a couture denim dress on a model. (The model will then perform a striptease of the dress on camera.)
Handsblue has also partnered with eBay.com on auctions ranging from new designer jeans to denim pieces raided from celebrity closets. Reporters stationed in New York, London and L.A. will tackle the news portion of the site, including reviews of the upcoming 7th on Sixth shows. Susan Kirschbaum also serves as senior news director in New York.PRETTY KNITTY: Finally, something fun to do while you’re waiting for the start of a show. At Friday’s Pierrot presentation, the goody bag will have balls of yarn, needles and a Pierrot knitting pattern to keep all those fashionistas busy. The bag comes courtesy of Lion Brands, a yarn manufacturer that is sponsoring the presentation. A favorite hobby among models backstage for years, knitting is also said to reduce stress. Just the thing everyone needs this week.
SILVER BELLE: Industrial design diva Andre Putman ran rings — or, more precisely, silver rings — around French silversmith Christofle during couture week, unveiling her new jewelry line. “I liked the idea of the imperfect circle,” said Putman, whose collection features slightly wonky sterling silver bangles, chokers and earrings as well as a vase-shaped brooch that you can pop a flower into — or perhaps a nip of rum.
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.