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GABY’S BABY: Donna Karan’s grandmotherly duties redoubled Wednesday afternoon when her daughter, Gaby Karan de Felice, gave birth to 7 pound Stevie. It is De Felice’s first child with husband Gianpaolo de Felice, whom she wed on Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos in December.
HORSE-DRAWN DINNERS: The designer crowd is having its footmen check out the Carriage House, a new restaurant in Chelsea that was originally built in the 1800s to house horses and carriages, owned by Elisha Brooks of the Brooks Brothers. Chanel, Catherine Malandrino, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (with a Marc Jacobs shindig in mind) and even Vans have cased the West 18th Street space for parties.
SWAG TIME: Apparently VIPs can’t get through an awards show without a skip through a suite filled with freebies they never knew they needed. In the tradition of the Oscars, Globes and Grammys, the MTV Movie Awards, taking place Saturday at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium, is the reason behind two supersuites this week. Actress Rachael Leigh Cook not only dropped by Wednesday to sample the merch at “The Ultimate Crib” inside Santa Monica’s Viceroy Hotel, she served as a co-host with Hilary Duff, Taryn Manning, Trent Ford and “fashion environmentalist” Danny Seo.
Presented by Smashbox Cosmetics, the two-day promo fest included wares from Joey and T, Ashley Paige Swimwear, Colgate Simply White, Dermalogica Skincare and Rock & Republic. Friday and Saturday, the crowd can move on to the Sunset Marquis Oasis (a reprise from the Oscars), at the West Hollywood hotel by the same name, for nibbles from Akasha’s Organic Kitchen, services by Prive Salon and Ona Spa, along with swag from Vogue by Luxottica, Swatch, Op, J. Lindeberg, Petro Zillia and more than a dozen others. And, because this is L.A., Anna Getty will be heading kundalini yoga sessions over the two days.
NO SHRINKING VIOLET: Dressed in a purple cape and colorful scarf, Roberta Flack dodged the ever-unflattering commencement day dress code at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s graduation Sunday. The recipient of an honorary doctorate and the keynote speaker, the “Killing Me Softly” singer said she needed another layer over the mandatory robe, since she was due back in the recording studio this week. No word on her decision to wear shades under cloudy skies.
This story first appeared in the May 29, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
A Howard University graduate at 19, Flack encouraged students to sidestep the obstacles littering today’s job market and described a few setbacks she faced starting out. She recalled being pelted with crab apples on her first day of teaching at a Washington D.C. school and later, having to enter clubs through the kitchen for her music performances. Her 35-minute speech wasn’t a total sad song, though. When the crowd rose to greet her, she offered, “Wouldn’t you know I get the feedback when I come up?”