JUMP-START CHIC: Fashionably early is the new black — at least in Paris. Chanel and Valentino have moved their runway dates forward by one day to Monday, March 10, setting the stage for a hectic fashion week that crams many of the biggest names early in the week. The Paris shows start officially on Thursday, March 6 and run through Friday the 14th. “It’s a little tight, but it seems OK,” offered Didier Grumbach, head of the Chambre Syndicale that organizes the shows.
SISTER ACT: Actress Robin Tunney has been around the runway show scene for a few years, but this season will mark the fashion week debut of her sister, Susan Tunney. Both Tunneys are expected at Rebecca Taylor’s show on Saturday, but only Robin has a seat. Susan, who is looking to release an album called “In the Devil’s Pajamas,” will instead be performing live music as the soundtrack to the show.
SEW LOLA SEW: Hat designer Lola Ehrlich will send out a small group of models next week wearing nothing but her signature hats. Just kidding. But the designer is getting involved in the fashion week frenzy — she’s loaned out about 20 styles to Sean John for its debut women’s collection show Saturday. There are some fedoras and headwraps, but most are small cocktail hats with veils — and they’re all in black. She’ll also provide hats for David Rodriguez and DKNY.
MIND THE GAP: After seeing their summer 2003 preview, one has to conclude that the folks at Gap Inc. have nothing but fun in the sun on their minds for the months ahead. If the pieces from Banana Republic’s increasingly more designed line don’t make consumers wistfully long for lazy days in Capri, then perhaps they need to develop an imagination. With pieces like a crispy white broderie anglaise skirt or a lace-trimmed nightgown that could easily hit the street with a pair of flip-flops and a cardi, the Banana girl apparently won’t be seeing much of the office.
Over at Gap, with nary a pair of pants or jeans at full-length, it apparently will be all about the ankle. Of course, there are the requisite T-shirts, hoodies and cardigans in a rainbow of colors. But the faux-vintage engineer stripe pieces are clearly aimed at denim-loving girls who can’t resist a bargain.
As for the Fourth of July, consumers just have to head to Old Navy: The retailer is taking a page from the books of Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger and laying the patriotism on thick via Americana-laden beachwear.