LEAVE IT TO DIVA: It’s hard to believe it didn’t happen sooner, but Diana Ross will finally be immortalized in doll form by Mattel. And who better to design the pint-sized gold-beaded dress than showstopper specialist Bob Mackie? The one-of-a-kind, mini-Diana will go on the block in Los Angeles at the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation benefit on Oct. 26. Mattel hasn’t yet decided whether to market a mass version, but Mackie is already at work on the dress.
This story first appeared in the September 19, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“Every goddess should have her own doll,” Mackie said.
A TOUGH JOB: Covering New York’s condensed fashion week is tougher than it looks. Editors dashing from two shows held in showrooms at 525 Seventh Avenue on Tuesday, back-to-back presentations by Nicole Miller on the 20th floor and Badgley Mischka on 11, faced a dangerous elevator gridlock. One clever band of editors, including In Style’s Toby Tucker and Glamour’s Ginger Brang, headed for the freight cars, but got stuck halfway between floors when a cable snapped on their way between the shows. “I took off my Manolos, threw them out in the hall and climbed out,” Tucker said. “But one woman was crying on the floor!”
So how many credits will Nicole Miller’s spring collection receive in In Style?
“No comment,” Tucker said.
FULL FRONTAL ESTROGEN: Change is afoot at Full Frontal Fashion. As of January, the wall-to-wall fashion show will be moving from Metro TV (which only serves the tri-state area) to WE: Women’s Entertainment. With this change of broadcast venue, it is now quite possible that a national audience of 47 million homes (WE’s current reach) will be exposed to the inimitable Judy Licht and the rest of her coterie — that is, if WE doesn’t decide to clean house. “It’s way too premature to talk about any format or personnel changes, but WE may add higher profile celebrity correspondents,” said a WE spokeswoman.
FRONT ROW SIGHTINGS: Kristin Davis, who will be wearing Badgley Mischka to the Emmys, sat in the duo’s front row on Tuesday. During her off season from “Sex and the City,” she plans to travel. “Paris, Australia, Bali, Singapore, the Galapagos — I’m headed on a big vacation with some girlfriends,” she said, adding that she’ll be promoting the show in Australia, where apparently it’s a hit.
Davis said she still gets to have last-minute options. “They made me two dresses so I could still get a choice that morning,” she cooed. Her Emmy gown, however, will not be from the spring collections shown this week, but an original creation more in turn with the team’s fall collection.
Also front row were Anne Heche with her husband, Coley Laffoon, and Ivana Trump, who has let her hair down. Way down — no more helmet head for her. “I changed my look a little bit,” she said explaining that the yellow tresses flowing down her back were not extensions. “I let it grow.”
Meanwhile, paparazzi should be busy at Calvin Klein’s show today at 5 p.m. Gwyneth Paltrow, Sandra Bullock, Liv Tyler, Angela Bassett, Chili, Usher, Jamie King, Bianca Jagger, Fran Lebowitz, Francesco Clemente and Sam Taylor-Wood are all expected front and center.
A GOOD DRESSING DOWN: Betsey Johnson isn’t sweating the casualization of Seventh Avenue. “I don’t think the suit is the sign of smart. It is a time for jeans and pants. Super-casual is fashionable, as long as it’s done with some style.”
Diane Von Furstenberg, meanwhile, is counting on the next generation of young ladies entering the workforce to dress things up a bit. “You can be casual and elegant.”
BILLY’S NEW FOCUS: Billy Norwich is getting a taste of what it would be like to be New York Times’ photographer Bill Cunningham for a day. According to Norwich, the Times is doing a tribute to Cunningham next month, and Norwich is attempting to do what Cunningham does — shoot the fashionable set around New York City.
So how’s it going?
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen my pictures yet,” said Norwich. “I’m going to Foto-Mat to pick them up.”
Doesn’t the Times pay for film development? “I’m embarrassed and want to go to Foto-Mat first,” he said. Meantime, Norwich is playing the photographer’s role without Cunningham’s essential accessory. “I can’t ride a bike,” he said. “I’m too short.”
SHAKEN AND FURRED: Whatever clothes the Bond girls aren’t wearing in the latest 007 movie, “Die Another Day,” due out in November, they will at least have a slew of Fendi furs to keep them warm. In one scene, 30 Bond girls wear a selection of pastel-colored mink mantels, crystal-encrusted ermine jackets and fox-fur stoles provided by the Rome-based luxury company. Madonna, who wore Fendi furs in “Evita,” briefly appears in the movie and performs the title track.
THE MILK MAN: Bucking the trend of throwing a store-opening party in the actual store, Jil Sander designer Milan Vukmirovic opted for a darkened dive on Avenue A. Recreating the Milk Bar from Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” replete with boys dressed in white suspendered ensembles, mannequins in bondage, psychedelic wall scrawlings and milky cocktails, the fete was a far cry from the luxe, minimalist aesthetic of the new 57th Street store — but that was the point. “I wanted to respect the label, but also wanted to give it a shot of something fresh and dynamic,” said Vukmirovic. “I didn’t want people to come in, have one drink and leave, I wanted them to have a good time. I also wanted to leave them with a distinct visual impression.” Mission accomplished.
ROBBIE’S BABY: Roberta Myers, editor in chief of Elle, was actually fine with having a Sept. 11 due date and even wrote in her editor’s letter this month that despite people grimacing when they heard the date, “I hope my boy does come on his due date, partly because I’m already as big as a house, but mostly because there’s nothing like a baby to give people hope that we have yet another chance to get it right.”
Well, Michael Max Michielli missed his due date and was born Friday the 13th instead. He weighed in at 8 lbs., 6 ozs.
ARCTIC ZONE: Ladies, do not wear a sheer shirt without a bra to the tents. That’s the advice of one fashion director, who remarked how freezing the tents have been this season. Editors Wednesday were shivering in their seats and wrapping scarves around their shoulders. In fact, walking into the Michael Kors show. Finding seats felt like going through a wind tunnel.
“It feels like we’re in the tundra,” said one attendee, as another remarked they should build a [camp] fire.
But while the Kors and Oscar de la Renta’s venues were quite chilly, other shows provided a different climate. The air conditioning broke down at the Badgley Mischka show, and there was no A/C at John Varvatos, either.
HIGH-END MUNCHING: Wednesday was quite a day to play musical chairs at the Four Seasons. In one corner, Shirley Lord celebrated her — wink wink — 40th birthday with Barbara Walters, Beverly Sills, Lally Weymouth, Annette de la Renta and Lynn Janklow. In another, Leonard Lauder and Steve Florio huddled, Candace Bushnell and Alex Kuczynski toasted marriage, and Ron Perelman and Lynn Forester dined. Still, the last to leave were Paula Zahn and the Duke of York, who ordered the dover sole.
NO MORE DELAY: Shoe magnate Steven Madden has begun serving his time at Elgin Air Force base, according to a law enforcement official in Brooklyn. Madden was supposed to have left for the base, which is near Valparaiso, Fla., last month, but received a reprieve for a series of medical treatments. He joins Elliot M. Lavigne, who headed to Eglin last month. Both are serving time for securities law violations arising from federal investigations surrounding the defunct Stratton Oakmont brokerage firm.
CAUSE-RELATED: Ralph Lauren isn’t the only designer lending his talent to Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. While he’s designed this year’s limited-edition T-shirt, Coach creative director Reed Krakoff whipped up the signature tote bag, Robert Lee Morris went to work for a charm bracelet and Betsey Johnson, Diane Von Furstenberg, Stephen Dweck and Lisa Jenks provided the charms. The items are now available at Saks Fifth Avenue.
BIRTHDAY BONANZA: Born on the same day, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Barbara Walters, Christopher Reeve and Ron Meyer will mark Sept. 25 with 1,000 of their nearest and dearest (Robin Williams will be among the throng) at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square. Guests will have the chance to win backstage views to the Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior and Emanuel Ungaro fashion shows in Paris next year and personal shopping with Patricia Field along Madison Avenue with $20,000 worth of gift certificates among other things. The event will benefit the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Movado is designing watches for the birthday fivesome — including diamonds for Zeta-Jones and sapphires for Walters.
OSCAR FEVER: When it comes to the uptown ladies, no one pulls them in like Oscar de la Renta. Front row on Wednesday, Cornelia and C.Z. Guest fought over who gets what, while Jamee and Samantha Gregory melted over the designer’s wedding looks. “Monday, I’m a Jew. Wednesday, I’m a socialite!” laughed Samantha, who took the day off to catch shows. Marisa Noel pondered her own wedding, just two weeks away, where she’ll wear a gown by Angel Sanchez. Also there were Tatiana Sorokko, Michael Michele, Renee Rockefeller, Tory Burch, Helen Schifter, Marina Rust, Serena Boardman, Allison Stern and Rena Sindi.
GUCCI’S SHOE-IN: Vanessa Getty’s mile-long gams proved to be the best asset for amFAR and Gucci last Saturday, when she and Paul Price hosted a cocktail and shopping party at the Union Square boutique in San Francisco to raise funds. Getty showed up in Gucci’s open-toe “bondage” stilettos, all the better to stand tall next to her husband, Billy, who’s 6″7. “In about two hours, I’d say people bought about $150,000 worth of clothes,” Getty reported. “Of course, everyone wanted the shoes I was wearing. We sold out of those.” AmFAR’s San Francisco gala will take place Nov. 14 at The Four Seasons.
MUSEUM QUALITY: Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren — acclaimed for their otherworldly, conceptual approach to fashion — will be the subject of a major exhibition next year at Paris’ Museum of Fashion and Textiles. Curator Olivier Saillard said details, including the date — either next June or October — have yet to be set. But Saillard said it won’t be a retrospective, nor a repeat performance of an exhibition dedicated to Viktor & Rolf two years ago in remote Groningen, Holland.
ZAC’S UNZIPPED: Zac Posen will soon be having his Isaac Mizrahi moment. Photographer-director Stephane Sednaoui, whose past credits include videos for Bjork, Madonna and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, will be filming the rising star’s show today for a 10-minute film. The short will be shown in Milan on Sept. 25 to present Posen’s collection for Enkamania, a design competition organized in conjunction with Enka, a German viscose manufacturer; the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, and Italian Vogue.
Posen is one of five semi-finalists who are vying for the final prize: an ad campaign to be shot by Peter Lindbergh, featuring Milla Jovovich, and running in leading European fashion publications. According to Enka, the prize will “effectively launch the winner on the world market.”
Although the designers aren’t asked for their souls, there are a few stipulations. The Enkamania logo must appear on every garment in addition to a three-season commitment to “studying new fabrics” with the Enka team. The competition includes German design team Bless and Brazilian designer Icarius, who will be presenting their collections live. Posen is the only American in the bunch.
WIGGED OUT: What were New York’s chicest women doing gathered around a small man with an afro wig, a bandana and chest hair pouring out of his denim jacket? Saying hello to their friend Josh Patner, of course. Patner, formerly of Tuleh, was hanging out outside the tents when the Oscar de la Renta show ended; there, he was greeted by a gaggle including Lauren duPont, Lillian Wang von Stauffenberg and Serena Boardman. “Who is that guy?” asked Rena Sindi before the wool — i.e. Patner’s wig — was lifted from her eyes.