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LESS IS MORE: In another sign of changing times at Versace — namely Donatella Versace’s newfound focus and the appointment of new chief executive officer Giancarlo Di Risio — the designer is trading her traditional dinner-cum-dance party for some 350 celebrities, friends and fashionistas for an intimate dinner on Saturday night — the day of her show — in her luxurious Viale Majno apartment.
VEVERS TO MULBERRY: Two British accessories designers are on the move — rubbing shoulder bags as they go. Mulberry, the British accessories and ready-to-wear label, has appointed LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton design consultant Stuart Vevers as its new design director, effective Dec. 1. Vevers will replace Nicholas Knightly, who resigned earlier this month and coincidently — or not — is headed to Louis Vuitton as accessories design director. Louis Vuitton could not be reached for comment. Vevers, who works closely with Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, has a background in luxury leather design with stints at Luella, Calvin Klein, Bottega Veneta and Givenchy under his belt as well as designing his own signature accessories line.
THE KARL SHOW: With television crews five deep jockeying for his attention, Karl Lagerfeld set off a media circus Friday evening when he arrived at Paris’ Georges restaurant to launch his low-cost collaboration with Swedish fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz. “They love Karl,” quipped H&M chief executive Rolf Eriksen. “We love Karl. The designs are great and the quality is fantastic.” The designer — along with Erin Wasson, wearing an outfit by Lagerfeld for H&M — led journalists on a tour of his 30 men’s and women’s designs, displacing the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd with the ease of Moses parting the Red Sea. Meanwhile, fashionistas danced to throbbing disco tunes and guests including Emmanuelle Seigner and Ines de la Fressange sipped champagne on the rooftop terrace. “Karl’s not the first one to design cheap clothes,” stated Fressange. “[French mail-order catalogue] La Redoute has hired designers to do it and [supermarket] Monoprix has done it. But what’s new today is that everyone wears H&M — even the woman who buys Chanel.”
HOGAN’S METHOD: The Tod’s Group is out to prove once again that accessories can have a starring role during fashion week. After staging huge interactive presentations during past collections, Hogan is following up this season by re-creating the legendary Lee Strasberg Institute in a Milan industrial loft. Anna Strasberg and Dennis Hopper, along with 16 current Method acting students — all dressed in Hogan’s spring-summer collection — will participate in a live acting class for guests on Sept. 29. Hogan’s creative team plans to reconstruct an old-time theater for the actual class as well as a replica of New York City’s famed PJ Clarkes for the after-class party. Strasberg’s Method stresses emotional understanding, so what better place for student actors to understand anger, resentment and disappointment than during fashion week?
ACT ONE: In a red Alberta Ferretti gown and Chopard jewels, Eva Herzigova was every inch the movie star Monday night in Paris. In town to promote Mick Davis’ “Modigliani,” in which she plays Pablo Picasso’s wife opposite Elsa Zylberstein and Andy Garcia, the model-turned-designer said she’s now channeling all her energy into the film business. “I’m very serious about this,” she said. “I snatched a role in Mick’s next movie, ‘Dorian Gray,’ and I’ll also play in the next Abel Ferrara movie.” Not that acting will mark a total break with her past. For the upcoming Ferrara film, “Go Go Tales,” she’ll be facing the camera with a runway colleague, Naomi Campbell.
HOMECOMING: Harper’s Bazaar has lost another one to archrival Vogue. Accessories director Danya Unterhalter is rejoining the Condé Nast title, where she worked from 1997 to 2002, just in time to cover the Milan shows. (Condé Nast is a unit of Advance Publications Inc., parent of WWD.) Unterhalter has been named senior accessories editor, reporting to Virginia Smith, the magazine’s fashion director for market. Vogue did away with the accessories director position after Michelle Sanders left to become fashion director for Juicy in August.