PEACE ON EARTH: He’s a designer, photographer, publisher and diet guru. And now Karl Lagerfeld, fashion’s ultimate multitasker, can add diplomat to his résumé. On Thursday, he called a time-out in Europe’s luxury wars, inviting Hermès chairman Jean-Louis Dumas and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton fashion honcho Yves Carcelle to Chanel’s Rue Cambon couture studios for a mini showing of pre-fall ready-to-wear. The presentation was intended to show off the savoir faire of the specialty ateliers Chanel now owns, among them the embroidery house Lesage and haute shoemaker Massaro. “They might be our competitors, but they’re our clients, too,” Lagerfeld said of LVMH and Hermès, which use the various Chanel-owned ateliers to make products. “Very different,” Carcelle offered, as a review of Lagerfeld’s collection before greeting Dumas and assorted Chanel executives. “It’s great that our industry can have such camaraderie.”
Meanwhile, Lagerfeld also called a cease fire in the war against smoking. As guests arrived at the show, they were presented with white cigarette packs with Chanel’s famous double-C emblem embossed on the front. Inside were dark chocolate sticks by pastry master Pierre Herme. “I’ve never smoked, but I like the attitude of smoking,” Lagerfeld explained. “We can’t always be so politically correct, non?”
MERCY BEAUCOUP: Neil LaBute didn’t have to go to a costume designer to wardrobe his new play, “The Mercy Seat.” He instead turned to Donna Karan, who opened her DKNY and Donna Karan New York stores on Madison Avenue to actors Sigourney Weaver and Liev Schreiber and let them pick out what they needed for the show. What’s more, she’s hosting the opening-night party at the collection flagship on Dec. 18 and expects a crowd including Steven Soderbergh, Kristin Davis, Parker Posey, Paul Rudd and Molly Price.
TEA TIME: Talk about a project suiting a designer to a T, or make that tea. British luxury firm Waterford Wedgwood has tapped penultimate British designer Vivienne Westwood to design a tea set for an upcoming collection. It will be unveiled next month in Paris at the Maison & Objet home fair. Where’s the Mad Hatter?
This story first appeared in the December 13, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
CHRISTMAS 90210: Rodeo Drive is getting into the season’s spirit with Rodeo W-rap. A breakfast, to be served this Saturday all along Via Rodeo, a cobblestone footpath off the fabled thoroughfare, starts at 9 a.m., followed by live modeling at Badgley Mischka, and other designer shop doings. The festivities will also include a freestyle group rapping about how great Rodeo is (“All I want for Christmas is some Gucci for my momma,” and “Yo — on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a Jaguar S-Type with jet black leather seats. So now I’m chic, like Lalique with the ornaments driving down Rodeo sporting Ralph Lauren threads”). There will also be a Jaguar Santa sleigh and a CD with the song will be in the goody bag.
PANTY PARTIES: It seems that store parties are getting racier and racier. Last week, Agent Provocateur threw a fete in honor of its store opening requesting “Sexual, Napoleonic, or La Belle Epoque-style” dress. On Tuesday night, Boudoir, the boutique on Mulberry Street, hosted a “panty party” benefiting the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. The event, hosted by underwear company Lilo, featured revelers in just their birthday suits along with DJ Girlina of Spa and significantly enhanced Heatherette muse Amanda Lepore — in a red garter belt and fishnets no less.