READY FOR A CLOSE-UP: Gemma Ward has taken a sabbatical from modeling to spend two months filming "The Black Balloon" alongside Toni Collette. Directed by Elissa Down, the film tackles an adolescent boy's difficulty in coming to terms with his autistic brother. Ward plays the adolescent's girlfriend, Jackie. The shoot dates mean the model-now-actress will be skipping all ready-to-wear shows except for those in Paris. "She's having a riot as it's a project she's been working on for years and it's an all-Australian crew," said a spokeswoman for Ward.
NO VACANCY: Where will the fashion world sleep in 2008? The Ritz-Carlton is planning major renovations starting next year and the mythical palace on the Place Vendôme will be shut for up to two years. Word has it the Crillon may start renovations around the same time. There is already a shortage of rooms in Paris this year. The Bristol is closed until the end of March for renovations and expansion, and the sudden closing of the Royal Monceau, starting today, will heighten competition for expensive beds.
MOUNTAIN HIGH: Montblanc, best known for its pens, wants to write a new chapter. The luxury firm owned by Compagnie Financière Richemont will host what is being billed as a star-studded gala to launch its first collection of diamond jewelry. Some 200 international guests are expected to attend the Feb. 2 event that will be hosted in an "ice palace" that Montblanc will construct — where else? — at the foot of France's Mont Blanc.
TRANSFORMERS: Hussein Chalayan's mechanical dresses, owned by Swarovski, may not make ideal dinner gear, but how about a head-turning window display? Hip Paris boutique Colette has requested four of the transforming outfits — plus a translucent bubble dress — to decorate its windows during couture week next week. But, alas, the dresses will remain static. "The mechanism was designed to only have a 30-second life span, and they're too delicate to animate repeatedly," explained a Chalayan spokeswoman, noting, however, that runway footage of the dresses in action will accompany the display.THREAD AHEAD: French embroidery guru François Lesage will be elevated to Officer of the Legion of Honor in a ceremony at the Ministry of Culture in Paris on Wednesday. In deference to his importance to the couture, Jean Paul Gaultier has agreed to delay his show the same day — originally scheduled for 2:30 p.m. — for at least an hour to allow Lesage's guests time to toast him properly.
BASSO'S DEBUT: The New York Public Library is familiar territory for Dennis Basso, who has showed his furs there in recent seasons, but Bryant Park will be new terrain. The designer has lined up the Promenade to stage his first 7th on Sixth runway show, at 2 p.m. on Feb. 9. Bill Mullen is styling the show, which will feature Basso's first rtw collection and cocktail clothes.
HICKS ON MADISON: London designer Allegra Hicks will hit American shores in March with a stand-alone store on Madison Avenue, between 77th and 78th Streets. The 250-square-foot store is located next to Missoni, and will carry Hicks' rtw and lifestyle collections. It was designed by her husband, Ashley Hicks. The Madison space will be Hicks' second retail outlet: She has a stand-alone store at 28 Cadogan Place in London. Hicks will show her beefed-up rtw collection — she's moving away from caftans and toward daywear and eveningwear — on Feb. 13 during London Fashion Week.
XEROX COUTURE: The love affair between fashion and art continues to heat up. Gearing up for couture week, Givenchy on Thursday unveiled its second collaboration with British artist Katerina Jebb — whose body of work includes a human-size photocopy of Kylie Minogue — in its store window on Avenue George V. The installation features a photocopy of a girl in a white tulle Givenchy couture dress from last season, alongside a making-of video and the gown itself. The model is the 14-year-old daughter of a friend of the artist.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye