RETURN ENGAGEMENT: It looks like Miguel Adrover is going to make it back to the runways in September. As reported, the designer has been exploring backing and sponsorship opportunities to get a collection together for spring 2003, returning to the fashion scene a year after his former backers at The Leiber Group pulled the plug on his two-year-old signature line. Jennefer Hoffmann, his press director, sent out notes last week to editors confirming there will be a show, probably on Saturday, Sept. 21 or Sunday, Sept. 22. While the designer has had a few problems with his shows, like an errant sheep and crowd-control issues, the return of his otherwise well-received collections would mark a boost for New York’s currently cramped fashion week that looks otherwise weighted toward its first three days, and even justification for other designers to try showing that weekend. And who better to lead the flock?
This story first appeared in the July 22, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
OVER THE RAINBOW: When Sarah Jessica Parker had her photo taken wearing the now famous “rainbow dress” that’s appeared in several magazines, designer Nanette Lepore didn’t know quite what she was in for. According to the designer, there have been more than 200 calls made to the Nanette Lepore shop in Manhattan asking for the dress. The actual dress was featured in the August In Style, along with the price and the phone number of Lepore’s shop. The problem: it was never put into production. Patricia Field, the stylist for “Sex and the City,” bought all six samples Lepore made and that was the end of the dress.
“It’s the dress that won’t go away. It’s so hard to line up all the stripes correctly on it and it all has to be hand done, so we never did it,” said Lepore. “Pat Field bought all my samples that we had to recut into a size 2 to fit Sarah Jessica Parker.”
Now Lepore is solving the demand for the dress: “We made a very similar version for resort. It’s in the same colors, it’s just a narrower stripe. It’s much easier to produce.”
Parker was seen wearing the dress on the season’s premiere.
HOUSE CALLS: Karl Lagerfeld flew into Los Angeles Friday for a five-day shoot for Interview, where he’ll photograph stars such as Pierce Brosnan, Ellen DeGeneres, Goldie Hawn, Selma Blair, Macy Gray, Bonnie Raitt, Pamela Anderson, Beck and Ice Cube.
“It’s called ‘House Calls,’” said Ingrid Sischy, editor in chief of Interview, who said Lagerfeld will photograph most of the celebrities in their homes. The photographs will run in October’s special issue dedicated to Los Angeles. Lagerfeld shot Interview’s Paris issue last year, and for October 2003, he’s off to Berlin.
FASHION LOVERS: It takes all kinds, but for some fashion fanatics, a visit to the windows at Barneys is romance itself. On Friday, a voracious Barneys shopper, David Sitt, proposed to his girlfriend Jaclyn Gindi in front of the store at the stroke of noon. The whippet-thin groom-to-be, dressed head-to-toe in Prada Sport, led his girlfriend to one of the store’s windows where an Alexander McQueen-clad mannequin held up a placard that read “Jaclyn Will You Marry Me?” The fashion den holds a special place in Sitt’s heart as the couple shops at Barneys and lunches at Fred’s every Sunday in the winter. By the way, she said yes.
NAOMI COMES CLEAN: In the August edition of British Vogue, Naomi Campbell tells editor Alexandra Shulman all about her drug problem — and her fear of the British press.
“Some people do drugs and they’re fine. I can’t. It affects me in a really negative way, and upsets things in my life. Actually this morning, I went to a [Narcotics Anonymous] meeting,” she said. And while Campbell may have won her privacy case earlier this year against Daily Mirror, she said she still feels like a victim of the press. “I feel there’s a boycott in the press on seeing me in what I do and know how to do, which is modeling,” she said, adding that she was afraid of being booed during a Philip Treacy event in April. In the meantime, she’s taking life one step at a time. “It’s just about getting through today. I don’t know about tomorrow. I can’t promise that I won’t touch drugs again.”
GRES MATTER: The house of Grès has plans to revitalize its ready-to-wear and has tapped designer Koji Tatsuno to spearhead the project. Tatsuno, who has designed for Et Vous and done his own, now-discontinued, signature line, plans to do a runway show in Paris in October 2003, according to a spokeswoman. Alix Grès, known as Mme. Grès, founded the house in 1933. Since the departure of Frederic Molenac in 1998, Grès has gone without a name designer, opting for a team approach. Other designers who have worked for the house, owned by Japanese distribution group Yagi Ltd., include Marc Audibet and Canadian designer David Lloyd Klein. Meanwhile, Grès plans to overhaul its Paris shop on the Rue Saint-Honoré, and to reopen it in January with the first designs by Tatsuno.
VOGUE TAKES MANHATTAN: Up to now, fans of Vogue and never-say-die followers of the iconic Nineties TV show “Melrose Place” rarely ran into each other at parties, but that’s all going to change this month. The kickoff to a series of stylish events hosted by Vogue is the relaunch of Lane Bryant’s V-Jeans collection, to be held July 30 at Discotheque in Manhattan. The event will be emceed by none other than Grant Show, who played the hunky “Jake” on “Melrose Place.”
To publicize the festivities, which range from an analysis of ‘What does your handbag say about you?’ at the Chanel store on Madison Avenue to summer cocktails at the Hamptons’ Star Room, Vogue will be distributing 540 jitney bags filled with goodies to Hamptons-bound travelers on July 27 and Aug. 2. Vogue also commissioned Marc Bauer to design an apron for the wine tasters at the blowout finale music and fashion show on the evening of Aug. 3 at the Ark Project in Bridgehampton.
AGITA AT FENDI: It wasn’t a group of anti-fur activists protesting outside Fendi’s Rome offices last week, but a group of the company’s own employees, angry about Fendi’s plan to reposition or lay off a number of workers. Fendi issued a statement confirming this plan as part of the company’s “restructuring…in order to enhance its potential…while maintaining a high level of quality” and that it had “taken into consideration the impact of this move.”
A Fendi spokeswoman confirmed that there were some “agitations,” but denied that “51 employees out of 74” were going to be laid off — numbers cited by the Italian press. The spokeswoman said the latter figure was incorrect, since the press was not considering the fact that 377 of the company’s 1,200 employees work in Rome, and that she could not confirm the exact number of employees at risk. In addition, in a second statement issued by Fendi on Friday, the company said that, contrary to press reports, “no dismissal letter had officially been sent to any employee.” The group is now controlled by LVMH.
ANOTHER ROUND: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, famous for its top-shelf champagnes and cognacs — not to mention a fashion label or two — is now tippling into premium vodka. The luxury giant said Friday it bought a 40 percent stake in Millennium Import Co., which controls the Polish distillery that turns out Belvedere and Chopin vodkas. LVMH said it would distribute the liquors outside North America.
HEAVY MEDAL: Olympic speed skater Derek Para surprised guests at a Nike dinner Thursday night at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, passing around his gold and silver medals, and talking shop with a dozen or so editors. Para, who helped Nike develop its Swift Skin speed-skating suits for the Games, recalled how he had a gaping underarm hole in his suit during one of his victory laps at the Winter Games. Para insisted on wearing the much-hyped suit after ripping it, even though a Nike designer was armed with a sewing machine and ready to repair it. “After I won, when I was skating around with my arms overhead, everyone from Nike knew it was ripped,” Para laughed. “But everyone else wondered, ‘Is it supposed to be like that? Is it for circulation or something?’”