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Fashion Scoops: Say No To Clothes?…Claridge’s On The Block…Babbling At Brooks

<b>SAY NO TO CLOTHES?:</b> Shopping to cure the blues doesn’t cut it with writer and meditation coach <b>Kathy Freston.</b> During an Equinox event Wednesday, she said she advises designer-happy clients to take stock in why they buy. “I...

SAY NO TO CLOTHES?: Shopping to cure the blues doesn’t cut it with writer and meditation coach Kathy Freston. During an Equinox event Wednesday, she said she advises designer-happy clients to take stock in why they buy. “I don’t say, ‘Stop shopping altogether,’ but I want them to pay attention to what’s going on internally. There’s this spiritual hunger but we fill ourselves with new things, or food or drama.”

This story first appeared in the October 23, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Equinox’s “spiritual consultant” said her “transformational meditation” came out of necessity. “I was in a horrible relationship that almost killed me, I was broke, I needed to make changes.” But Freston, a former actress and Ford model whose husband is MTV honcho Tom Freston, said the practice isn’t just for the downtrodden. “Some of the most powerful executives meditate before big meetings.” But she declined to name names.

CLARIDGE’S ON THE BLOCK: Every fashionista’s favorite London haunt — Claridge’s — is for sale. Blackstone and Colony Capital, the private equity firms that own the Savoy Group, are looking to sell the 203-room hotel in Mayfair for approximately $504 million, which would set a world record of $2.27 million a room. The two firms said in a statement Wednesday they have appointed Deutsche Bank and Jones Lang LaSalle to find prospective buyers. “I should stress that no firm decision has been taken at this stage,” said John Kukral, president of Blackstone real estate advisers, in the statement. “We will provide a further update once a full review has been completed.”

BABBLING AT BROOKS: Construction on Rodeo Drive may have caused impossible traffic jams and long valet lines at the Brooks Brothers opening party in Beverly Hills last week, but the history of the 185-year-old retailer was the prevailing topic of conversation. “I’ve been a fan of Brooks Brothers since I was this high,” enthused Harry Connick Jr., recalling the big impression a pair of Brooks Brothers cordovan shoes worn by his father, then district attorney of New Orleans, made on him. The story put a smile on Brooks chief executive officer Claudio Del Vecchio’s face, who bantered with Connick on endorsement possibilities. Chanteuse Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bill Paxton, Kerry Liu, Beverly Mitchell and hundreds of others turned out for the event that had another goal in mind — raising funds for the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance.