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SILVER SCREEN: It isn’t only the costumes that are eye-catching in Focus Features’ movie “Vanity Fair,” which opens this week. On top of all her 19th-century finery, Reese Witherspoon’s character Becky Sharp sparkles in Chanel Fine Jewelry throughout the film.
Pieces picked for the movie, which was directed by Mira Nair, include the “1920” lariat necklace of 330 diamonds, a Burmese ruby and a South Sea pearl; the “L’air” necklace featuring 14 oval rubies and 3,387 diamonds, and the “La Pluie” necklace and earrings of cascading diamonds and pearls.
This isn’t the first time Chanel has made its way into movies. In 1931, Sam Goldwyn picked Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel to dress studio actresses. The designer traveled to Hollywood for the assignment, outfitting the likes of Gloria Swanson, who wore a Chanel suit for the film “Tonight or Never.”
PERRY LANDS ANOTHER NAME: Perry Ellis International is continuing its campaign to build a team of notable designers, recruiting those who have had their own labels in the past but were not able to get by on their own. The company signed Jason Bunin to come on board on Friday in addition to creative director Jerry Kaye; Patrick Robinson, who is in talks to move from its women’s wear licensee to the corporate office, and William Calvert, who is designing its new Perry Ellis, Perry Ellis Portfolio and Perry Ellis America women’s outerwear in a license with Utex Fashion Group.
Bunin, who had his own ready-to-wear collection for men and women until folding a couple of years ago, will design a new men’s outerwear collection for the Perry Ellis brands in a license with Aberdeen Sportswear. The line is launching for spring 2005, according to Rachel Barnett, who joined PEI as president of licensing a month ago.
FASHION ACE: Serena Williams is looking to hit a few fashion shows while she is in New York for the U.S. Open this week and next. “I want to go to the Calvin Klein show,” said the tennis ace, who was at Niketown last Friday to show off the new bold denim and mesh looks by Nike that she will play in at the Open. “I love fashion week and I definitely plan to stop by a few shows. I think Nike has to get a fashion show.”
Serena, a budding fashion designer who often sports bold looks on the court, said she was actively involved in designing the new looks, which also include a leather jacket, a black T-shirt with Swarovski crystals and black knee-length boots made of performance materials. Although Williams pulled out of the Olympics citing injuries, she said she feels good now and is ready for the Open, which gets under way today. “In this collection I am comfortable and I feel like a rock star.”
Meantime, Belgian tennis player Kim Clijsters won’t be competing in the U.S. Open this year, but that hasn’t stopped her from hobnobbing around town. Clijsters popped into Bloomingdale’s SoHo last Thursday night to help launch the new retro-inspired Fila U.S. Open Collection. “I am a little sad I won’t be playing this time, but I will be watching carefully,” said Clijsters, who was last year’s runner-up to fellow Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne. Clijsters pulled out of the Open in late July citing a wrist injury, which also forced her to miss the French Open and Wimbledon.