START MAKING SENSE: Refusing to languish unseen by the plain scaffolding which is currently obscuring Saks Fifth Avenue’s facade, the retailer is in decorating mode. Beginning today, a 215-foot installation by artist and former Talking Head David Byrne will grace the store’s scaffolding. “I have been working for some time on some pieces that take off on the graphic family tree form of showing antecedents, ancestors and offspring,” said Byrne, describing the work, entitled “Everything is Connected.” “And in these pieces, I often expand on this form to include all sorts of things — philosophical, cultural and personal — that are connected in my world. They might be connected in your world too.” But what does that have to do with luxe retailing? Well, Byrne punctuates his historical and sociological references with designer names —a perfect tie-in for the new Medici of Saks.
SCREENING SCORSESE: Giorgio Armani hosted a screening Monday night of Martin Scorsese’s “Il Mio Viaggio in Italia”, which the designer produced at his new high tech Milan theater — and it’s certainly plusher than the local multiplex. Forget popcorn and M&Ms — such guests as Kristin Scott Thomas, designer Lawrence Steele and Italian Vogue editor in chief Franca Sozzani partook of a rice and shrimp-curry buffet during a break in the four-hour movie. “It’s the first time this theater is made available for an event not related to fashion,” said Armani. “Il Mio Viaggio in Italia” is Scorsese’s tribute to Italian filmmakers from the Forties and Fifties and the director, wellknown for sequels, is already planning another one on Italian filmmakers from the Sixties and Seventies. “The first film took five years. I want to take my time over the second one as well,” he quipped.
DOUBLE DIESEL: Conde Nast’s GQ and hyperactive rival Dennis Publishing claim to have very little in common, but now and then there’s some overlap — in this case involving macho heartthrob Vin Diesel. Diesel will be gracing the cover of the August GQ, while Maxim Fashion has chosen him for September’s cover. Diesel’s cover appearances coincide with the August release of his action film “XXX” (about extreme sports, not the porn industry).
MAKING MOVIES: British designer Bella Freud is shooting her third short feature with John Malkovich — but this time it’s more about film than fashion. The 15-minute film stars the London-based actress Saffron Burrows, Camilla Rutherford of “Gosford Park”, Ayesha Darkher of “Attack of the Clones” and the underground singer Peaches. Freud will design clothes especially for the film, which she describes as “sexy, early Sixties, beatnik inspired.” The plot revolves around a small group of women, divided into different aesthetic factions, waiting to worship their hero, who’s known as Hideous Man. Freud said working with Malkovich is, as always, a treat. “He is very inspiring and has some amazing ideas, some brilliant fashion ideas. On the set, he manages to be both easygoing and efficient,” she said.