ZOE TO HALSTON: Score two for Harvey Weinstein in the fashion arena. Stylist Rachel Zoe will sit on the Halston advisory board along with Tamara Mellon and act as a creative consultant for the brand, Zoe confirmed Wednesday. “But I’m also continuing to style and proceed with all of my other endeavors,” she stressed. “Styling is one of the most important things to me, so I would never stop.”
In addition to dressing a stable of stars including Cameron Diaz, Mischa Barton, Anne Hathaway, Keira Knightley and Joy Bryant, Zoe styles print ads for the company Mellon founded and heads, Jimmy Choo, as well as Judith Leiber. But even before she became known to mainstream media, Zoe was a Halston fan and avid collector of the designer’s vintage gowns. “I’ve been collecting it for as long as I can remember. I grab them whenever I see them because it’s like buying a piece of history. I love the aesthetic and that energy of his time period. It’s always something I’ve channeled subconsciously, so this is a natural decision to make and I’m really ecstatic about bringing the brand back to where it should be.”
In her new role, Zoe will help install the new creative team and oversee the fashion shows. “Tamara and I are a team in this, and we share the same vision,” she said.
Do they also agree about the same designers? Sources speculated that the Weinstein Co. and Hilco paid between $22 million and $27 million for the label. Ever since the deal was signed on Monday, there has been much talk in fashion circles about who would get the design job at Halston. The new owners are said to be keen to bring in Narciso Rodriguez, though it remained unclear whether discussions with the designer had taken place. It is widely known in industry circles that Rodriguez is unhappy with his current manufacturing agreement with Aeffe and is said to be looking for new opportunities, though that may not extend beyond the realm of his own label.
ON SAIL: Just because the America’s Cup hasn’t started yet doesn’t mean sponsoring brands can’t go overboard with merchandising. Louis Vuitton, for one, has already launched a collection of handbags to celebrate the regatta, which kicks off in Valencia, Spain, next month. Dubbed Louis Vuitton Cup 2007, the line features sailboat inspirations in a multitude of formats, including a tote called the Spinnaker. For those who like to be stylish while seafaring, all bags are made from water-resistant leather and high-tech linings. Other matching accessories include bandanas, sunglasses, footwear, caps and key chains.
CROC CONCERT: Pre-collections are getting more and more newsy — and covetable. To wit: Yves Saint Laurent, which displayed many unusual crocodile effects on its fall-winter runway, had the reptilian look all over its pre-fall range, too. Already tipped to be hot numbers are its Downtown and Tribute bags in supple patent leather that is quilted for a crocodile effect. One lucky star, Kylie Minogue, has already been spotted toting the style.
COCO LOCO: Leave it to Chanel to come up with a temporary boutique as chic as this: a 2,100-square-foot suite overlooking the Place Vendôme. The chic salon, previously used for private events, just opened to showcase Chanel’s fine jewelry and watches, while the main boutique on the main floor at 18 Place Vendôme is closed for nine months of construction work. The 10-year-old store is being enlarged and outfitted with a new design by architect Peter Marino, and will be unveiled to the press during the July couture just across the street at the Ritz, in the Coco Chanel suite, of course.
BRIT MIX: “Great combo, isn’t it?” asked Giles Deacon of the discounted shopping-and-Champagne night to launch Gold, his new collection for the British high street chain New Look. “And I’m hopeful the hordes will descend tomorrow morning when the store opens!” A mostly industry crowd flocked to London’s New Look store Monday night to take advantage of a 10 percent discount on Giles’ new duds: black jersey dresses with dramatic draping, pink polkadot coats and scandalously short miniskirts. As reported, the poster girl for the ad campaign is Drew Barrymore.
On Tuesday night, it was Tom Ford‘s turn in the spotlight. The honorary chairman of Fashion Fringe, which searches for design talent based in the U.K and Ireland, was there to preside over the launch of the fourth annual competition at The Bar at London’s Dorchester Hotel. Guests included Natalie Massenet, Alannah Weston and Katie Grand, and past winners Gavin Douglas, Moralioglu Erdem, Bruno Basso and Christopher Brooke. This year’s 10 semifinalists will be announced in May, and four finalists show at London Fashion Week in September.