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SHE’S GOT THE LUCA: Luca Luca’s pale yellow strapless linen eyelet top and matching silk organza ballskirt from the spring 2003 collection are quite the must-have items this season. According to the company, the flowing ensemble retails for $1,600 and has sold out at all six Luca Luca boutiques — making for a total of 84.
NO JACKET REQUIRED: Lafayette, a tony midtown eatery that shuttered its doors decades ago, used to keep a skirt in its coat room to spruce up any woman who strayed from the dress code. Even Jackie Onassis reportedly didn’t make it by the maître d’ one day in the mid-Sixties.
The safety skirt would be hard to find in these jacketless times, but at least one restaurateur is doing what he can to make sure his dining room is well-appointed. At Le Perigord, casual calls for special treatment, as in another room. Proprietor Georges Briguet sees to it that dressed-down women and men in slacks are seated in the back room. He made the move after noticing more younger, casual diners. His regulars have also taken note.
“Women especially object to being seated next to someone who is not dressed properly,” Briguet said. “We try to keep everyone happy. We never mention there is a dress code. But we don’t have the luxury of turning them away. Business is not booked three months ahead of time as it once was. We have to pay the rent, so we close an eye a little bit.”
Sometimes the partial blindness isn’t enough to ease the sting.
Briguet said: “In my 39 years in business, I still get very upset when someone comes in who is not dressed properly — it doesn’t matter where they sit.”
FINISHING TOUCHES: To celebrate its 35th anniversary, Annikki Karvinen, a Finnish coat line, will host a special event at the Scandinavia House on Park Avenue in Manhattan, stage trunk shows at 30 better specialty stores in the U.S. and run a full-page ad in Town & Country in August.
The marketing will highlight the brand’s Scandinavian design and handloomed details. The company’s weavers spend two full days to make a coat, said Marjo Benavides, sales manager. One day is needed to make the yarn and another to cut and sew the garment. Coats wholesale from $310 to $1,000, with most in the $500 range.
Last year, Annikki Karvinen generated $600,000 of its $7 million in worldwide sales in the U.S., Benavides said. Her aim is to bolster U.S. sales to $1 million, “but in the times we live in, that might be tough this year,” she said.
BOOKS AND COATS: On view at Barnes & Noble’s Chelsea store —located at Sixth Avenue and 21st Street in New York — are 12 coats designed by students in the American Couture Fashion course at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
The coats are the students’ final projects and include a purple and orange silk mandarin-style coat with hand embroidery by Kendel Neidermyer, as well as an olive cotton twill coat with deconstructed bias cut strips from Yu-Ling Hsu. The collaboration will continue each semester as a new collection of garments will be on display, according to Francesca Sterlacci, chair of the fashion design program.
LANGNER LANDS IN NY: Rome-based bridal and eveningwear designer Peter Langner will open his first New York showroom Saturday to coincide with the bridal market. It is at 108 West 39th Street and will be open for private appointments, according to Julia Stone, U.S. sales manager.