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LORD OF THE RING: The Memphis Group, the colorful Italian design and architecture movement from the Eighties, is on display at designer Azzedine Alaïa’s gallery in Paris until Dec. 4. Architect Michele De Lucchi said he continues to win commissions for avant-garde designs. “I have a lot of work in Georgia, including a bridge called the ‘Bridge of Peace,’ made out of metal and glass,” he said. The bridge is to be inaugurated on May 5. Among some of the notable works on display is Japanese architect Massimo Umeda’s “Ring,” a bed in the form of a boxing ring. Designed in 1981, the bed was purchased by Karl Lagerfeld and placed in his Monegasque villa.
This story first appeared in the November 12, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
TRYING AGAIN: There are rumblings Jeffrey Monteiro is next in line to design a women’s collection for Bill Blass. Executives at Peacock International Holdings declined to comment Wednesday other than to say news about its plans for Bill Blass should be revealed in the next few weeks. Peacock bought Blass for $10 million from NexCen in late December, just a week or so after NexCen had laid off 60 staffers and pulled the plug on the New York operations of Blass. In 2001, Monteiro relocated to New York from Australia to work in design for Mayle, and later served as design director at Derek Lam, where he also worked on the Tod’s ready-to-wear collection. Monteiro launched his own collection in the fall.
LIGHT BRIGHT: It seems no department store in Paris can light up its windows without some star power this season. BHV, best known for its extensive home improvements department, has tapped singer and fashion icon Beth Ditto to light up the Technicolor holiday displays created by designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. Across town, Printemps has called in model Natalia Vodianova to inaugurate its Slavic-themed windows this week.
LONDON LUMINARIES: The British Fashion Council is celebrating its 25th anniversary by honoring a leading London fashion figure at its annual British Fashion Awards in December. The winner of the onetime award, called London 25, will be decided by a public vote being held on the British Fashion Awards’ Web site, britishfashionawards.com. According to the BFC, the winner should embody “the spirit of London,” alongside acting as an international ambassador for the city’s fashion industry. The BFC has posted a list of suggested nominees for whom visitors can vote on the site, which includes designers Alexander McQueen and Sir Paul Smith; fashion plates Sienna Miller, Alexa Chung and Kate Moss, and retail figures such as Topshop owner Sir Philip Green and Joan Burstein of Browns. The winner will be revealed at the Dec. 9 ceremony to be held at London’s Royal Courts of Justice.
NUDE TO TOWN: Rem Koolhaas did not have a hand in the design of his nephew’s new futuristic United Nude boutique in Amsterdam, but the kin, who share the same name, seem to share the creative gene. Like his namesake, the junior Koolhaas is a big believer in retail theater. “For me, the shops are about experience,” he said Tuesday. To that end, the United Nude store is entirely dark, save for The Wall of Light, a computer-powered LED wall that illuminates a gridlike area with individual shoes that are encapsulated like art. United Nude’s molded footwear with carbon heels lend themselves to the artistic presentation. The younger Koolhaas plans to open stores in Shanghai and New York next year. He also has teamed up with a group of photographers for an exhibition and book that will be showcased in Shanghai at next year’s World Expo.