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ALL FOR ADLER: Jonathan Adler followers converged on the Seven For All Mankind flagship in New York’s SoHo on Wednesday evening to mark the summer launch of Adler’s cobranded range of jeans and sportswear with the denim maker. “I love the colors Jonathan uses and wanted to see the collection,” said Dylan Lauren, whose Dylan’s Candy Bar just signed a new license for a collection of stationery and partyware with Lifeguard Press — the company that makes similar products for Adler. Simon Doonan of Barneys New York, Adler’s husband and biggest fan, was sporting white corduroys from the new line. “I’m glad they have a bit of stretch because I have very muscular legs,” he mused. Had he given Adler any design tips for the denim line? “No, I’m hopeless at things like that because I come up with very uncommercial ideas, like putting lamp-shade fringe on the bottom.”
Also on hand were Abigail Breslin, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, “Real Housewife” Kelly Bensimon, model Sessilee Lopez, and Penn Badgley and Matthew Settle of “Gossip Girl.”
Asked if he had pulled any strings with Doonan to try to get the line into Barneys — the store is not carrying it — Adler demurred. “We’re too busy playing Ping-Pong and watching reality shows to talk business with each other,” he noted. “I like the really grim reality shows, like ‘Intervention’ and ‘Hoarders.’”
‘CAR WASH’ AND CATHERINE: On Thursday evening, Catherine Malandrino accepted Pratt Institute’s Fashion Icon Award at the school’s year-end senior fashion show. The designer received the prize from Kim Hastreiter, editor in chief and publisher of Paper Magazine, who’s being honored with her own Eugenia Sheppard Award next month at the CFDA Awards. “[Malandrino] deserves this award…because she’s a rare bird in this industry,” said Hastreiter to an audience that included another rara avis, Iris Apfel. Among the designer details shared in Hastreiter’s introduction: Malandrino eats steak frites and pâté for lunch and has found inspiration in everything from “the pimp and ho looks” to “Car Wash,” her favorite movie.
PRADA’S JAPAN TRIAL: The trial between Rina Bovrisse and Prada Japan got under way in Tokyo on Friday. Bovrisse, a former senior retail manager at the company, is suing for discrimination and harassment based on physical appearance. A lawyer for Prada Japan didn’t make any specific comments but indicated that the company denies the charges and plans to fight the claim in court. The company declined further comment until the legal proceedings progress further. Meanwhile, an attorney for Bovrisse claims that two other female former Prada employees plan to sue the company on similar grounds, although the women’s names were not disclosed. All three women are also planning to sue Hiroki Takahashi, the company’s senior personnel manager, on the grounds that rather than protect their human rights, he participated in harassment as well. Bovrisse is seeking compensation in the amount of 57,911,261 yen, or $622,753 at current exchange, for emotional distress and the loss of her salary during the time the case is undergoing trial. Legal proceedings could take as long as one to two years. The next court date is scheduled for July 2.
FABRICA’S WOOD SHOP: In time for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, Fabrica, the Benetton Group’s communications group, has set up the “Down Side Up,” an exhibition of wooden furniture at the American Folk Art Museum. The grandfather-clock bench, a stool bedside table and other unexpected pieces are on display through Tuesday.
The collection consists of four wooden volumes adorned with three leg sizes. Each piece is perforated with an assortment of holes to allow for modification, expansion or the addition of accessories. The idea being the furniture can be tailored to accommodate different people with different lifestyles.
Sam Baron, who directs Fabrica’s design area, said, “We have to rethink everything in our lives now. We understand that things got a bit too high and too strong. We need to reeducate consumers about how they are supposed to behave and go back to basics in terms of design. The idea we wanted to express was simplicity.”
In honor of Patti Smith’s May 15 performance at the museum for writer and artist Henry Darger, Fabrica designed T-shirts, tote bags and sketchbooks with a sketch of the musician’s head and shoulders. Those items are still on sale in the West 53rd Street museum’s shop.
WITH HONORS: You don’t have to be an alumni of the Fashion Institute of Technology to get a nod from the school — just ask Robert Burke and Carmen Marc Valvo. On Thursday, the two were honored alongside alum and The Fashion Bug president Jay Levitt at FIT’s annual Alumni Star Salute Scholarship Dinner at the Metropolitan Club. “Besides being my best friend and someone who has supported me for so long, Robert has guided so many young designers,” said Calvin Klein Collection’s Francisco Costa, who presented Burke with his award. Burke returned the compliments. “When Francisco came here, he didn’t speak a word of English,” he recalled. “He shows that everything is possible in America. It takes hard work, dreaming big and taking chances.” That’s something Glamour magazine’s Suze Yalof Schwartz, who presented Valvo with his honor, knows about. Over a decade ago, she spotted one of Valvo’s creations on a cover rack and called the designer’s public relations executive, Frank Pulice, to ask if she could borrow it for a New Year’s Eve date. “My boyfriend suggested that night that we should be exclusive,” Yalof Schwartz recalled. “[Thursday was] our 10-year anniversary.”
ITALIAN STYLE: Architects Michele De Lucchi and Pierluigi Cerri are putting the finishing touches on Triennale di Milano New York, a multidisciplinary space dedicated to Italian culture and creativity. An offshoot of La Triennale di Milano, the 18,000-square-foot center will be housed at 40 West 53rd Street, right near the Museum of Modern Art. Meant to showcase architecture, design, art, fashion and food, Triennale New York will have exhibitions, a restaurant, bookstore, shop, espresso bar and special events. The New York studio CUH2a is also pitching in with the building’s design. “The Expression of Gio Ponti” will be the debut exhibition.
COAT OF HONOR: Burberry and Colette are ensuring the style-conscious Parisian won’t fumble the bundled-up look this fall. Christopher Bailey, the London-based brand’s chief creative officer, has designed a limited edition military-inspired parka to be sold exclusively at the Paris-based concept store starting in mid-June. The shearling-lined coat boasts a “Burberry Exclusive for Colette” label and will be sold alongside select pieces from Burberry Prorsum’s men’s and women’s fall 2010 collection.
STICK ’EM UP: Maison Martin Margiela has created a short — and quirky — instructive film showing how to apply its offbeat door stickers. From Line 13, black-and-white prints of decorative French doors have been printed onto sticky fabric in order to create a trompe l’oeil effect. Prices start at 210 euros, or $274 at current exchange. The Paris-based house has also added to it a home-objects line with a magnifying glass in the shape of spectacles, retailing for 59 euros, or $77, and a wax candleholder priced at 125 euros, or $163. The door film will be streamed on the brand’s Web site from May 10. Objects will be available exclusively in Maison Martin Margiela stores from this month.
ISLAND SHOPPING: Elie Tahari will open its first freestanding California boutique this summer at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. The company said the 2,500-square-foot store, located near Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s at the Orange County shopping center, will offer the largest array of Elie Tahari merchandise, including women’s, men’s and accessories, outside of New York. In collaboration with the brand, interior designer Piero Lissoni will develop the look of the store with white oak flooring, Venetian plaster walls, silk carpets, vintage chandeliers, steel rails, midcentury modern furnishings, and a glass and metal facade.