ALL IN THE FAMILY: The financial storm may be raging, but Dolce & Gabbana Srl isn’t getting wet. The Italian fashion house, which operates the Dolce & Gabbana and D&G brands, said at a press conference Thursday that it expects to register a 21 percent increase in consolidated turnover for fiscal 2008. Sales for the year ending March 31 are slated to reach 1.27 billion euros, or $1.86 billion at current exchange, up from 1.05 billion euros, or $1.49 billion at average exchange, in the previous 12 months, driven by a 22 percent gain in wholesale revenues.
The celebrity meter also was well up at the Dolce & Gabbana show, headlined by Jennifer Lopez and husband Marc Anthony, who arrived following a four-day Mediterranean cruise with their seven-month-old twins for Anthony’s birthday on the designer duo’s yacht. “It was very generous of them,” said Lopez. “For those that don’t have kids, go get some….Having kids was the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me, and it feels like right now is when my life is taking flight.” Lopez and Anthony were slated to attend a private concert by Diana Ross for Domenico Dolce’s 50th birthday party later that night. “Isn’t that a surprise? Don’t let it out,” Lopez pleaded. “[Ross] is a legend, not only in music, but in fashion, as well.” Lopez said she was set to start work on a drama written and directed by Don Roos, called “Love and Other Impossible Pursuits,” and a romantic comedy directed by Nigel Cole, called “The Governess.” “Guess who’s playing the governess?” she teased.
Matthew McConaughey, the face of Dolce & Gabbana’s men’s wear fragrance The One, also is doubling up on projects. In addition to the birth of his son, Levi Alves in July, McConaughey is coming out with two books and producing an album for reggae rasta James Mischka with his record label J.K. Livin Productions. McConaughey said his fashion label, JK Livin, for both men and women would make its online debut today at jklivin.com. He added that he’d just finished production of his new film, “Surfer, Dude,” and would be taking off the rest of the year to spend time with his new family. “It’s nice to be able to go to work and not go as you please,” he said. “I was not always able to do that.”
Anthony also may be getting used to la dolce vita, as he revealed he’s planning to take a five-year break. There’s a lot on his plate before that, however, as the Latino artist is working on three records at once and will kick off a worldwide tour in the first quarter of next year. “I want to plan other new projects during my break,” said Anthony, who was wearing a chunky gold and diamond skull ring designed and given to him by his wife.
Dita Von Teese, Chinese actress Li Bing Bing and models Petra Nemcova, Eva Herzigova and Claudia Schiffer rounded out the front row. “I’ll be in Peru at the end of October to open two schools and a sustainable bakery in and around Lima,” said Nemcova, who devotes most of her time to her Happy Hearts Fund foundation. Meanwhile, Naomi Campbell demonstrated that she’s still in tune with her famous temper, fleeing the paparazzi melee before the show with the admonishment, “Leave me alone!”
CANDY MAN: Trick? Or designer treat? Giorgio Armani has released a special ghoulish chocolate for Halloween. Available at Armani/Dolci stores this week through the end of next month, the dark chocolate praline sweets are enclosed in a thin coating of white chocolate, conjuring “a tiny ethereal ghost,” the company said.
GREAT PRETENDER: After Kazakhstan, Sacha Baron Cohen is taking aim at Milan during fashion week, dressed up as his alter ego, Bruno — a gay Austrian fashion show presenter. Almost unrecognizable in a blonde wig and a prosthetic nose, the actor weaseled his way, together with his film crew, backstage at Iceberg, Mariella Burani and Roberto Musso. Once inside, the comedian feigned a fashionista crisis, throwing himself on the floor, appearing to tear off his clothes. According to backstage photographers at Iceberg, Cohen was midinterview with a model agent when he began his act, dragging down a rack of clothes that stuck to his Velcro-trimmed getup. Security staff removed Cohen, and subsequently managed to block him from entering the Dsquared show on Thursday morning. “I didn’t recognize him at first, but his identity unraveled pretty fast. It was really funny,” said Eugene Souleiman, the head hair stylist backstage at Iceberg. The Italian Chamber of Fashion didn’t see the humor in Cohen’s antics and sent out a press release to fashion houses advising them not to accredit three film production company names, under which Cohen was thought to be operating.
ROYAL PARTY: With fireworks exploding over the manicured grounds of Versailles, Breguet, the Swiss watch brand, hosted a black-tie dinner on Wednesday evening to celebrate the reopening of the Petit Trianon, the small pleasure palace beloved by Marie Antoinette. Founded in the late 18th century, Breguet made an ultracomplicated pocket watch destined for the former queen. The piece took so long to complete that Marie Antoinette was executed before it could be delivered. That link to France’s royal heritage behooved Nicolas Hayek, the owner of Breguet and Swatch Group, to write a 5.3 million euro, or $7.8 million, check to finance the renovation of the residence, which had fallen in disrepair. “The Petit Trianon is a jewel of France,” said Hayek, who cohosted the dinner with France’s minister of culture, Christine Albanel, and Jean-Jacques Aillagon, president of Versailles. “It’s better to invest in culture than in Wall Street these days.” Hayek has created a replica of Marie Antoinette’s Breguet, which went missing years ago after thieves pilfered it.
CAUSE AND EFFECT: Juicy Couture founders Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor are taking part in the Hong Kong Cancer Fund’s 2008 Pink Revolution campaign. The pair specially designed a limited edition T-shirt bearing the “Juicy Royalty” crest and a pink ribbon as well as a heart-shaped charm. The T-shirt, which costs 700 Hong Kong dollars, or about $90 at current exchange, and the charm, which costs 300 Hong Kong dollars, or about $39, will be available next month at Juicy Couture’s stores at IFC mall, The Landmark, Time Square and Gateway. Proceeds benefit the Hong Kong Cancer Fund’s ongoing breast cancer support and research programs.