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DIOR’S NEW CHERIE: Making a dramatic entrance from behind a transparent screen with roses, Natalie Portman was presented as Dior’s new face to 120 journalists from more than eight countries at Chelsea Piers’ Pier 59 Wednesday. Portman’s first assignment: being the face for Miss Dior Cherie, one of the brand’s iconic fragrances. A series of print ads shot by Tim Walker and a TV campaign by Sofia Coppola both break in March. Of her co-star in the TV ads, 29-year-old Portman cracked: “I felt like a big old cougar. He’s, like, 20.” The TV ad also features a shot of a white swan — “It’s subliminal advertising for my film,” quipped Portman, referring to her latest role in “Black Swan.”
Parfums Christian Dior chief Claude Martinez called Portman “charismatic and elegant,” and noted this is the first time the actress has collaborated with a luxury beauty company. But Portman told a tale on herself: when she’s not working, she prefers to be au naturel. “I’m pretty casual in my beauty routine in my real life,” she said. “Some might say sloppy.”
TIME’S ALMOST UP?: Since Bebe Stores Inc. launched its clothing line with Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian earlier this year, the sisters have inked enough corporate sponsorship deals to bleed more than a few Bics. So far, Bebe president Emilia Fabricant stated, their draw is keeping up with their growing bank accounts. How long that will last, however, she didn’t seem sure. “The sisters do still have relevance,” said Fabricant, “but at Bebe we need to move with fashion and we want to be first in the fashion world with everybody else and not fall behind. We are definitely assessing the situation.”
On Wednesday at Bebe’s Beverly Center location in Los Angeles, the retailer and two-thirds of the Kardashian sister act — Khloe and Kourtney — presented the latest offering from the Kardashians by Bebe line: a 15-piece resort collection priced mostly from $119 to $129 that features pops of bright color. “It is something the sisters would wear on vacation,” said Fabricant of the collection hitting Bebe stores next week.
HARDY’S HURRAH: Followers of Pierre Hardy stepped out into Tuesday’s brisk December air to fete the Parisian shoe designer at his first U.S. boutique at 30 Jane Street in Manhattan. The design adapts his signature dark and spare black interior Paris store decor to reflect its New York City locale. Think industrial I-beam benches, exposed brick wall and a dramatic entrance patio that the designer created to make the inside space more intimate. Hardy then invited a group of editors and friends such as Pat McGrath, Nathaniel Goldberg, Amanda Brooks and perfumer Frédéric Malle to Sant Ambroeus to continue the celebration.
A TEMPORARY SAINT: George Sharp as shopkeeper? The creative director of St. John is curating a pop-up shop called Concept by St. John running for four months starting Monday on Melrose Place in West Hollywood. Sharp has selected his favorite pieces from resort and spring to fill the shop, which is St. John’s first temporary retail space. “The focus is on George and what he has done with the company,” said a spokeswoman for St. John, who added no future pop-up stores are currently in the works. “He has been with the company for three years now and has done great things by keeping the brand’s DNA while moving the brand forward.”
SLEEPY HEADS: Peter Som has a new goal: to get his clients into bed. On Tuesday night, the designer unveiled his debut bedding collection with Italian linen manufacturer Sferra, which features four styles that rework prints from past runway collections. The Newport florals, for instance, done in both avocado and porcelain blue, reference his spring 2007 Marie Antoinette-inspired show, as does the light gray Damask print, which originally took its inspiration from a drawing room in Versailles. Chrysanthemum’s arty florals, meanwhile, stems from his spring 2010 lineup. Then there’s the latticelike calligraphy patterns, which read “PS I Love You” — that’s an old nickname of Som’s from his Connecticut College days.
If bedding seems a curious brand extension for him, Som noted, “It’s all becoming one thing, from the clothes you wear to the bag you carry to what you sleep on. It’s really about how you live your life.” Besides, Som happens to be well-versed in interiors. “My parents were architects. I grew up with [Eero] Saarinen tables, Corbusier chairs and Alvar Aalto stools,” he explained. “When I was in high school I painted my bathroom zebra stripes and went through a Georgia O’Keefe phase [in my bedroom] where I did faux stucco on the wall.” The Peter Som collection for Sferra, priced from $30 for a sham to $415 for a duvet cover, retail, will make its debut in March.