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OUT OF THE CLOSET: Jeannette Montgomery Barron didn’t just dip into her mother’s closet — she photographed it for a new book, called “My Mother’s Clothes: An Album of Memoirs.” Married to the heir to the Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Eleanor Montgomery Atuk was known to be quite the clotheshorse, with Bill Blass, Yves Saint Laurent and Norman Norrell being among her favorites and her friends. When Alzheimer’s attacked Atuk’s memory, her daughter started shooting various ensembles as a way to try to spark her recollections. Barron and her work were celebrated Thursday night at the Kate Spade store in New York’s SoHo, and another book signing is set for tonight at the Staley-Wise Gallery.
Barron and her brother, Monty Montgomery, plan to donate the bulk of their mother’s designer wares to the Savannah College of Art & Design Museum, which is partially open and will be completed by fall 2011.
The Rome-based lenswoman soon will turn her attention to compiling a book of portraits, including one of Andy Warhol with Jean-Michel Basquiat and other regulars from the Factory days of the Eighties. As for William Burroughs, she said: “He was totally scary. He didn’t really talk much. He was doing his shotgun paintings then but I didn’t know. I just saw shotguns all over the place and I knew he had shot his wife. I was in and out of there in 15 minutes, but I got a good picture, which I was happy about.”
GOLDEN GIRL: Through her role as Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker has become a major fashion fixture. No wonder, then, that the actress and budding fashion executive is playing a significant role in “American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity,” the Costume Institute’s spring exhibit opening on May 5. On Tuesday, Parker recorded the audio guide to accompany the exhibit. “Because of ‘Sex and the City,’ she is so much associated with New York and with America, and with using fashion as a way to shape identity,” curator Andrew Bolton said.
BURCH EXIT: Caroline Brown left J. Christopher Capital LLC, WWD has learned. The executive, who had joined Christopher Burch’s company last fall as president and chief executive officer of new lifestyle retail ventures, resigned from her post in late February. She left the company late last month “to pursue other interests in the fashion business,” she said. It’s an area in which she is well versed. Prior to joining Burch, Brown was ceo of Akris in the U.S., having joined the Swiss brand in 2006 from Giorgio Armani Corp. Burch is looking to develop his own lifestyle brand and was in talks with Olivier Theyskens to launch another retail concept, though that deal didn’t come to fruition.
TIED UP: Ralph Lauren customers now can stock up on neckwear and support a good cause at the same time. For the first time, Polo Ralph Lauren has designed a tie exclusively for a charity — namely, rapper-actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges’ The Ludacris Foundation, an Atlanta-based organization that aims to foster community development in the inner city. One hundred percent of net proceeds from the tie, which features a yellow-and-black crest, will go to the foundation. (The foundation also has gifted 107 outstanding high school seniors in Chicago with the special edition piece.) On Wednesday night, Bridges teamed up with Gabrielle Union to cohost a cocktail party celebrating the collaboration at Ralph Lauren’s Atlanta outpost. Fifteen percent of the evening’s sales went to benefit the cause.