A WALL DELAY: Citing scheduling conflicts, Fendi has decided to stage its fashion show on the Great Wall of China later this fall rather than over the May long weekend. The Roman fashion house is working with Chinese authorities to pinpoint a date during the third week in October for the massive event. “It’s a much easier time to do it,” said Fendi chief executive officer Michael Burke. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chief Bernard Arnault is slated to attend, as are Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi, who are designing special pieces for the show.
FLIGHT PATTERNS: Cruise collections are not only about boat travel, as Karl Lagerfeld will prove May 18 when he presents Chanel’s resort collection in a hangar at a private airport in Santa Monica, Calif. The 7 p.m. show, for an audience of close to 500, will be followed by a party. Even if hangar number five might have been more apt, given Chanel’s giant perfume franchise of that name, Lagerfeld opted for hangar number eight, located next to the control tower, simply because it is the biggest.
GUEST STAR: Cartier is jumping onto the celebrity designer bandwagon. The Richemont-owned firm is launching a collection of jewelry codesigned by Italian bombshell actress Monica Bellucci. Long a muse to the house, Bellucci approached Cartier about designing a special, ultralong earring set. In turn, Cartier asked the star to lend her own point of view to a small collection. It is expected to hit Cartier stores within the next month.
TIME OF INVENTION: Celebrity endorsements are myriad. But IWC, the Swiss watchmaker owned by Richemont, put its own spin on the concept Wednesday evening at a party in Geneva at which it enlisted Kevin Spacey to act in and direct “Leo and Lisa,” a dramatic vignette about Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous painting, the “Mona Lisa.” (IWC was inspired by the Renaissance master for its da Vinci wristwatch.) Joined onstage by Thandie Newton (as Mona Lisa) and Elliot Cowan (filling Leonardo’s buskins), Spacey interrogated the two on the vagaries of creation and the origins of Mona Lisa’s mysteriously famous smile. Not all the stars were up on the circular stage, though (which, incidentally, was painted with the face of a watch). Cate Blanchett, French actor Jean Reno and retired French soccer star Zinedine Zidane were among the hundreds of guests who later sat down to an Italian buffet dinner in a Vegas-worthy mock-up of a Florentine piazza.
HUGO RIGHT AHEAD: Could Hugo Boss AG, headed by executive Bruno Sälzer, soon be welcoming another Bruno into the fold? Word has it the German fashion giant has been in talks with Belgian designer Bruno Pieters to helm its Hugo Hugo Boss brand. It is understood Pieters would design Hugo women’s, men’s and accessories collections. A Hugo Boss spokesman said he could not confirm any design hires.
KATE’S MATES: With style icon status to protect, Kate Moss isn’t taking any chances when it comes to her brand identity. The model has tapped Peter Saville, the British graphic designer and art director, to create her Kate Moss logo, which will be featured on the branding of her collection for Topshop and on her fragrance launch with Coty later this year.
“Logically, Kate and Storm [Moss’ agent] realized there had to be some coherence between the Kate Moss logo and the Kate Moss brand,” said Saville, who added he worked with typographer Paul Barnes to design the lettering for Moss’ logo, based on a typeface created in the Fifties by the late Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch. “From Kate’s point of view, it’s her graphic identity — it’s a very nice bit of lettering.”
And, according to Saville, who is best known for the record sleeves he designed for Joy Division and New Order in the Seventies and Eighties, Moss has her finger on the graphic design pulse, too. “We presented Kate with a dozen possibilities, and [she] agreed immediately on the best one. She was able to spot it for herself.”
CAPITAL FANS: St. John Knits co-founder Marie Gray rubbed elbows with some of Washington’s power brokers and their wives, many of whom donned her suits for the occasion on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Gray was in town to receive the 2007 Day of Hope Award from Childhelp, a national nonprofit organization that helps abused and neglected children.
Accompanied by her daughter, Kelly, and grandson Matt, Gray said, “It’s sad to think there are so many children that go to bed in sadness and despair. It’s hard to put your arms around that, grasp it and understand it.”
Gray, who has three children and six grandchildren, said St. John has a devoted following on Capitol Hill and pointed to Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain. Although she is still undecided on a presidential candidate, Gray was not indecisive about the appeal of her brand to the women in Washington, saying they fit her idea of the “St. John woman.”
“She doesn’t have time to have many changes of clothes for each special event and she has to have one outfit that can take her through a lot of events, and that is one of the hallmarks of our label,” Gray said.
For women like Tricia Lott, wife of Sen. Trent Lott, the St. John line is a perfect fit for her traveling lifestyle, but she has to stay in shape to wear it, noting she needs to get her “thunder thighs under control” before wearing the brand known for its form-fitting knit suits.
“So many people in D.C. travel, so it’s a perfect travel outfit,” Lott said. “You just throw it in a suitcase and it’s perfect.”