ALL IN THE FAMILY: Phoebe Philo’s young family is growing. The former Chloé designer last week gave birth to her second child, a boy, a new brother for two-year-old Maya. Philo and her husband, Max Wigram, have yet to release the baby’s name.
MANHATTAN TRANSFER: Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos, the two members of the Trovata quartet who left the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund-winning, surf-inspired sportswear label in December, are going to hang 10 in New York’s SoHo district. Halmos said the duo will move to Manhattan in a couple of weeks to launch their new line, dubbed Shipley & Halmos, for the spring 2008 selling season. At their farewell party on Saturday at West Hollywood’s Seven nightclub, where designers from Quiksilver, Fox, Fremont and other Southern California clothing labels gave the Trovata alumni a rowdy send-off, Halmos said New York has more to offer than Los Angeles in terms of creativity and resources. Trovata is currently designed by the sole remaining member, John Whitledge. The fourth founding member, Josia Lamberto-Egan, left Trovata last June.
ENTENTE CORDIALE: Not since the opening of the mega Mall of America have so many retailers converged on one site. This time, it’s for Josie Natori, who will celebrate her 30 years in business with an “intimate” dinner for 90 people at La Grenouille on Nov. 1 with retail chief executives Steve Sadove of Saks Fifth Avenue, Burt Tansky of the Neiman Marcus Group, Terry Lundgren of Macy’s Inc., Pete Nordstrom of Nordstrom Inc., Michael Gould of Bloomingdale’s and Bill Dillard 2nd of Dillard’s, hosting the dinner. “This is a great time for Josie,” Sadove said. “She’s not only celebrating her 30th anniversary, her son just got married, and she’s as inventive and innovative as she’s ever been. She’s everywhere — Paris, the Philippines. Very few people have her energy level.”
HELMUT LANG ON MELROSE AVENUE: Designer brand Helmut Lang will open a boutique on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles in late summer. The freestanding store — under construction across the street from Melrose Place — is adjacent to a new 4,000-square-foot Theory boutique, which is also owned by Helmut Lang’s parent company, Japan’s Link Theory Holdings Co. Ltd. The store will be the only freestanding Helmut Lang unit in the U.S., though the company is said to be eyeing retail space in New York.
HIGH ON A HILL: Even with all the recent examination of the late fashion icon Nan Kempner, there’s one aspect of her life that’s a bit fuzzy: whether she truly considered herself a New Yorker, instead of hailing from her native San Francisco, which she left at age 21 for the Big Apple. At the opening last week of “Nan Kempner: American Chic” at San Francisco’s de Young Fine Arts Museum, some light on her hometown allegiance was shed by Harold Koda, head curator of the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute in New York, where the exhibit of her couture collecting originated. Before Kempner died two years ago, she had given the de Young 54 couture pieces and the Met only a half-dozen. “She was giving the first right of refusal to the de Young, not the Met,” Koda said during a preview of the exhibit. Being from the City by the Bay also informed Kempner’s fashion sense, Koda said. “Her Francophile love is really San Francisco. It is very different than Los Angeles,” he observed. As for fans of Kempner’s couture — she collected more than 5,000 pieces — the de Young’s exhibit of 75 pieces has 25 outfits not shown at the Met, like a stunning Valentino marigold yellow and burgundy silk velvet dinner jacket with beaded embroidery, sable trim, citrine rhinestones and gold fringe.
A DRESSING DOWN: The dress craze storms on, but Bud Konheim sees it as old hat. Before Nicole Miller‘s first resort fashion show Wednesday, Konheim said, “Everyone is acting like the dress is some new thing.” Miller has been doing them throughout her 25 years in business, he noted. In fact, after decades of dresses dominating the fashion scene, it was civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy who had more to do with reversing the trend than anyone else. “After Martin Luther King was killed, he had people marching in the streets and then it became OK to wear jeans and sportswear,” Konheim said.
ROCHA ON DOVER: John Rocha plans to open a store in a former pub at 15a Dover Street in London in September. The 2,200-square-foot corner store, near Dover Street Market, will cover three floors and preserve the pub’s original stained glass windows. It will carry women’s and men’s wear, accessories, jewelry and the crystal collection that Rocha designs for Waterford. It will also stock a selection of the designer’s favorite modern art books. Rocha’s last store, in London’s Brompton Cross, closed about eight years ago.