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COCTEAU TWINS: Yves Saint Laurent dean Pierre Bergé has finally found financing for his project to open a museum devoted to Jean Cocteau in Milly-la-Forêt, a small town about one hour south of Paris where Cocteau is buried. Severin Wunderman, who owns Swiss watch company Corum, has pledged to help pay for the museum. Wunderman, a survivor of the Holocaust, is one of the world’s biggest collectors of Cocteau’s work. Recently, he donated hundreds of pieces by the French artist to a museum slated to open in the French Riviera town of Menton in 2009.
K STREET TIES ONE ON: What do Christina Aguilera and members of Congress have in common? Accessorizing, apparently. Aguilera, an advocate for ending domestic violence, has designed a limited edition red polkadot men’s silk tie and women’s scarf, which were distributed this week to members of Congress, White House officials, fellow advocates, media and survivors. This week has been the Lifetime Network’s End Violence Week, in which celebrities such as Nicole Kidman and Martina McBride also participated. Aguilera, who dedicated the song on her “Back to Basics” album “Oh Mother,” to her mother, a domestic violence survivor, is also featured in a public service announcement airing on the network this month. One hundred ties and scarves will be passed out during Aguilera’s “Back to Basics” tour, which ends next month.
LIVE FEED: Thanks to LaVelle Olexa‘s ingenuity, Lord & Taylor’s Fifth Avenue windows now have glimpses of the Atlanta Aquarium. And Wednesday night, no one was more eager to see the video footage of fish swimming across plasma screens than the aquarium’s benefactor Bernie Marcus, who donated $200 million for Georgia’s newest tourist attraction. Lord & Taylor’s Jane Elfers and NRDC’s Richard Baker welcomed Marcus to Manhattan by hosting a dinner in his honor at Del Posto. Before Mario Batali’s culinary creations were served, Harold Koda, Nicole Miller, Bud Konheim, Yeohlee Teng and other guests learned a little about Marcus, who cofounded another Atlanta institution — Home Depot. “I’m a pharmacist [by training]. If I had been a doctor, I could have been something,” he said.
Marcus hinted at his current status. “For me to be honored by Lord & Taylor — a style house — is, well…I’m a hardware guy.”
He complimented Baker on NRDC’s purchase of L&T, saying, “I’m a merchant. I love stores. And retailing is a wonderful business. If you please the customer, it can be very exciting — and you can make a lot of money at it.”
But he couldn’t hide his excitement about the windows, which he was anxious to see throughout dinner. “I hope this helps the store’s business. I know it will do something good for the aquarium,” Marcus said. “New Yorkers are blasé — I can say this, I’m from here. Maybe this will excite several people to get on a plane to come down to Atlanta to see the aquarium.”
BLUE PERIOD: Designer Paloma Picasso is hosting an exclusive breakfast at Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue flagship on Tuesday morning to launch her newest collection called Crown of Hearts. Picasso, who has refrained from designing watches for Tiffany & Co. for some time, will bow a limited edition timepiece in addition to jewelry. The Lake Geneva, Switzerland-based designer is also apparently an aficionado of stones. She has incorporated several stones the company has never used before in its wares, including black tourmaline and praseolite.