COLLEAGUE DAY: Practically every blue chip name turned out Tuesday as Saks Fifth Avenue, along with the old school charity group the Colleagues, presented the 19th annual spring luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills, featuring an Oscar de la Renta fashion show and honoring Brooke Shields and her husband, Chris Henchy, with the Champions of Children award. While press-shy Dohenys, Bloomingdales and Fondas mingled with the more garrulous Bells and Davises as well as Cornelia Guest, Jamie Tisch, Crystal Lourd, Stephanie Murray, Liane Weintraub and Wendy Goldberg, the lion’s share of attention went to longtime Colleague Nancy Reagan, who presented the award to Shields and Henchy. Reagan, who just met Shields for the first time, called her “lovely,” while Shields told her, “You will always be the first lady to me.” Reagan chose to wear her own Chanel tweed suit and pearls instead of the featured designer (“Unfortunately, this isn’t Oscar,” she offered) and also took on one of the latest accessories trends: bold tortoise prescription glasses by Gucci. “For me, they’re a necessity,” she said. “I’d be blind as a bat without them.”
ISLAND TO ISLAND: It took Henri Bendel to lure the publicity-shy François Nars, the creative director of NARS Cosmetics, from his private island Motu Tane in French Polynesia to Manhattan on Tuesday night. The reason was a 10-year photo retrospective by Nars, who shot his first professional picture for the beauty line’s fall 1996 ad campaign. Nars touched down in Manhattan for the occasion, having just spent several months on his island, where he hosted model Dayle Haddon. Haddon, who cohosted the event with Lydia Hearst and Amy Wesson, said she happily passed the time there scuba diving by day and watching old movies in the evenings. Also meandering among the photos and guests was Mia Rose, an emerging singer who just recorded her first single, “Hold Me Now.” Fresh from a meeting with MTV to discuss the prospect of a reality show, Rose divulged the evening marked her first time walking the red carpet. The photo exhibit, which ties into a larger effort by Bendel’s to link fashion and art, will remain on display and open to the public through Monday. “Our customer is interested and involved in things outside the world of fashion and beauty,” declared Henri Bendel chief executive officer and president Ed Bucciarelli. “What better way to satisfy her than to bridge fashion and beauty with art?”
GOING VINTAGE: A crowd of retailers, editors and stylists packed Tom Ford’s men’s wear boutique on Madison Avenue in Manhattan Tuesday night for the first of two parties the designer was hosting this week to mark his long-awaited opening. As Domenico De Sole recounted to guests the intricacies of the company’s financial structure, Ford — looking resplendent in one of his new peaked-lapel creations with a blue shirt and Windsor knot tie — described how he grew impatient at everyone’s impatience for him to open. “They kept asking me why it was taking so long. But we signed the license with Zegna less than a year ago. I don’t think a year to do all this is long at all,” said Ford, who hosted another crowd Wednesday night, followed by a dinner at the Carlyle.
Meanwhile, Richard Buckley, Ford’s partner, was looking a bit sheepish about his double-breasted suit. “It’s old Gucci,” said Buckley, who had arrived that day from L.A. “I couldn’t try things on until now and they’re being tailored.”
HOT HOT HOT: Tuesday’s 40-degree temps may not have been cause to break out the filmy frothy sundresses, but there was no use telling that to the crowd at the new Miguelina boutique in New York. “No one cares, everyone’s been shopping like crazy,” said designer Miguelina Gambaccini, who threw a festive cocktail party in honor of the opening of the West Village shop. Indeed, Emilia Fanjul Pfeifler, Astrid Munoz and Elizabeth Saltzman all appeared very happy wearing their bright and feminine frocks — even if they did have to pair them with leggings and tights.