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CUBA’S LONDON ADVENTURE: “I thought London would be stuffy, but I love it. It has great energy,” gushed Cuba Gooding Jr., who embarked on a multiple-party marathon in the British capital Monday night. The highlight was the Burberry-sponsored launch of “Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008″ at the National Portrait Gallery, where guests included Georgina Chapman, Christopher Bailey, Emma Watson, Annie Lennox, Tracey Emin, Diane von Furstenberg, Lily Allen, Mario Testino, Bryan Ferry, Otis Ferry, Amy Sacco, Bianca Jagger, Jasmine Guinness and Camilla Al Fayed. “I’m in town until Harvey yanks me back,” joked newlywed Chapman of her husband, Harvey Weinstein.
Guinness was too busy being starstruck. “I think I just saw Annie Lennox. I just stopped and gasped — so embarrassing,” she said.
A NEW GUCCI: There’s another Gucci in the accessories business: Alessandra Gucci, daughter of the late Maurizio Gucci. The young Alessandra, with an economics degree under her belt, is launching a limited edition collection of luxury handbags in alligator under the AG brand and a logo featuring two unicorns facing one another. The collection, which is made by artisans in Tuscany, comprises three models in pink, jungle and blue named after her father, her grandfather Rodolfo and herself. Noticeably absent from the list is her mother, Patrizia Reggiani, convicted for having commissioned the murder of Maurizio Gucci in 1995. Also absent is any mention of the Gucci name on the products — the brand has for years taken fierce legal action against family members who attempt to launch their own brands referencing their surname.
WESTWOOD’S LONDON VOTE: Vivienne Westwood never misses the opportunity to make her voice heard — loud and clear. Ahead of the designer’s first London show for her Red Label diffusion line Thursday, Carlo D’Amario, managing director of Vivienne Westwood, on Tuesday appealed to all of London’s major expat designers to follow in her footsteps and show their secondary lines in London. “I call on John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Burberry, among others, to show their younger distribution lines here in London, and unite to make London Fashion Week…not only a center for creativity but also for business,” said D’Amario.
While Westwood hasn’t shown in London for a decade — and her Red Label show coincides with the designer having a new book, “Vivienne Westwood Opus,” to promote — it seems the designer is now, conveniently, behind the city. D’Amario said he plans to continue to show Red Label, a younger, tailored line, in London following the fall 2008 season. “I hope that I can count on my colleagues at other British brands to make a similar commitment to their spiritual home, for it to be not just the global capital of creativity, but a commercial center also,” added D’Amario. But still, apparently, only good enough for secondary lines.
A FASHION FAMILY DRAMA: What would any fashion week be without a little Sturm und Drang? This time, though, it’s all brewing off the runway. Earlier this week, the family of Ossie Clark issued a statement saying it had “sought legal advice” in a bid to reclaim Clark’s name and prevent its “continued unauthorized exploitation.”
Albert and George, the late designer’s two sons by Celia Birtwell, claim the Ossie Clark trademark is being “exploited” without the family’s knowledge or consent. Industry sources, however, said this is just the latest skirmish in part of a long-running feud between Clark’s sons and Alfred Radley, the clothing manufacturer that purchased Clark’s business in 1968. Now the siblings’ anger has passed to Marc Worth, who has an exclusive licensing deal with Radley, and who this season tastefully relaunched the Ossie Clark label.
In a statement, Worth said, “There is absolutely no legal basis for these assertions. There has been significant contact with the sons of Ossie Clark and their legal representatives for some months, in which the sons sought a participation in Quorum’s business.” The statement went on to say that Quorum looks forward to building a new future for a label “that had remained dormant since the founder’s death.”
SUGAR AND SPICE: Were Victoria Beckham and her young son looking for a sugar fix before the Spice Girls’ concert Saturday? Posh and her son were spotted shopping downstairs at Dylan’s Candy Bar Saturday afternoon when a few teenage girls recognized her and started discretely snapping pictures with their cell phone cameras. But once others recognized who it was, hysteria ensued and Dylan’s had to be shut down to let Beckham and her son out safely. She was actually very calm and collected about it, said one observer.
AVEDON’S OEUVRE: An exhibition dedicated to Richard Avedon and sponsored by Versace will open in Milan on Wednesday and run until June. More than 250 photos taken from 1946 to 2004 will be on display at Forma, Milan’s International Centre for Photography, ranging from portraits of The Beatles and Andy Warhol to the images of Versace’s iconic ad campaigns. Apropos of Versace, Donatella has a new pet companion scurrying around the atelier called Audrey — yes, in honor of that other famous Audrey: A four-month-old Jack Russell sporting a Swarovski-encrusted collar — nothing less would cut it chez Versace, of course.