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DIEGO’S PLATFORM: Tod’s Diego Della Valle once again showed he’s not afraid to speak up about issues that are close to his heart. During a conference organized by Italy’s footwear association, ANCI, in Milan on Friday, Della Valle urged the Italian government to do the following: Protect the Made in Italy label; act against counterfeiting and impose stronger antidumping regulations. Della Valle also said he hopes the government will cut taxes on companies’ profits in order for entrepreneurs to invest in innovation, and help penetrate important markets by setting up permanent exhibitions abroad. “Where do big foreign groups go to buy businesses? Here, in Italy. It’s almost as if they believe more in our skills than we do,” said Della Valle. He was mum, however, about whether he would ever be willing to enter the political arena.
THE AIR UP THERE: Tonight’s Upstairs at the Library event at the 2007 CFDA Fashion Awards will have no shortage of designers and social types. Expected to attend are the likes of Victoria Traina, Fabiola Beracasa, Zani Gugelmann, Padma Lakshmi, Genevieve Jones and Chanel Iman. While many designers will take in the ceremony downstairs at the Celeste Bartos Forum, the upstairs portion will boast the younger league, including Jenni Kayne, Magda Berliner, Richard Chai, Miguelina Gambaccini, Sari Gueron, John Whitledge, Jeff Halmos, Sam Shipley, Tina Lutz and Marcia Patmos.
PRINCESS DIARIES: Kidada Jones and fellow Hollywood princesses Nicole Richie, Bijou Phillips, Monet Mazur, Rashida Jones, Rosanna Arquette, Rumer Willis and Jessica Capshaw played dress-up Thursday to celebrate Kidada’s third collection for Disney Couture. Like her previous two collections, Tinkerbell and Alice in Wonderland, the jewelry, home and intimates lines, based on the six Princess tales (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc.), uses iconic images such as the “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall,” the castle and the poison apple. The 23-piece jewelry line, which ranges from $40 to $150 at retail, comprises mostly 14-karat gold-plated charm bracelets and chains with leather and enamel accents. The eight-piece intimates collection, including a kimono, leggings, chemise and boyshorts, retails from $28 to $120. All sell exclusively in Ron Herman Melrose, where vice president and women’s creative director John Eshaya created a Japanese-meets-fairy tale-themed room. Jones said her inspiration for the decor came from a trip to Japan. “Seeing the cherry blossoms is so profound, like falling in love for the first time,” she said.
“I never really associated jewelry with Disney, but this is so cool and modern and wearable,” said Amy Smart.
Denise Richards arrived with two princesses of her own, her daughters, Lola and Sam. “I couldn’t turn down this party. It’s princess-themed, at Quincy [Jones’] home, and benefits the Boys & Girls Club.”
Jones said her next projects were likely to be Bambi and another Tinkerbell collection, with colors and images inspired by Marie Antoinette.
PURSUING PARKER: Sarah Jessica Parker is no diva. After her car was rear-ended by overeager London paparazzi en route to present Covet, her latest fragrance, to the press, her sense of humor remained intact. “It’s very exciting and very flattering,” she said of the skirmish. It’s clear the diminutive actress is made of stern stuff, as evidenced in Covet’s advertising, which was shot by Jean-Paul Goude and shows Parker high-kicking a window in order to get to a bottle of the scent while wearing a Christian Lacroix couture gown and a pair of Christian Louboutins. “I wasn’t even worried about the shoes,” she recalled with a smile. “I was worried about my hip flexors.”
MALO BARGES IN: The fashion crowd always makes the scene at the Venice Biennale, but this year Malo plans to be seen and heard — as far as New York. The Italian label has partnered with the Long Island City, N.Y., art center MoMA/PS1 to sponsor the barge that will house the Malo/WPS1 radio station, which will air Biennale-related info as well as interviews with artists and curators. The Biennale gets under way today in Venice. With the alliance, Malo aims to reinforce its commitment to art while sharing art with the greater public, according to chief executive officer Vittorio Notarpietro. “For years, Malo has been a quiet patron of contemporary art. We understand that it is important to give these artists a forum as well as share this incredible contemporary work with our customers,” he said. The company also is updating its stores to give them more of a boutique-gallery feel that showcases the work of artists such as Giacomo Balla, Julian Schnabel, Louise Nevelson and Allen Jones beside Malo’s collections.
SAMPLING CHANEL: Shoppers at Jackie Rogers’ sample sale later this month also will find a few Chanel pieces. Rogers, who once modeled for Coco Chanel, will add six of her own Chanel suits to the mix. The size-6 items are expected to fetch $4,000 to $7,000 at the June 12 to 14 sale at the designer’s loft at 1034 Lexington Avenue in New York. A black-and-white suit that was said to be designed for Rogers by Chanel herself also will be up for grabs. Those who miss out on the Chanel pieces will find jewel-tone silk satin gowns, black crepe cocktail dresses and fox-trimmed day suits.
LIFE ON THE FRINGE: “Tom Ford said my name and I nearly passed out,” said 24-year-old London designer Andrea McWha, after learning she’d become a finalist in the annual Fashion Fringe contest. “It’s a designer’s dream come true.” Ford, Christopher Bailey, Fashion Fringe founder Colin McDowell and other judges gathered at the Red Bull headquarters in London’s Soho to reveal the four finalists who will stage a catwalk show during London Fashion Week in September. The winner will receive funding to produce future collections, business advice and the chance to sell a capsule collection on Net-a-porter.com. The scheme was launched four years ago with IMG to support emerging British fashion design talent. The finalists are Graeme Armour, Dejan Agatonovic, the duo Marcus Wilmont and Maki Aminara Lofvander and McWha.
MUSEUM MILESTONE: Tiffany & Co. Foundation is donating $2 million to New York’s Museum of Art & Design to build a jewelry resource center and gallery at the museum’s future home in Columbus Circle, opening next year. The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery will house the museum’s permanent collection and host public programs and artist residences, allowing visitors to become engaged in jewelry-making processes and techniques. “The Tiffany Jewelry Gallery is more than just a presentation space for the museum’s contemporary jewelry collection and special exhibitions,” said museum director Holly Hotchner.
ARTISTS’ NETWORK: His concierge company, Quintessentially, is expert at granting its members’ last-minute requests — whether they be booking a restaurant or chartering a yacht — and now Ben Elliot is set to share his little black book with the art world. Elliot, who’s also known as the nephew of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has joined the advisory board of art and auction house Phillips de Pury & Co., and will collaborate with the company on an educational and event program to run alongside Phillips de Pury’s selling activities, beginning in January. He’s in good company on the board, whose members include Marc Jacobs, Juergen Teller and Lapo Elkann, who act as a creative network for Phillips de Pury’s chairman, Simon de Pury. Meanwhile, Elliot is developing his company’s own art advisory service, Quintessentially Art, which will run alongside the bespoke wine service, Quintessentially Wine, and luxury chauffeur service, Quintessentially Driven.
GEM OF A CROWD: Sunshine, jewelry and City Bakery goodies lured Amber Valletta, Andie MacDowell and Jamie Tisch, channeling Lance Armstrong in yellow biking gear, to tea Thursday at Ilene Resnick‘s Brentwood home. Christine Greene, whose flower-inspired necklaces, bracelets and earrings range from $1,500 to $8,000 at jewelry mecca Kaviar and Kind, showed off her latest hammered 18-karat yellow and white gold bangles to the receptive audience. “I am a girl. I think it’s in my genes,” said Valletta, wearing vintage Ossie Clark, of her jewelry habit. “I will wear blue jeans and a nothing shirt and have on a great pair of earrings.” Longtime pals Valletta and Greene, whose kids attended the same preschool, planned to whip up tasty morsels for the gathering, but abandoned the kitchen last minute in favor of a catered affair. “We’re Aquarians, so we blamed it on that,” Greene joked.