DIOR ENCORE: Fashion’s favorite First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy does seem to adore Dior. Arriving on an official visit in honor of the 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence on Sunday, the former top model wore a cotton camel day dress, complete with the house’s accessories.
JANET WEAR: Singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, record producer and now designer, Janet Jackson is to launch her own lingerie line before the end of the year. “I’m working on it,” Jackson said at the Versace men’s wear show Saturday. Joining her on the stellar front row were Tom Ford, actors Rupert Everett, Gerard Butler and Dominic Cooper, her producer Jermaine Dupris and Houston Rockets guard Tracy McGrady.
LIZ’S NEW LOOK: It’s all very hush-hush, but Liz Claiborne is working on a new logo and ad campaign for the spring launch of Liz Claiborne-brand women’s clothing under creative director Isaac Mizrahi. Nothing has been approved yet, according to a source within the company, and officials declined to comment. The design overhaul of the ailing flagship brand has taken on a top-secret aura even within Claiborne, where samples and images of the Mizrahi product are restricted to those on a need-to-know basis, the source said. Mizrahi was hired in January to revitalize all women’s categories of the Liz Claiborne brand with fashion zing.
MATTEO’S MUSINGS: Former Valentino chairman and legendary European playboy Matteo Marzotto has been busy penning his autobiography, titled “Flying High,” which will be published later this year. Also, Marzotto has just been appointed president of Enit, Italy’s national agency for tourism. “He is an excellent manager, essential to make Enit work, and has a deep knowledge of international markets,” said Michela Brambilla, undersecretary for tourism in the fourth Silvio Berlusconi government, who tapped Marzotto.
TEMPORARY STAR: Paris fashion house Azzaro has a new guest designer with a pedigree. Jemima Khan, daughter of Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart and the late tycoon Sir James Goldsmith, has designed a capsule collection for Azzaro, which will include ready-to-wear and accessories. It will be presented in the showroom during the Paris couture. Azzaro designer Vanessa Seward last year collaborated with young socialite Eugenie Niarchos on an accessories line.
VENUS’ ORBIT: Venus Williams swapped tennis duds for a slinky black Ralph Lauren evening gown Thursday night, to fete the launch of her coffee-table book, “Venus Williams,” by Koto Bolofo, at London’s Polo Ralph Lauren store in Mayfair.
The book features a series of shots of the tennis star by photographer Bolofo, who trailed Williams during her public and private engagements. “I did not want to photograph her in a stereotypical, banal way, packed with lots of action,” said Bolofo, who also has shot images for Vogue and Vanity Fair, alongside campaigns for Hermès, Burberry and Alberta Ferretti. “For me there were too many celebrity sports images that lacked style, signature and an obvious intimate relationship between photographer and subject.”
Williams certainly was pleased with the results. “I didn’t think guys like this existed in the world,” she gushed. “He’s one of the most generous people.”
Guests including Imogen Lloyd Webber and Tom and Amber Aikens joined Williams to celebrate the book’s launch. The tome was sold exclusively at Polo Ralph Lauren’s U.K. stores over the weekend, before being released generally today, the first day of the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT: Paula Patton, Jordana Brewster, Shiva Rose and Rashida and Kidada Jones exemplified charitable sacrifice when they forsook the comforts of air conditioning to raise nearly $37,000 at a Saturday picnic in 95-degree heat. In the sun-drenched backyard of a private Los Angeles residence, they came together to help wallpaper designer Carly Margolis and premium denim brand Citizens of Humanity raise money for the Casa de Milagros orphanage in Peru. Margolis, who also creates print designs for Citizens’ knitwear line, said the denim firm’s chief executive officer, Jerome Dahan, jumped to help based on his own experience of being raised in an orphanage in France. As for Patton, despite her own urges to dive into the pool in a Missoni minidress, she bid the highest in an auction for the wallpaper that Margolis made with the Peruvian orphans’ drawings and what the actress dubbed “life in a bag” (i.e., a session with a life coach, astrology reading, yoga and massage). Other guests who braved the heat were singer Robin Thicke (son of Alan and husband to Patton), stylist Jessica Paster, Sweetees designer Melody Kulp, Cherokee Inc. chairman and ceo Bobby Margolis (father of Carly), Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne and hair maestro Ken Paves, who splurged $1,500 on portraits for his beloved pooches.
FLOWER POWER: It’s the battle of the flowers between Dolce & Gabbana and Ken Scott. The late designer’s Foundation is appealing in a case against the Italian designers, who are accused of having copied 10 Scott floral patterns in their D&G collection back in 2001. While the designers have been declared guilty for the use of four patterns and obliged to pay 80,000 euros, or $121,680 at current exchange, to the Foundation, the latter is appealing for copyright infringement on all designs. A final verdict is expected no sooner than 2009. The designers declined to comment on the case.